Protein Contact Dermatitis Treatment & Management

Updated: Oct 11, 2021
  • Author: Cheryl Levin, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

In protein contact dermatitis (PCD), avoidance of the particular allergen is of primary importance. Gloves and other protective clothing are necessary if avoidance is not possible. Symptomatic relief may be provided with short-term corticosteroids, immunomodulatory agents, or antihistamines. [26] Inpatient care may be necessary for protein contact dermatitis patients if the pruritus is so severe that patients cannot care of themselves or if they experience angioedema or severe gastrointestinal distress.

Go to Irritant Contact Dermatitis, Allergic Contact Dermatitis, and Pediatric Contact Dermatitis for complete information on these topics.



If chronic hand dermatitis does not resolve, consultation with a dermatologist should be arranged. The dermatologist may conduct patch testing and prick or scratch testing.



Patients with protein contact dermatitis may need to eliminate the implicated allergen from their diet. Ingested allergens may cause exacerbation of the chronic dermatitis or may cause extracutaneous symptoms.