Contact Dermatitis of the Hands: Is It Irritant or Allergic?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Hand contact dermatitis is common, and irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) is more likely than allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) in both occupational and nonoccupational settings. Irritant contact dermatitis can have acute and chronic presentations, and hand hygiene products can contribute. The most common relevant hand contact allergens in North American patch test populations are methylisothiazolinone (MI), nickel, formaldehyde, quaternium-15, and fragrance mix I. In health care workers, rubber accelerators often are relevant as potential contact allergens. Clinically, it can be difficult to differentiate between ICD and ACD, and patch testing often is required for definitive diagnosis. When patch testing is indicated, supplemental allergen series in addition to a screening series often are needed. Management of hand contact dermatitis requires gentle skin care, avoidance of irritants and/ or allergens when appropriate, and prescription topical or systemic therapies or phototherapy when indicated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Patel, V; Atwater, AR; Reeder, M

Published Date

  • March 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 107 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 129 - 132

PubMed ID

  • 33956604

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2326-6929

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.12788/cutis.0204


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States