Contact dermatitis is a common problem in the world of dermatology as well as women’s health, where vulvar irritation is a frequent complaint among women. It occurs following exposure to exogenous irritants (irritant contact dermatitis) or allergens (allergic contact dermatitis), and can present in acute, subacute, or chronic forms. While vulvar pruritus and pain can be seen in a number of different conditions, contact dermatitis is one of the most common causes encountered in clinical practice, and its effects on patient quality of life can be dramatic. With a thorough history and a complete physical exam, this prevalent condition can be diagnosed and addressed. Treatment is aimed at identifying and eliminating the underlying cause, restoring the damaged epithelial barrier, and calming the inflammation. Although numerous options are available for addressing the itch and pain, the only true ”cure” for contact dermatitis is to avoid the responsible exposures.
Contact dermatitis, allergic dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, contact vulvitis
Copyright © 2014 Cody J. Connor and Erin E. Eppsteiner
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