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Risk Factors and Causes of Dermatitis

Risk Factors

Anyone can get contact dermatitis, but some people are more prone to this condition than others. This includes people working in certain jobs or profession, and they can have what doctors term “occupational dermatitis”.

People at risks of occupational dermatitis are:

  • Plumbers
  • Health workers like nurses and medical lab scientists
  • Mechanics
  • Beauticians
  • Janitors
  • Bartenders
  • Construction workers
  • Chefs and people whose work is related to food
  • Florists and people who work with plants.

Beauticians and nurses often develop dry and cracked skin on their palms and fingers, and this is caused by the latex gloves they wear throughout the day. Some of them develop an allergy to latex.

Some medical conditions raise the risk of developing contact dermatitis. Some of them are:

  • Eczema or atopic dermatitis
  • Hay fever
  • Asthma

Your environment can also play a role in developing contact dermatitis; dry air, high humidity, extreme heat and cold can make your skin susceptible to this condition.

Causes of Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is developed when an irritant comes in contact with the skin and causes an allergic reaction or irritates the skin. Anyone can develop this condition, and it occurs when toxins damage the skins outer layer.

With many contacts, almost any chemical and even water can damage your skin. Toxic substances like turpentine and fibreglass can cause quick damage to the skin.

People who work with hair dyes, oils, metalworking fluids, solvents, foods, varnishes, and paints develop irritant dermatitis faster than others. An allergic reaction can also cause contact dermatitis.

People can develop allergies to many substances and the most common substances that cause allergic contact dermatitis are:

  • Cement
  • Poison ivy
  • Latex
  • Nickel; a common element used in making jewellery, cell phones, eyeglass frame, belt buckles, and zippers.
  • Fragrances
  • Adhesives, nail polish, and other nail cosmetics

Many people have a fast allergic reaction to these substances while some can touch it for years before they develop an allergy. Sometimes, a trigger must happen before an allergic reaction occurs.

Allergic contact dermatitis may happen when the skin has been exposed to a high amount of ultraviolet rays and when you sweat. There are more than 3,600 substances that can cause allergic contact dermatitis; these include rubber, dyes used in shoes and clothing, animal dander, antibiotics applied to the skin, and preservatives in cosmetics.

Contact dermatitis has more than a thousand causes, and it takes a lot of examination and a little bit of detective work to treat this skin problem. Our dermatology clinic London can handle cases of dermatitis; this is one of the most reasons people come to us, and we always proffer immediate treatment.

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Diagnosis of Contact Dermatitis

Our dermatologist London diagnoses this condition by having a close look at your skin and examining the rash closely, also questions will be asked about your past and present health conditions. All these will help determine the cause of the rash.

Diagnosing the cause of the rash will need a bit of detective work, questions will also be asked about the kind of job you do, what you do in your free time, your pet, and the skincare products you use.

Make sure you tell the dermatologist about all the products you use on your skin. Patching test might be recommended if our dermatologist London suspects that you have dermatitis. The patching test is an effective and safe way of finding out if your skin has developed an allergic reaction to any substance.

What to Expect During a Patching Test

  • Patches containing a little amount of what substances you might be allergic to will be applied on your back. This is kept on your back for two days
  • You then return to our dermatology clinic London so that the dermatologist can check your skin for allergic reactions
  • You may be asked to keep some of these patches for a longer time and see the dermatologist in a few days again.

You might be asked to avoid certain substances if the dermatologist suspects a particular allergen is causing your rash. And if the result shows you have an allergy, for example, a nickel allergy, you will be asked to:

  • Get eyeglasses made without nickel
  • Cover your cell phone using a case so that you won’t touch the metal
  • Stop putting on jewellery or clothing made with nickel