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Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) is a skin reaction to substances that are normally harmless to most people. The eyelids, face, neck and hands are the most common areas involved, primarily because they are most frequently in contact with foreign substances. ACD can become chronic if the offending substance is not identified. It is common not to be able to determine the cause of the rash because it usually does not appear until a week after contact. By then, then contactant may be forgotten.

Fortunately, patch testing can find the allergy causing substance. Complicating identification of offending substances are labeling laws that require listing only ingredients comprising more that one per cent of the product. Finding the these low-level exposures may require vigilance. Consequently, all personal care products should be screened for the potential to cause allergy as they may unknowingly be part of the problem. Treatment of ACD is the same as atopic dermatitis.

  Specific Substances & How to Avoid Them