It is a type of atopic dermatitis that develops on direct contact of the skin with the substance. It could be caused either by an irritant or due to an allergic reaction.
Contact dermatitis caused by an irritant usually looks like a burn with dry, red and rough skin. The rash may be associated with burning sensation and pains.
Common irritants include soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, solvents, cement, hair dyes, shampoo, rubber gloves and chemicals such as pesticides and weed killers.
Allergic dermatitis causes a red and streaky rash at the site of contact of the allergen with the skin. The rash may feel warm and tender which gradually become scaly, thickened and can result in crust formation or oozing of fluid from the lesion.
Common allergens may include nickel or other metals, cosmetics, soap, clothing, topical antibiotics such as neomycin, poison ivy and rubber gloves or shoes.