Contact dermatitis refers to inflammation of the dermis and epidermis as a result of direct contact between a substance and the surface of the skin. In fact, almost all dermatitis is the result of skin surface injury from epicutaneous exposures. Contact dermatitis is divided into two broad categories: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Irritants cause immediate inflammation of the skin; allergens cause an inflammatory response that is delayed by days.
This topic will discuss irritant and allergic contact dermatitis in children. Contact dermatitis in adults is discussed separately.
●(See "Irritant contact dermatitis in adults".)
●(See "Basic mechanisms and pathophysiology of allergic contact dermatitis".)
●(See "Clinical features and diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis".)