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All You Need To Know About Dermatitis: Explained By Dermatologists

All You Need To Know About Dermatitis: Explained By Dermatologists

All You Need to Know About Dermatitis Explained by Dermatologists

Dermatitis is a general term used for allergic reactions for the skin. Symptoms include dry skin, rashes and itching. There are three types of dermatitis namely atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. 

Types and Symptoms

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema):

Eczema is a skin condition in which flare-ups occur if exposed to environmental triggers. It is a chronic condition manifesting as dry skin, itching, scaly patches, and sores.

Eczema triggers include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Stress
  • Scented products
  • Allergens such as pollen, dust or dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Chemicals found in skincare products
  • Certain foods
  • Upper respiratory infections

What are the symptoms of eczema?

The most common symptoms are related to skin which include dry, itchy, inflamed, flaky and irritated skin. The symptoms flare up, subside and then flare up again. Other symptoms include:

  • Thick, scaly skin
  • Red or brownish patches
  • Sore skin
  • Raised bumps filled with fluid that oozes out when you scratch
  • Crusts on skin that form as a result of the yellowish ooze fluid

Contact Dermatitis:

Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction that present as an itchy, inflamed rash as a result of contact with an allergen.

The triggers of such type of an allergic reaction include fragrances, plant products, cosmetics, jewelry etc. The best treatment is precaution! Once you identify the cause of the allergic reaction, you need to avoid it in order to prevent from further flare-ups. 

What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?

Symptoms only show up on the part of skin that has been exposed to the triggering agent. For example, your face may develop rashes after contact with allergenic makeup. Signs and symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • Cracked, scaly and dry skin patches
  • Itchy rash
  • Burning
  • Hyperpigmented, leathery patches of skin 
  • Blisters or lesion filled with fluid that oozes out when scratched
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness in affected areas

Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Seborrheic dermatitis, also called dandruff, is a common skin condition that presents only in the scalp region. It is characterized by white, scaly patches, redness and stubborn dandruff. Symptoms can show up in the oily areas of the skin too such as the nose, forehead, eyebrows, eyelids and chest. 

The condition may resolve on its own without any treatment. But in some cases, repeated treatments may be necessary to cure the condition. Moreover, gentle cleansing on a daily basis may be helpful in reducing oil production on face and scalp. 

What are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis tend to worsen in conditions of stress and in cold, dry season. Following are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis:

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  • Itchy skin
  • White flakes of skin on scalp, eyebrows, hair or beard
  • Greasy skin patches covered with flaky white or yellow scales
  • Redness

Treatments for Dermatitis

To treat dermatitis it is necessary to consult a specialist, who will be able to make a correct diagnosis and provide adequate treatment based on the analysis of the symptoms. To diagnose and treat dermatitis, it is necessary to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Treatments for dermatitis depend on the type, severity of symptoms, and cause. Your skin can heal on its own after one to four weeks. If not, your dermatologist will recommend:

  • Creams or lotions for dry skin
  • Medications to reduce allergies and itching, such as an antihistamine
  • Phototherapy, or exposing affected areas to controlled amounts of light
  • Topical creams to relieve itching and inflammation
  • Oatmeal baths to relieve itching
  • Antibiotics or antifungal medications are usually given only if an infection has developed.


Bennington-Castro, J. (2022, January 20). What Is Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention. Retrieved from Everyday Health:

Rachel Nall, M. C. (2020, August 13). What Is Contact Dermatitis? Retrieved from Healthline:

Seborrheic Dermatitis. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cleveland Clinic:

What is Contact Dermatitis and What Happens in Your Body to Cause it – SLUCare Dermatology

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