Skin Allergies – Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis is a skin allergy irritation or inflammation which can range from itchy skin, to severe outbreaks where there may be blisters or crusty scales that will ooze fluid.

Contact Dermatitis occurs at all ages, and can be caused by coming into contact with many different substances such as: metals, laundry detergents, cosmetics, chemicals, plants, fabrics, fungus, bacteria, etc. The symptoms (itch, inflammation) can show up on any part of your body.

Common Causes of Contact Dermatitis:

Cosmetics are probably the #1 main causes of all dermatitis skin allergies. People are applying chemicals to their body, face and hair practically on a daily basis and can become sensitized to certain chemicals.

The area of the skin where the product was applied will be the area that is usually affected. However, sometimes other areas can be affected as well if the product accidentally contacts the surface. In most cases a rash and sometimes swelling can occur. Fragrances, hair products, nail polish, sunscreens/sunblocks, and foundation makeup are big culprits.

Metals are another one of the most common causes of skin allergies. Although you can be allergic to any type of metal the most common is Nickel. Nickel is found in a lot of things in our everyday lives, from jewelry to money and sometimes even what we eat. In most cases prolonged close contact to the metal is what causes the irritation. The effect may increase when your body perspires.

As an example you may have a nickel coated watch and have a skin allergy related to the metal. By wearing your watch for a prolonged periods of time you could develop a skin irritation that would turn into a rash and get worse the longer you wore your watch band. The best thing in this case would be to find a watch that has a leather band or some other type of band that is not coated with nickel or other metals.  Finding another material that you’re not allergic to will more than likely solve the problem. This can happen with any jewelry item and even with eye glass frames.

Oral and dental products can cause allergies related to the mouth, including the tongue, lips, gums, mucous membranes and skin around the mouth area. These are usually caused by a variety of dental and oral products.  Foods from the Toxicodendron family can be a cause just as much as toothpastes, mouth washes, chewing gum, and lipstick/lip balm. Metals from dental work including mercury, chromium, nickel, gold, cobalt, beryllium and palladium can also causes skin allergic problems..

Plants are another common cause of skin allergies. A few of the plants that cause dermatitis are: Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac, Mango, Burmese Lacquer Tree, India Marking Nut Tree, Cashew Nut Oil, and Ginkgo Leaves.

Surgical Implant Devices can cause allergic reactions. Rashes can occur over the site of the implant or all over the body. It’s always a good idea to be tested for allergic reactions to the implant materials before they are used on you to prevent future allergic reactions to the material.

Topical Medications: You can have allergic reactions to chemicals found in many topical medications.


Make your life a lot easier when it comes to either colds or allergies … give me a call (Wendy — 604-839-9789) to discuss the alternatives.


Vancouver Allergy Center


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