Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis offered in Tampa and Brandon, FL

Contact Dermatitis

Inflamed skin and a red and often itchy rash signals contact dermatitis. This condition arises from exposure to everyday irritants or allergens. When you have a severe, long-lasting, or recurring skin reaction, our team at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates in Tampa and Brandon, Florida, can help. We specialize in discovering the source of your contact dermatitis and creating a treatment plan that eases your symptoms and prevents further flare-ups. Call the nearest office today or request an appointment using the online booking feature.

Contact Dermatitis Q&A

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis occurs when something that touches your skin causes inflammation and a rash. Your skin reaction can be due to:

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis causes a reaction when a substance irritates or damages your skin. This reaction isn’t an allergy because it only affects your skin, not your immune system.

Allergic contact dermatitis

You have allergic contact dermatitis when a substance penetrates your skin and triggers your immune system. As a result, your immune system reacts, releasing chemicals that cause an allergic reaction — your skin rash.

What causes contact dermatitis?

Each type of contact dermatitis has different causes:

Irritant contact dermatitis

Many substances cause irritant contact dermatitis. Even something as simple as prolonged exposure to water can damage your skin and cause a reaction. The more frequently your skin is exposed to the irritant, the higher your risk of developing contact dermatitis.

Common irritants include:

  • Soaps and detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Fertilizers
  • Perfumes
  • Chemicals in self-care products

Many common and seemingly harmless garden plants contain substances that cause irritant contact dermatitis.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are the top causes of allergic contact dermatitis. You can also develop this condition from contact with:

  • Nickel
  • Cosmetics
  • Fabric dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Rubber (latex)
  • Topical medications


Topical antibiotics often cause allergic contact dermatitis.

What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?

Both types cause skin rashes with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Skin redness and inflammation
  • Painful sores
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Scaly patches of skin
  • Thickened skin
  • Tender skin
  • Burning or stinging
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Blisters that ooze and crust


Your skin reaction might occur within minutes or hours. Or it could take days to appear, depending on the substance and whether it’s an irritant or allergic dermatitis.

How is contact dermatitis treated?


The Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates team begins by identifying the substance responsible for your skin reaction. They identify allergens with patch testing, but it takes some digging to discover irritants.


No matter the cause, your treatment includes avoiding the substance and using topical or oral medications to reduce inflammation and itching.  


Call Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates today or request an appointment online to get the treatment that relieves and prevents contact dermatitis.