WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] Ver el documento en el formato PDF
Índice de contenido
Ver el documentoPreface
Ver el documentoIntroduction
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoParasitic infections
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoSuperficial fungal infections
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoSubcutaneous fungal infections
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoBacterial infections
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoViral infections
Cerrar esta carpetaEczematous diseases
Ver el documentoContact dermatitis
Ver el documentoAtopic dermatitis
Ver el documentoSeborrhoeic dermatitis
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoScaling diseases
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoPapulosquamous diseases
Ver el documentoCutaneous reactions to drugs
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoPigmentary disorders
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoPhotodermatoses
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoBullous dermatoses
Ver el documentoAlopecia areata
Ver el documentoUrticaria
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoConditions common in children
Ver el documentoAcne vulgaris
Ver el documentoPruritus
Ver el documentoTropical ulcers
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAntimicrobial drugs
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAntifugal drugs
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAntiseptic agents
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoScabicides and pediculicides
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoMiscellaneous drugs
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAnnex
Ver el documentoSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
Ver el documentoBack cover
 

Contact dermatitis

Both irritants and allergens can induce contact dermatitis. Non-allergic dermatitis sometimes follows isolated exposure to a strong irritant or, more frequently, is induced by repeated exposure to less potent chemicals, including soaps, detergents and solvents. The skin becomes dry, inelastic, fissured and secondarily infected through breaches in the protective stratum corneum.

Allergic contact dermatitis is a form of delayed hypersensitivity. It is, in part, genetically determined and results from exposure of a previously sensitized individual to an allergen. A vesicular or bullous eruption usually first develops at the site of primary contact but the allergen is frequently transferred by the hands to other parts of the body. The margins of the affected areas are often unnaturally sharp and angular. Inflamed, damaged or diseased skin is especially vulnerable, whereas the scalp, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet are protected by the greater thickness of the stratum corneum.

Plants, dyes, nickel and other metals, rubber, cosmetics and topical medicines are all potential allergens. Causative agents may be identified by patch testing, but the correct interpretation of such tests may be difficult. Sensitization to a component of a topically applied medicine is not uncommon and should be suspected if dermatitis develops following the application of a topical agent.

Prevention and management

Emollient creams accelerate healing and barrier creams may offer protection in the workplace. Patients should not use abrasive soaps and they should avoid, as far as possible, exposure to irritant substances.

Hydrocortisone 1% ointments or creams are of value in suppressing inflammation. More potent topical corticosteroids can also be used, but may not offer any better efficacy since the condition is usually self-limiting. The use of a short course of oral prednisolone or prednisone to suppress severe acute reactions associated with blistering, exudation and oedema should be considered. The oral corticosteroid can be given in successively lower doses over a 2-week period. Consultation with a dermatologist, if one is available, should be considered.

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