Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin caused by contact with a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Or it can occur from contact with a substance that irritates the skin. A minor case of contact dermatitis may cause mild redness of the skin or a rash of small red bumps, while a more severe reaction may cause swelling, redness, and larger blisters.
A rash usually starts about 48 hours after exposure to the irritating substance. Common causes of contact dermatitis include:
Poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
Soaps, detergents, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics, or lotions.
Jewelry or fabrics.
New tools, toys, appliances, or other objects.
The location of the rash may provide a clue about the cause.
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