Our skin is exposed to a large number of irritants that can lead to the development of contact dermatitis (contact allergy) in work life (especially in jobs with more contact with water) or in our daily life. The chemicals we come into contact with can cause reactions on our skin in the form of red itchy rashes, which we sometimes refer to as contact allergies.
It is defined as a skin disease caused by contact with the substance that causes an allergic or irritant reaction. Part of the rash and itching caused by contact with chemicals is irritant contact allergy. Some of them appear as truly allergic contact dermatitis. Approximately 80% of contact dermatitis are irritant contact dermatitis, while only 20% are contact dermatitis of allergic origin.
Contact Dermatitis (Contact Allergy)
Although its frequency varies greatly, it is thought to develop in 1-5% of the general population. The prevalence of substances that most frequently cause contact allergy, such as nickel allergy, in the general population is up to 8-15% in women.
While contact allergyis generally seen as irritant dermatitis and allergic dermatitis, it can also be seen less frequently as phototoxic and photoallergic contact allergycaused by UV wavelengths of light.
After exposure to chemicals, it is observed that the rash formed firstly fluid-filled vesicles, then vesicles and crusting lesions. If the contact continues, thickening, hardening, scaling and clefts will develop over time due to recurrence.
Contact allergy is most often confused with contact urticaria. In contact urticaria, when we come into contact with foreign substances, itching, redness and swelling occur immediately. Contact urticaria occurs either by immunological means, that is, through IgE, or by non-immunological mechanisms. Contact urticaria, the rash that occurs when we come into contact with it, may remain in a certain area, or it may be a harbinger of urticaria spreading to the whole body or even allergic shock (anaphylactic shock).
It is very important to differentiate the complaints from contact urticaria. The reaction that starts with contact urticaria can later turn into anaphylactic shock, but contact allergy does not lead to anaphylactic shock. For example, if someone with a latex allergy has contact urticaria with latex contact, it may indicate a type I (IgE-mediated early type reaction) allergy and may guide other latex-related Type I allergic diseases, allergic rhinitis and asthma or allergic shock. Apart from this, dermatitis Type IV (late type reaction) reactions that occur with long-term latex contact do not cause anaphylactic shock picture due to latex.