Dermatitis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

dermatitis featured image

What is Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a term that we generally use for describing the inflammation on your skin.

Even though the term ‘dermatitis’ refers to the various different types of rashes on your skin.

However, these rashes range from mild to severe and can lead to several skin conditions, mostly depending on the root cause.

The root causes may include:

  • Dryness
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Itchiness
  • Thickening
  • Ulcers that are painful
  • Redness on your skin
  • Crusting
  • Scaling
  • Marking
  • Blisters
  • Creasing
  • Skin irritation

However, it is not contagious which means that it can’t transfer from one person to another.

Moreover, talking about dermatitis, it’s a general term we use for skin inflammation.

dermtitisIn some cases, it can be a cause of discomfort.

The itchiness you feel on your skin may range from mild to severe.


Moreover, there are some particular types of discomfort that can last for a very long time.

However, other types may flare up mostly depending on the exposure of your skin to certain types of environment, the season, or the level of stress.

Furthermore, there are some types that are more common in children while others are common in adults.

You may feel a sense of relief by seeking medical help or by using topical creams.

Moreover, contact your dermatologist or your healthcare expert right away if you feel constant discomfort or if you feel that it isn’t getting better in any possible way.

Types of Dermatitis

There are two most common types of forms. However, there are a few other types as well.

These mostly include:

Atopic Dermatitis

Another name for this type is eczema. This is a skin condition that is usually inherited.

Moreover, it mostly develops during the time of infancy.

atopic dermatitis

Furthermore, the most common signs for eczema include dryness and itchiness on the skin as well as visible rough patches.

Hay fever can worsen atopic dermatitis as this type emerges from a misdirected immune system response.

Contact Dermatitis

This happens in case a substance comes in contact with your skin and leads to an allergic reaction or irritability.


contact dermtitisThese reactions can further lead to an itchy rash that can leave a feeling of burning or blisters on your affected skin.

Hence, causing irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis through irritants or allergens.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

The other term we use for this type is cradle cap in babies.

This is the type that is mostly common on the surface of scalp.


sebborheic dermatitis

However, it may also appear on the chest or on the face.

Moreover, it often leads toward the dry and scaly patches, redness on the skin or dandruff.

Dyshidrotic Dermatitis

This is the type in which the skin fails to protect itself.

As a result of this, your skin may become dry, itchy and the small blisters may also start to appear on your skin.


Dyshidrotic Dermatitis image

The areas of the body it mainly affects include your hands as well as feet.

Other Types

Other than all these major types, there are several other types which include:

  • Neurodermatitis: The signs this type mostly show include patches on your skin triggering itchiness. The underlying causes are mostly irritants in the environment or stress.
  • Stasis dermatitis: This type leads toward changes in skin that mostly occur as a result of poor blood circulation.
  • Dermatitis neglecta: A skin condition resulting from poor habits of cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Nummular dermatitis: This type leads toward oval sores on the surface of your skin mostly resulting from any kind of skin injury.

Causes of Dermatitis

The type mostly determines the causes.

Moreover, some of the types such as nummular dermatitis, neurodermatitis as well as dyshidrotic eczema may have causes that are unknown.

To know more about the causes in specific to each type, keep on reading!


causes of dermatitis


A combination of factors can lead towards eczema which mostly include:

  • environmental conditions
  • dry skin
  • bacterial growth on skin
  • genetics
  • having a family history i.e. runs in families
  • asthma
  • allergies

Contact Dermatitis

It mostly occurs as a result of having direct contact with an allergen or an irritant.

Moreover, the most common materials that lead towards an allergy or any allergic contact dermatitis include:

  • Nickel
  • Detergents
  • Poison oak
  • Cosmetics
  • Poison ivy

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This type mostly gets worse around a certain time period which include:

  • winter
  • spring

The other causes that can lead towards this type include:

  • fungus in the sebaceous glans
  • genetics

Stasis Dermatitis

There are various different types of causes that can eventually lead towards this type.

Moreover, these include:

  • poor blood circulation in the body (particularly feet as well as lower legs)
  • environmental factors
  • stress
  • substances causing irritation
  • changes in the levels of hormones

What Are The Risk Factors?

Other than all these causes, there are several risk factors that increase the chances of getting dermatitis.

