Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information

    Contact dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis on an arm, with close-up of rash

    Contact dermatitis is a skin rash that results from contact with a substance that causes an allergic reaction. The rash usually starts within 48 hours of contact with the irritating substance. A minor reaction may cause mild redness of the skin or a rash of small red bumps. A more severe reaction may cause swelling, redness, and larger blisters.

    Many things can cause contact dermatitis, including soaps, lotions, latex gloves, and plants such as poison ivy. The location of the rash may provide a clue about the cause.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

    Current as ofNovember 4, 2016

    Current as of: November 4, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.