Is dermatitis contagious?

Dermatitis involves the inflammation of the skin on your eye. It is a condition that leads to itchy, swollen, and irritated eyes. It’s a common issue that comes in two forms, atopic dermatitis (allergic) and contact dermatitis (irritant). But is dermatitis contagious? Allergic dermatitis can often be caused by irritants or allergens such as makeup or creams. Contact dermatitis can be caused by your contact solution. While there is no cause for immediate concern, you should contact a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis and begin treatment. While the skin condition may appear red and flaky, dermatitis is not contagious.

Symptoms of Dermatitis

Symptoms may occur in one or both of your eyes. They can also be chronic or may only flare up on occasion. The condition can affect your eyelids alone, or it can affect the surrounding area of your eyes. Symptoms often range from itching, swelling, pain, and burning to skin that is red, scaly, irritated, or thickened.

What Causes Dermatitis?

It can be easily irritated or prone to allergic reactions due to the sensitivity of the skin around your eyes. This is because eyelid skin is very thin, contains little fat, and has a number of blood vessels. Each case is unique and can be caused by a wide variety of factors.

Atopic Dermatitis:

Symptoms from atopic dermatitis are the result of an allergy. Symptoms arise when the immune system reacts to the substance you’re allergic to. The immune system reacts by creating antibodies that cause symptoms like redness and itching. Below you will find the most common causes of atopic dermatitis.

  • Certain foods
  • Pollen, dust mites, and pet dander
  • Latex, rubber, and plastic
  • Contact lens solution or eye drops
  • Personal care products, such as makeup, cleanser, creams, serums, lotions, nail polish,
  • hair dye, or shampoo
  • Certain medications
  • Perfume

Contact Dermatitis:

This form of dermatitis occurs when your eyelids or the surrounding area come into contact with an irritating substance. In this type, you don’t have to necessarily be allergic to the substance. It could be something that is merely an irritant. Below you will find the most common causes of contact dermatitis.

  • Chemicals, such as chlorine or bleach
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Insect bites
  • Hot or cold temperatures, including humidity or dry air
  • Industrial solvents
  • Wood particles or dust particles in the air

Both types will generally cause similar symptoms. However, the difference between the two if your immune system’s reaction as atopic dermatitis produces antibodies that lead to your symptoms.

Treatment Options

Once you are properly diagnosed, there are effective treatment options for your dermatitis. Diagnosis involves a physical assessment of the irritated skin. After your assessment, the doctor can provide an ointment that’s right for you if needed. A follow-up appointment is necessary to ensure the treatment is effective for your unique needs. The ointment can help reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of irritation and potential damage to the cornea. Your eyes can also return to normal functions as the tear film and cornea can be severely irritated.

If you are not prescribed ointment, it is likely due to your dermatitis coming from a substance that irritates your body versus being an allergic reaction. With that, lifestyle and dietary change can help eliminate the issue once properly diagnosed.

Treatment in Silverdale and Sequim

If you are experiencing any symptoms related to dermatitis, it’s important to set up an appointment to get a proper diagnosis. You can also have peace of mind by knowin dermatitis is not contagious. The experts at Cole Aesthetic Center are experienced in treating dermatitis. Our primary focus is making sure that you leave their office looking and feeling your best. Contact our office today for an appointment!


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