Contact Dermatitis By Jewelry, Perfume and Others
Contact dermatitis is an eczematous reaction due to an external agent. This agent can affect the skin by direct contact, by airborne contamination, or by ingestion. Skin changes that occur as a result to exposure to allergenic or irritant substances. Phototoxic dermatitis results when either an allergen or an irritant is activated by sunlight. In all types of contact dermatitis, only the superficial regions of the skin are affected. Upon examination of the affected tissue, inflammation is observed to be present in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) and the outer dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD)is common form of contact dermatitis, affecting around 1-2% of healthy Europeans (ESCD 2006), can be caused by either an acute or chronic exposure to a toxic insult. It is also referred to as non-allergic contact dermatitis.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)is the manifestation of an allergic response caused by contact with a substance.By its allergic nature, this form is a hypersensitive reaction which is atypical within the population.
Photocontact Dermatitis (PCD),sometimes termed "photoaggrevated"(Bourke et al 2001), and divided into two categories, phototoxic and photoallergic, PCD is the eczematous condition which is triggered by an interaction between an otherwise unharmful or less harmful substance on the skin and ultraviolet light (320-400nm UVA) (ESCD 2006), therefore manifesting itself only in regions where the sufferer has been exposed to such rays. Without the presence of these rays, the photosensitiser is not harmful. For this reason, this form of contact dermatitis is usually associated only with areas of skin which are left uncovered by clothing. The mechanism of action varies from toxin to toxin, but is usually due to the production of a photoproduct. Toxins which are associated with PCD include the psoralens. Psoralens are in fact used therapeutically for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo.
Contact dermatitis may even happen just after wearing new silver bracelet,new summer perfume and home products.
Contact dermatitis is easily remedied with antihistamines, cortisone-type creams and dry-skin lotions. If symptoms persist, a physician may need to issue a prescription.
Following are the top 10 causes of contact dermatitis recently identified by Mayo Clinic physicians:
- Nickel, commonly found on jewelry clasps or buttons.
- Gold, usually worn as jewelry.
- Balsam of Peru, a fragrance used in skin care products and perfume.
- Thimerosal, a preservative used in vaccines.
- Neomycin sulfate, a topical antibiotic.
- Fragrance mix, which is comprised of eight of the most common flavorings found in various products.
- Formaldehyde, a preservative that can be found in paper products, paints, building materials, medications, household cleaners and fabric finishes.
- Cobalt chloride, a metal found in medical products, hair dye, antiperspirants, and in snaps, buttons and tools.
- Bacitracin, a topical antibiotic.
- Quaternium-15, a preservative found in skin care products and in industrial products such as pains, polishes and waxes.
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