Ohio Contact Dermatitis Center

The Ohio Contact Dermatitis Center (OCDC) is one of the top centers in the United States for diagnosing and treating contact dermatitis.  We specialize in evaluating and treating patients with all types of itchy rashes, with patients being referred from dermatologists and allergists all over Ohio.

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a rash that is caused by something that touches your skin.

More than 3,000 different materials are known to cause contact dermatitis.

People who get contact dermatitis usually suddenly become allergic to something they have been using for years with no problems.

Unlike regular allergies, there is usually a delay of 1-4 days between the allergen touching the skin and the rash starting. The rash then lasts for up to a month.

For  more details about contact dermatitis from Dr. Zirwas, watch this 7 minute video: Allergic Contact Dermatitis

How Is Contact Dermititis Diagnosed?

The only way to diagnose contact dermatitis and its cause is with patch testing. Some dermatologists are able to do regular patch tests, which can diagnose some cases of contact dermatitis.

However, regular patch tests do not diagnose most cases of contact dermatitis. This is why comprehensive patch testing is usually necessary to diagnose contact dermatitis.

Comprehensive patch testing is a very complex test that requires specialized equipment, specially trained nurses, and several hours of time.

The Ohio Contact Dermatitis Center is one of only a few specialty centers in the United States that provide comprehensive patch testing for contact dermatitis.

Evaluation at the Contact Dermatitis Center requires three visits. Expect the following during your visits:

A Complete History:  Dr. Zirwas will take as much time as necessary to understand your problem

Patch Testing:  You will be tested against all the substances that might be causing the problem.  To understand what patch testing is, we highly recommend watching this 6 minute video: Patch Testing Video

Results:  Dr. Zirwas will go over the results of the testing with you in detail and will work with you to use the results to develop a detailed plan, including giving you a list of what products or items you should avoid and what products or items are safe for you to use.

How Is Contact Dermatitis Treated?

Because there are so many different things that patients can be allergic to, it is almost impossible to figure out the cause of contact dermatitis without patch testing.

In addition, products claiming to be hypoallergenic or for sensitive skin can cause the same problems as other products. Even many products labeled fragrance-free or unscented contain fragrances!

The only way to treat contact dermatitis is to have patch testing done to learn the exact cause of the problem, then avoid the cause completely. This is exactly what the Ohio Contact Dermatitis center is dedicated to helping patients do.

About Dr. Zirwas

Dr. Zirwas has dedicated over 10 years to working with patients with contact dermatitis, itching, eczema, and other difficult to treat rashes. He has been featured in the Washington Post, Dermatology Times, Prevention Magazine, CNN.com, WSJ.com, and in numerous other national media outlets.

Dr. Zirwas created the Contact Allergen Management Program (CAMP) that is used nationally by dermatologists and allergists to find products that are safe for patients to use.

He is one of the two authors for the 7th edition of Fisher’s Contact Dermatitis, the leading textbook for contact dermatitis.in the United States. He has had well over 100 articles published in medical journals.