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What causes contact dermatitis?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2019 | Workplace Illness

When you spend years of your life on the job, one thing you don’t want to see happen is long-term exposure leading to illness. Unfortunately, there are many diseases and illnesses that do stem from exposure to irritants and carcinogens over the years.

There are many kinds of illnesses and injuries that might occur on the job, but the one that is the most overwhelming in terms of skin diseases is contact dermatitis. Allergic and irritant dermatitis, as it’s also known, can make up to 15% to 20% of all of the occupational diseases that get reported annually. In fact, almost any job has the potential to exposure people to irritants that could cause this illness.

Contact dermatitis may be caused by exposure to many different kinds of chemicals or irritants. For some, exposure to bleach or other chemicals while cleaning each day could lead to dermatitis. For others, irritants like sawdust or solvents can lead to the formation of contact dermatitis rashes.

How soon does contact dermatitis occur after exposure?

Generally speaking, contact dermatitis forms within 72 hours after exposure to the substance when it’s an allergic reaction. For irritant contact dermatitis, it may take many repeated exposures to irritants to cause a reaction.

Some common causes of allergic contact dermatitis include:

  • Cosmetics
  • Topical medications
  • Sunscreens
  • Latex
  • Rubber
  • Fragrances
  • Nickel
  • Preservatives

What are common causes of irritant contact dermatitis?

  • Detergents
  • Waxes
  • Soaps
  • Chemicals
  • Cleaners

You’ll notice a reddening of your skin and potentially patches on your body if you develop contact dermatitis. Burning, itching, hives and other signs are also possible. If you have these symptoms, make sure you seek immediate medical care and begin your workers’ compensation claim.