Contact dermatitis - Symptoms 

Symptoms of eczema (contact dermatitis) 

Eczema throughout life

Eczema can affect you differently depending on your age. The best way to deal with it can differ too

Contact dermatitis most commonly affects areas of skin on your hands and face. Depending on what has caused your contact dermatitis, you may also experience other symptoms.

Both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis can cause your skin to become:

  • red
  • inflamed
  • blistered
  • dry
  • thickened
  • cracked

Irritant contact dermatitis

Your symptoms will usually appear within 48 hours of coming into contact with the irritant.

Strong irritants may cause your skin to react immediately. More common irritants, such as soap and detergents, may need frequent and repeated contact before they cause problems.

Only the area of skin that has been in direct contact with the irritant will be affected.  

Allergic contact dermatitis

It may take several days for your symptoms to appear after you come into contact with the allergen.

In most cases, the affected skin will be the area of skin that had contact with the allergen. For example, if you are allergic to an eye shadow or blusher, your eyelids or cheeks may be affected. However, in some cases other areas of skin may also be affected.

Page last reviewed: 16/10/2012

Next review due: 16/10/2014

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