How is dermatitis diagnosed?
Your dermatologist may suspect that your skin problem is the result of a contact sensitivity. Then, he or she may test your skin by applying small amounts of different substances to your skin, apply an adhesive covering and examine the site say 48 hours later. This is called patch testing. If your skin responds to one or more of these substances, the problem is known as allergic contact dermatitis. Relatively few individuals have such response. When virtually everyone who contacts a specific substance reacts with dermatitis, the ailment is known as irritant contact dermatitis. In contact dermatitis, only the area contacted by the offending substance, reacts. The area with the greatest exposure reacts most severely.