Contact dermatitis, eczema, allergy, irritant contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin rash (eczema) caused by contact with certain substances. There are two types of contact dermatitis: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. Sometimes these two types of contact dermatitis can also occur at the same time.

Allergic contact dermatitis

In allergic contact dermatitis, the cause of the eczema is an allergic reaction to a certain substance. You only get this if you have become allergic to a certain substance through previous skin contact with that substance. This substance is called an allergen. Once you are allergic, a small amount of allergen is enough to cause skin complaints. Contact allergies often persist throughout life.

Irritant contact dermatitis

With irritant contact dermatitis, you get eczema due to irritation, for example through contact with water, soap, detergents and the like, by rubbing or the cold.

Therefore, anyone can get irritant contact dermatitis. The irritation will develop in some people sooner than in others. With a lot of contact with water, the eczema will develop more quickly and be more severe. Therefore, this is not an allergic reaction.

Is contact dermatitis contagious?

Neither allergic nor irritant contact dermatitis is contagious.

Please contact your treating doctor for more information.


Your doctor will discuss the treatment options with you.

Last modified on 6 July 2022


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