General Info

Causes of eczema

Types of Eczema

Eczema in specific localisations


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Allergic contact dermatitis
Irritant contact dermatitis
photoallergic contact dermatitis
photoxic contact dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis
Seborrhoeic dermatitis
Nummular eczema
Asteatotic eczema
stasis dermatitis
Dyshidrotic eczema
Hyperkeratotic fissured hand and foot eczema
Overlapping dermatoses

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Photoallergic contact dermatitis

Photoallergic contact dermatitis is an eczematous delayed type hypersensitivity response of the skin when affected by a combination of allergen and ultraviolet light (mostly UVA). Only previously sensitised persons can develop a photoallergic reaction. Common photoallergic agents include sunscreens, fragrances, antibacterial agents such as chlorhexidine, and drugs such as chlorpromazine and promethazine.

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Clinical picture:

Erythema, infiltration, blistering and, rarely, bullae occur in sun-exposed areas.


Sun-exposed areas of the body are affected.


Patient history regarding exposure to potential photosensitisers and a careful examination of the clinical features (distribution of the lesions, sparing of sun-protected areas) are mandatory. Cutaneous irradiation phototesting and photopatch testing may confirm the diagnosis.

Differential diagnoses:

Phototoxic contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis including airborne contact dermatitis, other photodermatoses such as polymorphic light eruption, chronic actinic dermatitis and erythropoetic protoporphyria must be taken into account.

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