Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance (irritant or allergen). Reactions may vary in the same person over time, but typically are manifested by an itchy, red rash. A history of any type of allergies can increase the risk for this condition; however, many allergies are new reactions to a substance to which you may have been exposed for years. Many of the everyday items in our lives can cause an allergic reaction to the skin. When left untreated, secondary bacterial skin infections may occur, as well as scarring from persistent scratching. Because it is difficult to keep small children from itching their rashes, it is important to see Dr. Myers early, as he can treat a child’s symptoms before it develops into an infection.