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Airborne contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis to aerosol substances can produce an eruption on exposed skin that resembles a photodermatitis.

Involvement of typically sun-spared areas such as upper eyelids or submental areas suggests airborne contact dermatitis. Typically, relatively sheltered areas are spared.

A careful history is necessary to delineate it from other causes of eruptions of exposed skin.

Patch testing to contact allergens is indicated.

Treatment:

  • Removal of the offending allergen, followed by topical mid-strength topical steroids is quite effective.
  • Chronic allergic contact dermatitis of the face can lead to thickening of the skin, requiring more potent topical steroids.
  • Close follow-up is necessary when potent topical steroids are used or atrophy may occur.
Airborne contact dematitis


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