These mostly include:

  • having a family history
  • asthma
  • age factor
  • certain allergies
  • environmental factors
  • certain health conditions

Furthermore, there are several other factors that increase the likelihood of some specific types of dermatitis in comparison to others.

For example, washing as well as drying your hands on frequent basis will take away and destroy the protective oils of your skin.

Moreover, it can also disturb the pH balance of your skin.

Therefore, your healthcare providers usually have dermatitis on hands.


In order to make a diagnosis for dermatitis, your dermatologist or healthcare expert would be taking the following steps:


dermatitis diagnosis

  • Your dermatologist will be performing a physical examination.
  • Before reaching a conclusion, your dermatologist will discuss your medical history.
  • However, in some cases, your dermatologist will be able to make a diagnosis simply by looking at your skin condition.
  • Your doctor might recommend a skin patch test if he suspects that you might have an allergic reaction to a certain thing. This helps to find out the cause of allergy.
  • In other cases, your healthcare expert may perform a skin biopsy in order to figure out the actual cause. He would take a small sample of your skin and would examine it under a microscope.
  • There are various other tests that your healthcare provider can use before making a final diagnosis.

Treatment of Dermatitis

The treatment procedure for dermatitis depends on the type, symptoms, causes as well as the level of severity.

Moreover, your skin might just clear up itself after one to three weeks.


treatment of dermatitis

However, if it doesn’t your dermatologist or other healthcare experts may recommend:

  • Phototherapy or the exposure of affected areas to a certain amount of light stimulates the healing process.
  • Certain medications in order to reduce itchiness or allergies (such as antihistamines which include Benadryl and antihistamines).
  • Oatmeal baths for the purpose of relieving itchiness on the surface of skin.
  • Topical creams having a component of steroids that helps to relieve inflammation as well as itchiness so use topical steroids.
  • Application of certain creams or lotions on the surface of your dry skin.
  • In case, the infection develops, your doctor would recommend you any antibiotic or antifungal medications. Infections mostly result from broken skin as well as intense scratching.

Homecare Remedies for Dermatitis

For the home care purpose, there are several remedies.

However, it’s important to have an expert opinion before opting for any of these remedies.


home remedies for eczema

Some of the remedies include:

  • Application of cool water on the damaged area.
  • Using wet cloths in order to reduce the chances of friction, itching as well as discomfort.
  • You may also add baking soda to cool water and use it while having a bath in order to reduce the symptoms.
  • You may also cover the wound if your skin has scratches or if it’s broken. For the dressing purpose, you may use a bandage in order to prevent the chances of infection or irritation.
  • Stress can also flare up dermatitis and the leading symptoms. In order to reduce the chances of stress, you may use certain techniques (such as massage, acupuncture, yoga)
  • Changes in your habits of eating like the elimination of certain food products that can trigger a reaction may also help you in managing the symptoms.
  • Certain dietary supplements such as probiotics and vitamin D can be helpful as well.

Preventive Measures

There are various preventive measures that you may take in order to avoid dermatitis.

The most useful way is to prevent contact with the substances or allergens that can lead to rashes, such as poison ivy.

Moreover, in some conditions like eczema, it’s better to prevent the flare-up beforehand.

In order to prevent flare-up, you may:

  • Avoid constantly scratching the area that has been affected. It would only open and re-open the wounds and would enable the spread of bacteria to the surrounding areas.
  • Use moisturizers that are water-based especially after washing your hands.
  • Moreover, if you have dry skin, use oil-based moisturizers.
  • Furthermore, for dry skins, it is recommended to take baths for a shorter duration of time and using soaps that aren’t harsh for your skin.
  • Always use a moisturizer after taking a shower or whenever your skin has an encounter with excess water.

Other than this, there are several other products that you may use in order to prevent dry skin.

These mostly include:

  1. Coconut oil
  2. Petroleum jelly
  3. Oatmeal baths
  4. Antioxidants and Omega 3s
  5. Gloves
  6. Using a humidifier

This pretty much sums it up. If you found this blog post useful, don’t forget to check our other blogs specifically related to skin conditions blisters, and eczema.

Furthermore, if you want to keep yourself updated about more such posts and the posts related to dentistry as well gynaecology, stay tuned to our website Dr. Amal Al Qedrah.

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