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Eczema (irritant contact)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Irritant contact dermatitis is a non immunologic response which occurs as a result of direct damage to the skin by exogenous caustic or irritating chemicals or physical agents.

  • no prior exposure to the agent is necessary,
  • once the keratin in the skin has been impaired, chemicals are able to pass into the cellular component of the epidermis and cause an inflammatory reaction
  • finger web spaces in hands and the face are commonly affected
  • is the most common cause of industrial dermatitis (1,2).

Responsible for around 80% of contact dermatitis cases

  • common irritants include - soaps, detergents, water, solvents, cutting oils, and food ingredients (2)


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