Dermatitis

Dermatitis

The word dermatitis refers to an inflammation of the skin. It is usually itchy, and it goes by other names since different types of dermatitis depend on what causes it.

One of the most common dermatitides is atopic dermatitis or Eczema. Its a rash that often appears in young children but can last into adulthood. Atopic means allergy, so this dermatitis happens when the skin becomes inflamed because of an allergy. You can read more on atopic dermatitis at VirtualMD under topic Eczema.

Other types of dermatitis

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis happens when the skin reacts to something it came in contact with. This can be something very irritant like poison ivy, certain metals or things like detergent or strong soap can cause it too.

This rash appears very quickly after the touch of strong irritants like the ones mentioned before. Or it could appear after long time exposure to a weak irritant, that in the end, will cause the same effect as acute exposure. This last one is more common in people that work with the same product every day, like health professionals, the chemical industry, beauticians, or hairdressers.

Little kids are the ones most at risk since they dont know which materials can be toxic or irritant, and their skin is more sensitive than the one of an adult. Also, some places of the body are more prone to irritation because of their characteristics, the face and between the fingers are some of the especially sensible ones.

What happens after the exposure is that the skin becomes red, very itchy, and it can burn, which is typical of irritant contact more than allergic. Sometimes it is accompanied by blisters that break when the person scratches them. The skin usually flakes after some hours.

Treatment involves creams and lotions to avoid the itching and prevent scratching that could complicate the picture. The doctor could indicate oral antiallergic and topical or oral corticosteroids, but this should always be under supervision.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This dermatitis is a skin condition in which areas of the body with the most sebaceous glands, like the center of the face, the external ear, the upper trunk, and sometimes the scalp, get inflamed in response to irritants or fungus. It is usually chronic, with people living most of their lives with it.

The skin usually turns red, rough, and flaky. In the scalp, it creates the so common and stubborn dandruff. Because the skin is so dry, it becomes itchy, and that collaborates with the flaking.

Seborrheic dermatitis can appear at any age, but it has two peaks, from 2 months to adolescence and in adulthood, from 30 to 40 years old. It is more common in men than women, and it worsens when in cold climates or dry weather.

The treatment consists of antifungal creams and shampoos with topical and oral corticosteroids. Whats important is to try and keep the skin hydrated and preventing situations like stress, sleep deprivation, or poor general health that could complicate the presentation of dermatitis.

In any case, if you see alterations in your skin or something that seems unusual, don’t hesitate to call us free at 1-800-594-0537. A doctor will be there to help and tell you if you need an appointment. VirtualMD is here to answer any questions!