Contact Dermatitis Symptoms

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on July 10, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on July 10, 2014

Contact Dermatitis Symptoms

Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin that results from contact with certain substances. You may have a variety of symptoms depending on whether your dermatitis is irritant type or allergic type.

Symptoms of Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis results from contact with substances that irritate your skin. Symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis are similar to a burn and include:

  • itching
  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain
  • burning

Symptoms of Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis results from contact with a substance you are allergic to. Symptoms include:

  • redness
  • tenderness
  • itching
  • dryness
  • flaking
  • scaling
  • cracking
  • skin thickening
  • feeling of warmth
  • oozing
  • blistering
  • lesions (in extreme cases), including papules (pimple-like)
  • swelling on the top layer of skin (epidermis)
  • swelling of deeper layers of skin, often in the eyelids, mouth, or genitals

Skin allergy symptoms usually appear one to three days after contact with the allergen.

Hives may be a result of a food or drug allergy, but they are also common from contact with latex. This is a particularly prevalent allergy among healthcare workers, who often use latex gloves.

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