Contact Dermatitis Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD
Medically reviewed
January 18, 2021

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is an itchy rash that occurs after the skin comes into contact with a substance that causes inflammation.

Common causes of contact dermatitis include:

  • Poison Ivy
  • Nickel
  • Detergents/lotions/soap
  • Makeup
  • Sunscreen/insect repellent

Symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • Red rash that is in one specific area
  • Bumps or blisters
  • Itching, sometimes intensely
  • Crusting, scaling, or flaking
  • ‘Weeping’ or clear drainage from the rash

Contact Dermatitis Treatment

Treatment of contact dermatitis includes:

  • Removal and avoidance of substance causing the reactions
  • Keep your child’s hands clean and nails cut
  • Avoid soap
  • Cold compresses
  • Topical steroid – either over the counter or prescription depending on how bad the rash is
  • Unscented moisturizer
  • Antihistamines like Benadryl can help in some cases

Sometimes rashes from contact dermatitis can become infected from your child scratching it. If this happens, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic.

Check in With K If…

  • You have general questions about your child’s condition
  • You want general followup for your child
  • You have questions about supportive care
  • Your child’s symptoms don’t go away after treatment but are not alarming

See a Doctor in Person If…

  • Your child’s rash becomes painful or looks infected
  • Your child’s rash lasts for more than 3 weeks
  • The rash spreads or gets worse
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.