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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Contact dermatitis - recurrence

 simpsontl - Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:26 pm

About 5 months ago I developed a sever rash on both lower legs, which was visually diagnosed as contact dermatitis. (It was summer - the rash started at the top of the socks line and ended at the shorts line.) It was treated with an antihistamine and steroid, and disappeared after approximately 3 weeks. The precise cause was not determined.

About a week ago I developed itching in a couple of areas that had been the most affected by the dermatitis, and now have a light rash on both legs in small areas that had been affected. If it is spreading, it is spreading slowly. There is almost no chance that I have come into contact with anything in that time period that I didn't come into contact with on a regular basis over the last 5 months.

Question: Is it possible that the dermatitis has returned due to use of ibuprofen or amoxicillin? I've been getting some dental work done, and took ibuprofen regularly for approximately three weeks (ending yesterday), and just finished a 10-day regimen of amoxicillin.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:13 pm

User avatar Hello,
Contact dermatitis might have been a diagnosis of elimination and there is a broad range of types of dermatitis. It can be difficult to be sure what causes rashes and they may have just assumed this due to the activity. What you have now could be completely unrelated and could be an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin (most likely culprit). Your body may respond in a similar manner to various irritants you are hypersensitive to. Treatment may be similar. Some people respond to an antihistamine such as Bendadry; some need something stronger like corticosteroids.

If you are offered an antibiotic in the future it might be best to mention this possible reaction since an allergic response can become worse with subsequent exposures. It can be impossible to determine the definite cause but the safe course is to avoid what might have been a hypersensitivity.

Ibuprofen is less likely to cause this but if it happens again with its use you should avoid that too.

Best wishes.

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