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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Advances in dermatology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1988|