Diagnostic features The affected sites characteristically conform to history of specific contact to a susceptible contactants. Some non-exposed areas are also susceptible to irritant contact dermatitis, e.g., body folds and flexural areas, due to a combination of friction and direct contact with sweat or urine. Once exposure to the irritant ceases, improvement start to occur.
Clinical presentation Strong irritant contact dermatitis can occur after a single brief exposure. The latent period is short. Examples are acid and alkaline burns, thermal burns and frost bites. The offending irritant is usually obvious. Weak irritant contact dermatitis develops after multiple exposures, latent period is long.
Management The offending irritant should be identified and removed. Soap and detergents should appropriately be minimized. Cool water is less detrimental than hot water. Advice on the use of protective barriers whilst at work, e.g., gloves, protective clothes etc. should be strictly followed by the patient. Restoration of the lipid layer can be accomplished by frequent application of emollients. In case of maceration, wet clothing should be changed frequently, non-porous clothing to be avoided. Inflammatory element can be controlled with topical steroid.
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