Chronic, irritant contact dermatitis: mechanisms, variables, and differentiation from other forms of contact dermatitis.

M. V. Dahl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Irritant dermatitis is an eczematous reaction to toxic chemicals contacting the skin. The mechanisms by which various chemicals elicit dermatitis are multiple. Strong irritants quickly elicit signs and symptoms of dermatitis, but weak irritants may not. Chronic cumulative exposure to weak irritants can elicit dermatitis which may mimic allergic contact dermatitis and mislead the physician and patient with respect to cause and preventative strategy. The skins of different people vary in susceptibilities to irritation. Susceptibility is also influenced by chemical properties, vehicles, concentrations, amounts applied to the skin surface, surface area, regional variations, length of exposure, method of exposure, age, sex, race, genetic background, environmental factors, hardening, concomitant disease, and the excited skin syndrome as well as treatment. Patch testing can help distinguish between allergens and irritants, but pitfalls may mislead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-275
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in dermatology
Volume3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988

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