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Home :: Skin Disorders

Dermatitis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

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Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin which may be brought about by repeated contact with chemicals. Dermatitis, also called eczema. There are two types of dermatitis: eczematous (eczema) and noneczematous (also called occupational). Atopic dermatitis usually begins in infancy and may continue into adult life. Seborrheic dermatitis appears as red, inflamed skin covered by greasy or dry scales that may be white, yellowish, or gray. Atopic dermatitis most often affects infants and young children, but it can continue into adulthood or first show up later in life. The word "dermatitis" means inflammation of the skin. "Atopic" refers to a group of diseases where there is often an inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever. It is usually used to refer to eczema , which is also known as Dermatitis eczema. Dermatitis is characterized by skin that may be red, swollen, blistered, scabbed, scaly, oozing, or itchy. People with eczema often have a family history of allergic conditions like asthma , hay fever , or eczema. In irritant contact dermatitis, the rash is usually limited to the area that was exposed to the substance, whereas in allergic contact dermatitis, the rash often spreads beyond the area directly exposed to the allergen.

Dermatitis is a common condition that isn't life-threatening or contagious. Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory response of the skin to an antigen or irritant. Contact dermatitis can cause discomfort and embarrassment and is the most common skin condition among workers' compensation claims. In most cases, there are periods of time when the disease is worse (called exacerbations or flares) followed by periods when the skin improves or clears up entirely (called remissions). Psychological stresses can provoke or aggravate dermatitis, presumably by suppressing normal immune mechanisms. Seborrheic dermatitis is associated with normal levels of Malassezia but an abnormal immune response. But, it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. Dermatitis may be a brief reaction to a substance. In such cases it may produce symptoms, such as itching and redness, for just a few hours or a day or two. This condition is most common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers.

Causes of Dermatitis

The comman causes of Dermatitis include the following:

  • Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance ( irritant or allergen ) vary in the same individual over time.
  • The risk of developing irritant contact dermatitis is particularly high in individuals with eczema affecting the hands.
  • A history of any type of allergies increases the risk for this condition.
  • Emotional stress: Emotions such as frustration or embarrassment may lead to increased itchiness and scratching.
  • Contributing factors include genetics, concentration, duration of exposure, and presence of other skin diseases.
  • The second most common type of contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to a material to which the person has become hypersensitive or allergic.
  • Atopic dermatitis often occurs with allergies and frequently runs in families in which other family members have asthma or hay fever.
  • The exact cause of this disorder is unknown, but is likely due to a combination of dry, irritable skin together with a malfunction in the body's immune system.

Symptoms of Dermatitis

Some sign and symptoms related to Dermatitis are as follows:

  • Skin redness or inflammation in the exposed area.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis often affects the hands, which have been exposed by resting in or dipping into a container (sink, pail, tub) containing the irritant.
  • Tenderness of the skin in the exposed area.
  • The itching is usually severe, but the rash varies from a mild, short-lived redness to severe swelling and large blisters.
  • Mild swelling
  • Stiff, tight-feeling skin
  • Your skin will itch and perhaps burn. Irritant contact dermatitis tends to be more painful than itchy.
  • Localized swelling of the skin.
  • Atopic dermatitis may also affect the skin around the eyes, the eyelids, and the eyebrows and lashes.
  • Develop fluid-filled sores that can ooze fluid or crust over. This can happen when the skin is rubbed or scratched or if a skin infection is present.

Treatment of Dermatitis

Here is list of the methods for treating Dermatitis:

  • Initial treatment includes thorough washing with lots of water to remove any trace of the irritant that may remain on the skin.
  • In some cases, the best treatment is to do nothing to the area.
  • Antihistamines: These medications help to decrease the amount of itching.
  • Wet dressings and soothing, antipruritic (anti-itch), or drying lotions may be recommended to reduce other symptoms.
  • Cortisone-type creams (In severe cases, these drugs may be given by mouth.)
  • New medications known as immuno-modulators have been developed that help control inflammation and reduce immune system reactions when applied to the skin.
  • Emollients (eg, white petrolatum, Eucerin) may benefit chronic cases.