There are many causes for contact dermatitis, a condition in which the skin becomes red, itchy, sore or inflamed after direct contact with a particular substance, according to MedlinePlus. However, there are two categories the many reasons call fall into: irritant dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.
Irritant dermatitis is caused by direct contact with a substance, such as hair dye or pesticides. Infants with long-term exposure to wet diapers can also develop this condition. Itching and burning may occur, and this is normal. If it is possible for a patient to rule out irritant dermatitis by recalling that no contact with an irritating substance precipitated the rash, then allergic contact dermatitis is likely the cause.
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with a substance that the individual is allergic to, such as certain animal tissues, latex, perfumes, plants, metals and fabrics. Some people do not have a reaction following their first exposure or at every occurrence of exposure, according to MedlinePlus.
Itching is a common symptom of the problem, and it can become severe. If the condition becomes unmanageable, it is important to discuss it with a doctor. One way to relieve this condition is to keep the skin moist by using emollients or moisturizers, which allows the skin to repair itself, according to MedlinePlus. It is important to keep areas that often become inflamed well-moisturized to protect the skin from becoming inflamed again.