Contact Dermatitis Market

Contact dermatitis is localised inflammation of the skin that results from contact with an external substance. This external substance can be an irritant (irritant contact dermatitis) or an allergen (allergic contact dermatitis). Contact dermatitis results in large, burning, and itchy rashes that may take several days or weeks to heal. Chronic contact dermatitis can develop when the removal of the offending agent (irritant or allergen) no longer provides the expected relief. In 2004, there were an estimated 72 million people with contact dermatitis in the US.


Irritants account for approximately 80% of cases of contact dermatitis. Common irritants include soap, detergents, food and cement. Almost all workers in wet-work industries, such as hairdressing, cleaning, metal engineering, building-site work and horticulture develop some degree of irritant contact dermatitis, it is reported.

Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction, which acts through the body's immune system. The most common allergens are nickel, fragrances, formaldehyde, skin medications (including topical corticosteroids) and hairdressing chemicals. In the US, contact dermatitis affects approximately 1.4% of the population. In children, the overall prevalence of allergic contact dermatitis is approximately 20%.

With the exception of avoidance and/or the marginal benefit of barrier function topical products, there are no real effective preventative options targeting contact dermatitis, and as a result, we believe this represents a significant market opportunity for the development of a novel, safe and effective topical preventative therapy deemed suitable for chronic use.