Dermatitis

1 What is Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a condition which causes the skin to become inflammed. This leads to the cevelopment of itchy rash on swollen, redened skin. 

In some cases the skin may blister, ooze, develop a crust or flake off. It ia a common skin disease but  it is not contagious. 

Examples of dermatitis include; atopic dermatitis (eczema, dandruff), dandruff and rashes. Dermatitis can be caused by contact with various substances like poison ivy, saops and jewelry with nickel in it.

dermatitis

2 Symptoms

Symptoms of dermatitis may vary depending on the type and the area affected. Types of dermatitis include:                                                                                                                                                      

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema). This type of dermatitis usually begins in infancy. It bigins with a red, itchy rash in areas where the skin flexex, tht is, the elbows, behind the knees and the front of the neck. The rash can leak fluid and crust over if it is scratched. People with this type of dermatitis may experience improvement and then flare-ups.                                                            
  • Contact dermatitis, affects areas that come in contact with substances that can eirher irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction like poison ivy. The red rash may burn, sting or itch. Blisters can also develop.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap in infants, is a condition which leads to the formation of scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff. It mostly affects the oily parts of the body such as face, upper chest and back. 

If it becomes long-term, patients may experience periods of remission and flare-ups.

3 Causes

Health conditions, allergies, genetis factors and irritants can cause dermatitis.

4 Making a Diagnosis

A patching test can be used to diagnose dermatitis. It is a test in which doctors apply small amounts of various substances to the skin under an adhesive covering. 

After sevaral days the doctor may examine the skin to check for any reaction with the substances. This test is best used at least two weeks after dermatiris has cleared up. 

A skin biopsy can also be taken for doctors to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms.

5 Treatment

Treatment of dermatitis depends on the cause and course of the condition. Crticosteroid creams and inhibitors of calcinerum can reduce symptoms. 

Exposure of the affected area to natural or artificiial light (phototherapy) has also been shown to be an affective treatment of dermatitis. 

6 Prevention

Avoiding dry skin can help in preventing future bouts of dermatitis. The following can prevent dry skin:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  • Taking shorter and baths or showers                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Using fragrance-free nonsoap cleansers or mild soaps                                                                                                                                                               
  • Drying the skin gently after a bath                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Moisturizing the skin with an oil or cream after a bath

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Alternative remedies used for dermatitis include:

  • Dietary suppliments such as vitamin D and probiotics                                                                                            
  • Applying rice bran broth to the skin                                                                                                            
  • Tea tree oil                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Fish oil supplements                                                                                                                                               
  • Aloe vera

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with dermatitis.

People with dermatitis can manage their symptoms by:                                           

  • Using over-the-counter medications like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching and inflammation                
  • Applying cool or wet compresses to the skin to protect the skin and prevent scratching 
  • Taking warm baths that do not last more than 20 minutes                                       
  • Taking a bleach bath to reduce the amount of bacteria on the  skin. Add half a cup ( about 118 milliliters) of househld bleach, not concentrated bleach, to a 40-gallon (about 151 liters) bathtub filled with warm water.                                                                                         
  • Avoiding rubbing and scratching the skin                                                                    
  • Wearing smooth-textured coton clothng can prevent irritation of the afected area.                                                                      
  • Keeping the skin moist                                                                                                                      
  • Using stress management techniques

9 Risks and Complications

Factors that can increase the risk of developing dermatitis include:                                               

  • Age-dependeing on the type of dermatitis         
  • Having a personal or family history of allergies and asthma                                                          
  • Having jobs that expose to certain metals, solvents or cleaning supplies                                              
  • Having other health conditions like congestive heart failure, Parkinson's disease and HIV infection                                           
  • Continuous scratching can lead to infections and permanent scars on the skin.
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