Dermatitis: What You Need To Know

Dermatitis is a common condition found among many children, teenagers and adults. It comes in many forms including, but not limited to, dry skin, itchiness, red skin, and more. This skin can also flake or ooze. The most common example of this condition is called atopic dermatitis, known as eczema. This skin condition is not contagious at all, but it can be unsightly and embarrassing to anyone suffering from it.

Symptoms

There are many symptoms of eczema that can vary from person to person. Normally, the first sign of eczema is the intense itching of an area. The itchy area may then appear to turn into a rash with bumps on it. This rash can itch and burn, especially if it appears in sensitive areas. The inflamed skin area can then ooze fluid and become crusty if it is constantly scratched. Your skin may be dry and sensitive, red and inflamed, swollen, and become very itchy.

Types of Eczema

Eczema typically occurs on arms and behind knees, but it can show up anywhere on the body. There are many different types of eczema:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is chronic and inflammatory. This occurs when a person’s immune system goes into overdrive as a response to a type of allergen or irritant in or outside of the body. This type of eczema generally occurs early in a person’s life, as early as the first six months of life. Contact dermatitis happens when the skin comes in contact with irritants or allergens, causing the skin to inflame. Common irritants include bleach, smoke, paint, perfumes, and so on. Dyshidrotic eczema produces small blisters on the edges of a person’s fingers, toes, feet, and so on. This type of eczema is found more in women than in men. Nummular eczema can occur at any age. Rounded coin-shaped spots appear on the skin and can become very itchy. This type of eczema can be triggered by insect bites or even dry skin that occurs in the wintertime. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs in places on the body that produce a lot of oil. This kind of eczema is most commonly found on the scalp, nose, and upper back. This eczema is not the result of any kind of allergen or irritant and can be developed at any age. Stasis dermatitis occurs when there is an issue with blood flow in a person’s veins, resulting in pressure. The pressure can cause fluid to leak onto the skin.

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Causes of Eczema

There are multiple causes of eczema and certain things that can trigger a flare-up. Triggers and genes are known to be the primary causes of eczema. Dry skin is probably the number one thing that can cause eczema or a flare-up. When skin is dry, it becomes very brittle and scaly. People suffering from eczema are known to have an over-reactive immune system, which causes inflammation when triggered by a certain substance. The inflammation causes the itchiness and red skin to occur. There are many common irritants that can flare up an eczema condition such as metal, cigarette smoke, soaps, fragrances, and even certain fabrics. Emotional stress can also trigger eczema flare-ups.

Treatment

There are a variety of treatments for eczema, and many small changes that you can make to help with any kind of flare-ups. There are many over the counter creams, lotions, and ointments that are proven to help the symptoms of eczema. It is important to consult with a dermatologist because some over the counter products can include irritants which might make symptoms worse. A dermatologist can also come up with a proper skincare routine for a person to most effectively treat their eczema. Effective medications for eczema include topical steroids and anti-inflammatory medications.

Home remedies

Home remedies for eczema can be effective as well. Avoiding fragrances and perfumed soaps can be helpful in lessening eczema flare-ups. The skin should be cleaned daily with hypoallergenic soap. Creams such as hydrocortisone can be applied to help with the itching, and lotions can help soothe the irritated skin area. Using a different type of laundry detergent can also work a world of wonders in helping with eczema. There are many small actions that a person can take to help effectively treat their eczema. However, is always best to consult a dermatologist to find the solution right for you.

Jayden Burke

Psychiatrist at Sydney Day Hospital
Dr. Jayden Burke is one of a few medicinal experts, where he deals with a functioning practice in SDH's Essential Consideration Center and co-directs the Multidisciplinary Depression Treatment Group at SDH. He earned his therapeutic degree from the College of Missouri Institute of Medication in Columbia, Missouri, where he additionally finished his residency in family prescription. He earned his four year college education from Truman State College in Kirkistown, Kansas.
Jayden Burke