Fast Five Quiz: Dermatitis

William James, MD


November 04, 2020

Rietschel and Fowler proposed the following as primary diagnostic criteria for irritant contact dermatitis:

  • Macular erythema, hyperkeratosis, or fissuring predominating over vesiculation

  • Glazed, parched, or scalded appearance of the epidermis

  • Healing process beginning promptly on withdrawal of exposure to the offending agent

  • Negative results on patch testing that includes all possible allergens

Minor objective criteria for irritant contact dermatitis include the following:

  • Sharp circumscription of the dermatitis

  • Evidence of gravitational influence, such as a dripping effect

  • Lower tendency for the dermatitis to spread than in cases of allergic contact dermatitis

  • Morphologic changes suggesting small differences in concentration or contact time producing large differences in skin damage

Read more about the presentation of irritant contact dermatitis.


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