Dermatitis services offered in Hillsborough and Annandale, NJ

Nothing makes you as miserable as the inflamed, intensely itchy rashes that accompany dermatitis. At Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center, Edwin Schulhafer, MD, specializes in finding the source of dermatitis and developing an individualized treatment to prevent or reduce future skin reactions. When your symptoms become uncomfortable, painful, infected, or they interfere with your sleep, it's time to schedule an appointment. Call the office in Hillsborough Township or Annandale, New Jersey, or book online today.

What is dermatitis?

Dermatitis, also called contact dermatitis, is a type of eczema that causes inflammation and a rash when a substance directly touches your skin. You can have two types of dermatitis:

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis causes a rash when the substance damages your skin. It’s not an allergic reaction, which triggers your immune system. The reaction only affects your skin.

Allergic contact dermatitis

This type of dermatitis occurs when a substance that comes into contact with your skin causes an immune reaction. Your immune system then releases chemicals that cause a skin rash.

What substances cause dermatitis?

You can develop irritant contact dermatitis from many possible sources. Something as simple as over-exposure to water can damage your skin. 

Other common irritants include soaps, detergents, disinfectants, and fertilizers. A multitude of chemicals found in everyday products can cause dermatitis.

Poison ivy is one of the most common causes of allergic dermatitis. However, this type of dermatitis also arises from many substances, including:

  • Nickel
  • Cosmetics
  • Fabric dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Rubber
  • Poison oak and sumac
  • Topical medications

Topical antibiotics represent one of the most common medication triggers. Contact dermatitis is tested with patch testing.

What symptoms occur due to dermatitis?

Both types of dermatitis may cause any of the following:

  • Itching
  • Skin redness and inflammation
  • Painful sores
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Thickened skin
  • Tender skin
  • Burning or stinging
  • Hives
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Blisters that ooze and crust
  • Scaly patches of skin


Irritant dermatitis usually causes a skin reaction shortly after you touch the substance. By comparison, allergic dermatitis appears later, often after several days.

How is dermatitis treated?

The first step is to identify the substance responsible for your contact dermatitis. Your Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center provider,  diagnoses the source of contact dermatitis with a patch test. Other sources of dermatitis may require lab testing or a skin biopsy. 

They place several possible irritants or allergens on a patch and apply the self-adhesive patch to your back. After wearing the patch for several days, you return to the office so they can see which substances caused a skin reaction.

Your treatment for dermatitis includes a plan to avoid the substance and topical medications to ease inflammation, itching, and other symptoms. 

In cases of severe eczema that doesn't improve with standard treatments, your provider may recommend monoclonal antibodies, such as Dupixent® or Adbry. These biologic medications target the cells in your body that cause inflammation and dermatitis.

Get the relief you need from the uncomfortable symptoms of contact dermatitis by calling Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center or booking online today.