Skin Condition of the Month: Dermatitis

viral infection rashLast month we focused our skin condition of the month series on eczema. If you recall, we briefly touched on the fact that while eczema is a type of dermatitis, dermatitis also encompasses other rashes and skin inflammation that are not considered eczema. So, this month we would like to highlight dermatitis and bring some clarity to what this skin condition is and how we treat it.

What is Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a non-contagious skin condition used to describe a variety of rashes and skin inflammation.  There are nine different types of dermatitis, each with its own symptoms, triggers, and treatments. The severity of the condition will vary from person to person, and some conditions tend to clear up without medical intervention. The different forms of dermatitis are as follows:

Atopic Dermatitis: Also known as eczema. This condition typically develops during childhood and can reoccur throughout adulthood. The most common symptom is itchy patches of skin.

Contact Dermatitis: Arises when the skin comes into contact with an irritant, producing an allergic reaction.

Diaper Rash: Irritated, inflamed skin found typically found on a baby’s bottom. Diaper rash commonly occurs from wet diapers that are not frequently changed.

Dyshidrotic Dermatitis: A rash that causes tiny blisters to form on both the hands and feet.

Neurodermatitis: Begins with patches of itchy skin but worsens with constant scratching.  It’s common for neurodermatitis to affect sensitive areas of the body.

Nummular Dermatitis: An eczema rash that is round in shape and occurs after trauma to the skin, such as burns, abrasions, and insect bites. 

Perioral/Periorificial Dermatitis: This consists of small red bumps that occur around the mouth, nose, and eyes, causing the skin to become swollen and dry. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis: Commonly known as dandruff or cradle cap. However, this type of dermatitis can occur in other areas of the body where the oil glands are most productive. These areas can include the face, back, chest, behind the ears, groin and breast regions, and the bends of the arms.

Stasis Dermatitis: Most commonly found on lower extremities where varicose veins occur. Typically develops in individuals with poor blood flow.

Causes and Symptoms of Dermatitis

Eczema and dermatitis share similar causes and symptoms. For example, eczema, genetics, environment, immune system, and exposure to irritants can cause rashes and skin inflammation. While some forms of dermatitis have unique symptoms, general symptoms can indicate a case of dermatitis and include the following:

  • Dry, itchy, or flaky skin
  • Bumps or blisters (that may ooze or bleed in some cases)
  • Swelling, crusting, or scaling skin
  • Rash

    What are the Treatments for Dermatitis?

    Treating dermatitis depends on the type of rash that is diagnosed. Sometimes, it is as simple as avoiding the irritant causing the rash or skin inflammation. In other cases, prescription medications may be recommended. Here at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, we tailor treatment plans to the specific needs of each patient after performing a comprehensive examination of the affected area. Some common dermatitis treatments we recommend include:

  • Corticosteroid creams
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Hydrating lotion
  • Anti-dandruff shampoo
  • Cold compress and cool baths
  • Systemic steroids
  • Biologics
  • Light treatments

Getting Expert Dermatitis Care at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta

We understand the importance of providing expert medical care when treating dermatitis and our goal is always to provide our patients with the relief that they deserve. When evaluating for dermatitis in our office, we may perform a patch test to help determine the specific type and cause of the condition. If you are dealing with dermatitis, schedule your appointment with Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today so that one of our board-certified dermatologists or physician assistants can provide the treatment that you need.  For more information and skin health tips, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.