Disposition

Hospitalization is rarely indicated except in instances of severe chemical burns. Burn specialists (either plastic surgeons or dermatologists) should be consulted and the patient should be treated in a burn center if necessary. If the diagnosis is in question, consultation by a dermatologist should be sought. All acute dermatitis can be treated initially in the emergency department. The patient should be instructed to follow up with a primary care physician or dermatologist if the eruption does not clear in three to four weeks, if systemic glucocorticoids are begun in the emergency department, or if patch testing is necessary. Chronic dermatitis should be seen by a primary care physician or dermatologist in two to three weeks to assess the need for prolonged treatment and to follow for possible complications to topical corticosteroids.

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