Irritant contact dermatitis
Avoidance of the causative irritants is the primary treatment. The treatment goal is to restore normal epidermal function. In general, therapy depends on the clinical picture and the skin condition of irritant contact dermatitis.
In acute forms, the following treatment may be useful:
The efficacy of topical corticosteroids in acute irritant contact dermatitis is discussed controversially. Systemic corticosteroids may be necessary for severe forms with acute inflammation but they should not be given for chronic forms of irritant contact dermatitis. Tanning substances can be used in acute forms (bath, cream, lotion, gel).
For chronic irritant contact dermatitis, phototherapy may be supplemented. In hyperkeratotic forms, systemic retinoids are the treatment of choice.
After clearing of lesions, strategies in the prevention of irritant contact dermatitis should be worked out together with the patient including the workplace and home. Personal protective equipment includes wearing of gloves, barrier topicals such as creams and ointments and regular use of emollients.