Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Skin: irritant contact dermatitis

Synonym(s): Primary irritant contact dermatitis

Contributor(s): Rosanna Marsella, David Scarff

Introduction

  • Cutaneous inflammation in most cats exposed without sensitization required (contact hypersensitivity: sensitized individuals only).
  • Much more common than contact hypersensitivity Skin: allergic contact dermatitis but still uncommon.
  • Signs: pruritus, maculopapular dermatitis, usually affecting the sparsely haired skin in areas in contact with the irritant.
  • Diagnosis: elimination of irritant and subsequent provocative exposure.
  • Treatment: prevention of access to offending irritant.
  • Prognosis: variable, may not be possible to identify and exclude irritant.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Cement dust, freshly laid cement, plaster dust, corrosive substances.
  • Weed and insecticidal sprays, fertilizers.
  • Shampoos.
  • Cleaning products (soaps, detergents, disinfectants, carpet cleaners).
  • Flea control products ( rare).

Pathophysiology

  • Irritants (mainly chemicals)   →   skin injury.
  • Damage to the skin causes irritation.
  • Self-trauma with licking and scratching results in excoriation and pyotraumatic dermatitis.
  • Crusts, hyperpigmentation and eventually scarring may develop if treatment is inadequate.

Timecourse

  • Acute reaction over minutes to hours.
  • Rapidity of onset and intensity of reaction depends on the nature of the irritant.
  • Corrosive substances injure the skin immediately, less potent irritants need prolonged or repeated contact to produce irritation.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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