Contact dermatitis is a physiological reaction that occurs when skin comes in contact with certain substances. Irritants to the skin cause 80 percent of these reactions, while the remaining 20 percent are caused by allergens, which trigger an allergic response.
Adults are affected by allergic contact dermatitis more than young children or the elderly.
The most common causes of irritants to children include the following:
Plants, as well as metals, cosmetics, and certain medications, may also cause contact dermatitis. These include:
The most severe reaction is usually at the contact site. The following are some of the other symptoms associated with contact dermatitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.
The symptoms of contact dermatitis can resemble other skin conditions, so always consult a physician for the correct diagnosis.
The best treatment is to identify and avoid the substances that may have caused the allergic contact dermatitis. The following recommendations from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology are geared for mild to moderate reactions:
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
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Children’s National Health System recently named Scott A. Norton, MD, MPH, MSc, as the Chief of Dermatology within the Diana L. and Stephen A. Goldberg Center for Community and Pediatric Health. Dr. Norton had served as interim chief, and now assumes his role as Division Chief.
Northern Virginia Magazine has named more than 45 Children’s National Health System physicians to their list of 2015 “Top Doctors.” The leading pediatric physicians included in this elite list represent many specialties within Children’s National including Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Endocrinology, Hematology/Oncology, Neonatology, Otolaryngology, Urology, and Surgery.
The chief of dermatology at Children’s National Health System and two medical students working with him identified improper sales of antibiotics without prescriptions in neighborhood grocery stores in the Washington, DC, area.
Scott A. Norton, MD, MPH, MSc, is the Chief of Dermatology at Children’s National Health System and is on the faculty at George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Howard University.