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What's the difference in appearance between atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: General v. localized

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that is generalized over the entire skin surface, but usually most obvious in the "flexor" areas (crooks of elbows & knees, neck, underarms).
Contact dermatitis is localized to the area of contact, and is often streaky in appearance due to the effect of the contact brushing against the skin surface. Atopy also tends to be symmetrical; contact is not.

In brief: General v. localized

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that is generalized over the entire skin surface, but usually most obvious in the "flexor" areas (crooks of elbows & knees, neck, underarms).
Contact dermatitis is localized to the area of contact, and is often streaky in appearance due to the effect of the contact brushing against the skin surface. Atopy also tends to be symmetrical; contact is not.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
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