An affiliate of DOCS Dermatology PATIENT PORTAL PAY BILL ABOUT
Find a Provider
Find a Provider
Search for an expert practitioner specialized in helping you with your skincare needs.
Chelsea File, PA-C
Sherri Howard, MMS, PA-C
Susan Nedorost, MD
Matthew Zirwas, MD
View All
Medical Services
We have a wide range of services designed to address your specific skincare needs.
Conditions Acne
Angiomas and Hemangiomas
Actinic Keratosis
Contact Dermatitis
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Hair Loss & Alopecia
Hives (Urticaria)
Skin Cancer
View All
Treatments & Procedures Biologics & Topical Medications
Excisions & Biopsies
Mole Removal
Patch Testing
Pediatric Dermatology
Skin Cancer Check
View All
Cosmetic Services
Our cosmetic services are tailored to remedy your skincare needs.
Conditions Acne
Crows Feet
Lines and Wrinkles
View All
Treatments & Procedures Botox®
View All
dermatology medical practice logo
All Services

Contact Dermatitis

An itchy, swollen rash caused by direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to the substance.

What is it?

There are two types of contact dermatitis. The most common type is irritant dermatitis, which is caused by the skin reacting to irritating substances. The most common irritants that can cause contact dermatitis include soaps, detergents and fabric softeners, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and cleaning chemicals. It’s best to use mild soaps and cleaners to avoid irritant dermatitis.

The second type is allergic contact dermatitis, which occurs when the skin comes into contact with a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Substances like adhesives, topical antibiotics, dyes from clothing, towels, washcloths or hair dye, nail polish, plants such as poison ivy, poison oak and sumac, and rubber or latex gloves can yield allergic contact dermatitis. It’s important to note that it can be difficult to figure out precisely what’s causing allergic contact dermatitis because of the time it takes for the rash to appear after exposure to the allergen.

Anyone can develop contact dermatitis, but some are at a greater risk. This includes those with a pre-existing skin condition, like eczema, that hinders your skin’s ability to protect you. Symptoms vary depending on the cause or type of dermatitis and often dissipate once you remove the allergen or irritant. However, finding the cause isn’t always easy, so if your rash is persistent and doesn’t go away, our team of board-certified dermatologists can help pinpoint the cause and identify a course of treatment.

How is it treated?

It’s important to identify the cause of the skin irritation or swelling and then avoid it. To help with swelling and discomfort, you can start with a cool, wet cloth on the rash and inflamed area. If the rash doesn’t subside over four to six weeks, give us a call to set up an appointment in our Bexley location and we can help with in-office treatment options such as a topical corticosteroid cream or — in severe cases — corticosteroid oral medication.

We would love to get started on a solution that perfectly fits your needs.