Most Popular Questions About Household Skin Irritants

According to experts, about 8 million people have dermatitis, a term used to describe skin inflammation caused by allergies, irritants, infections, and other substances in the environment.

Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes in contact with a substance in the environment that acts as an irritant. Symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis include a red rash or bumps, swelling of the skin, itching, dry skin patches, and pain or tenderness in the affected area. Occasionally, irritant contact dermatitis can cause skin blistering and ulceration.

To help Americans learn more about common household skin irritants, WebMD’s video crew hit the streets. We asked about people’s concerns when it comes to household skin irritants and took their questions to WebMD expert Holly McCoppin, MD, clinical instructor in dermatology at Emory University.

Do you have questions about common household irritants that affect you or your family? Click on the questions below to read our doctors’ answers.

Unknown Skin Problems One person reports having dry, itchy skin, but the doctor found no medical reason. What can be done to manage dry skin?

Spider Bites Spider bites can be uncomfortable. Lameate from Boston asks McCoppin how to care for a spider bite.

Switching Skincare Products How often should you change skin care products? Amity from California asks our dermatology expert.

Humidity and Skincare Val recently moved to Atlanta and asks our expert about changing skin care products due to the intense heat and humidity.

Sunscreen Application Are you applying sunscreen properly? McCoppin shares tips with Leo from North Carolina on protecting skin with sunscreen.

Sunburn and Melanoma Warren from Texas wants to know if severe sunburn is associated with developing melanoma.

Eczema on Legs Do you have eczema on your legs? McCoppin provides Cheryl in Minnesota with tips on dealing with this skin condition.

Razor Bumps Sam from New York wants to know how he can avoid razor bumps after shaving.

Avoiding the Dermatologist Ben from Georgia seeks skin care tips to avoid repeat visits to his dermatologist.

Organic-Skincare Lena from New York wants to know how organic skin care products measure up to other skin care products.

Itchy Skin Sam from New York has dry, itchy skin and wants to know how to care for his skin. McCoppin provides tips for soothing skin.


Contact Dermatitis Yolanda from Georgia wonders if her skin symptoms are caused by contact dermatitis. Learn how to recognize signs of contact dermatitis.

Bug Repellent Doug from Atlanta wants to know if bug repellents also contain a sunscreen. Check here for McCoppin’s answer.

Poison Ivy Lisa reports that many parents are concerned about their children having contact with poison ivy. McCoppin weighs in.

Laundry Soap Melody from Las Vegas asks about itchy skin and laundry detergent. Hear our expert’s reply about laundry soap and skin irritation.

Sun Allergy Val from Philadelphia wants to know if the sun can cause skin reactions. Listen to what McCoppin says about sun exposure and skin reactions.

Skin Exam Have you visited a dermatologist for a full body skin check? McCoppin provides tips on protecting your skin with regular skin checkups.

Children's Skin Breana from North Carolina wants to know more about her baby’s sensitive skin. Find out what McCoppin says about caring for children’s skin.

Freckles A common question among fair-skinned people with freckles is whether or not freckles will turn into a serious skin condition in later years. Find out what McCoppin says about freckles and fair-skinned people.

Cleaning Products One user reports skin irritation on her hands when using cleaning products. McCoppin provides information on how to protect your hands from skin irritants such as household cleaners.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on September 05, 2019



Holly McCoppin, MD, clinical instructor in dermatology, Emory University.

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