Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a common skin disorder that has a high socio-economic impact with regard to the increasing number of industrial allergens that has potential harmful effect on the skin of manual workers. Its management relies on the use of topical anti-inflammatory drugs as well as the avoidance of the allergens inducing the disease. However, with regard to the ubiquitous character of many chemicals in the environment, treatment of the disease remains unsatisfactory. Understanding the molecular basis of the disease is of major importance in prospect of designing new therapeutic modalities. In this article, the various stages of the disease are reviewed as well as the recent advances in the understanding of the molecular basis of the mechanisms of the disease that would help to conceive new concepts for drug intervention. The article also reviews some of the recent patent relevant to the field.