Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis is damage to the skin caused by external irritants.
Thinner skin areas, such as the dorsum of the hand and the finger webs, are more susceptible to irritant contact dermatitis than thicker areas, such as the palmar surfaces.
Common causes of irritant contact dermatitis are organic solvents, soaps and detergents.
Irritant contact dermatitis is a common cause of work related skin debility.


  • Removal from contact with the offending irritant is important. Barrier creams containing silicone are helpful if the continuing exposure is minimal. Wearing plastic or rubber gloves may be needed for more significant ongoing exposure.
  • The dermatitis itself responds to topical steroids, preferably in an ointment base.
Irritant contact dermatitis

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