Dermatitis affects about one in every five people at some time in their lives. It results from a variety of different causes and has various patterns.
The terms dermatitis and eczema are often used interchangeably. In some cases the term eczematous dermatitis is used. Dermatitis can be acute or chronic or both. Seborrheic dermatitis can also affect the skin on other parts of the body such as the face and chest, and the creases of the arms, legs and groin. The inflammation is caused by an allergy or irritation as a result of substances found in the workplace that come into direct contact with the skin. Dermatitis may be a brief reaction to a substance. The hands and feet are particularly vulnerable to chronic dermatitis, because the hands are in frequent contact with many foreign substances and the feet are in the warm, moist conditions created by socks and shoes that favor fungal growth. Dermatitis is a common condition that isn't life-threatening or contagious. But, it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A combination of self-care steps and medications can help you treat dermatitis.
Substances that can irritate the skin include detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals. These substances can wear down the oily, protective layer on the skin's surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. This condition is most common among people who r. These diseases include asthma, hay fever, and atopic dermatitis. dermatitis most often affects infants and young children, but it can continue into adulthood or first show up later in life. Many children with atopic dermatitis enter into a permanent remission of the disease when they get older, although their skin often remains dry and easily irritated. This kind of dermatitis is caused by chemicals that are irritating (e.g., acids, bases, fat-dissolving solvents) to the skin and is localized to the area of contact. Another difference is that allergic dermatitis can occur in other places on the body that did not come in contact with the allergy-causing material.
Causes of Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance (irritant or allergen). Reactions may vary in the same individual over time. A history of any type of allergies increases the risk for this condition.
Irritant dermatitis, the most common type of contact dermatitis, involves inflammation resulting from contact with acids, alkaline materials such as soaps and detergents, solvents, or other chemicals. The reaction usually resembles a burn.
Symptoms of Dermatitis
Regardless of cause or type, contact dermatitis results in itching and a rash. The itching is usually severe, but the rash varies from a mild, short-lived redness to severe swelling and large blisters. Most commonly, the rash contains tiny blisters. The rash develops only in areas contacted by the substance.
Generally, dermatitis is diagnosed clinically, meaning based on the history and appearance of the rash. If possible, the exact type of dermatitis is delineated, but sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between the dermatitis types.
Treatment of Dermatitis
Your doctor will recommend antibiotics such as flucloxacillin or erythromycin if infection is complicating or causing the dermatitis. The infection is most often with Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes .
Antihistamine tablets may help reduce the irritation, and are particularly useful at night
Systemic steroids , azathioprine , phototherapy , and other complicated treatments may also be used for severe cases.
Ultraviolet light treatments (UVA, UVB)
Protect your skin from dust, water, solvents, detergents, injury.
Apply an emollient liberally and often, particularly after bathing, and when itchy. Ask your doctor or dermatologist to recommend some to try; avoid perfumed products when possible.
Preventing contact dermatitis means avoiding coming into contact with those substances such as poison ivy or harsh soaps that may cause it.
Avoiding dry skin may be one factor in helping you prevent future bouts of dermatitis.
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