Dermatitis is a general term for skin irritation and usually involves an itchy, dry and reddened rash. Dermatitis is not contagious, but can be quite uncomfortable and may make sufferers feel very self-conscious.
There are many forms of dermatitis, these may include:
Atopic dermatitis (eczema). This form of dermatitis typically begins in infancy or early childhood and may be characterised by an itchy, red rash over flexural areas. Atopic dermatitis is often genetic and those affected may have a family history of eczema, asthma and/or seasonal allergies.
Allergic and irritant contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis results from direct contact with a potential irritant or allergen. Common causes include metals such as nickel, detergents and certain fragrances and preservatives found in cosmetic products.
Dyshidrotic eczema. This type of dermatitis, also called pompholyx, is characterised by intensely itchy blisters on the hands and feet. Dyshidrosis may wax and wane depending on stress, seasonal changes and exposures. Often there is a genetic component to dyshidrotic eczema.
Seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis may occur at all ages, but is most common amongst infants, adolescents and those in middle age. Seborrhea is likely caused by an inflammatory reaction to excess Malassezia, a yeast that colonises normal skin. Certain medical conditions may increase the risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis including Parkinson’s disease, HIV and epilepsy and depression.
Stasis dermatitis. Stasis dermatitis is caused by poor circulation and is most common on the lower legs.
TRUE® Patch allergy testing may be performed in cases where an allergic or irritant contact type of dermatitis is suspected.
Treatment for dermatitis may include:
- Lifestyle and dietary modifications
- Topical prescriptions
- Oral medication
- UVA/UVB light treatment