Best practices, new perspectives and the perfect emollient: optimizing the management of contact dermatitis

Jean Marie Lachapelle, Ana Gimenez-Arnau, Martin Metz, Jill Peters, Ehrhardt Proksch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Contact dermatitis (CD) is caused by environmental agents, irritants, and allergens that penetrate the epidermis and lead to inflammation. An intact skin barrier prevents penetration and is important in maintaining healthy skin. Classical diagnosis of CD is made using the patch test, and traditional treatment strategies for CD promote skin barrier integrity and resolve the inflammatory component of the condition. This can be achieved by using emollient-based therapy, which is most important for skin barrier repair, and in addition to topical glucocorticosteroids, which are used in severe cases of CD and are most effective in reducing inflammation. Preventative measures, such as irritant and allergen avoidance in the workplace, also play a pivotal role in effective CD management. Moreover, CD management necessitates a holistic approach that incorporates prevention, barrier repair, and inflammatory resolution to ensure optimized efficacy. It is also important to consider potential barriers to optimal management when evaluating individuals with CD, such as limited patient education or poor access to care. Finally, key literature and our own clinical practice experience have highlighted the value of patient preference, as well as safety, efficacy and simplicity, in building the perfect emollient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
JournalJournal of Dermatological Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Contact dermatitis
  • emollient
  • skin barrier


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