Inflammation of the skin is called dermatitis. This inflammation can be of many types, the most common may be the allergic dermatitis. It is a common perception that eczema is synonymous with dermatitis, but it is far from truth. Skin may get rashes of many types, but all rashes are not dermatitis.
It is seen that the professionals who do the delicate work can get dermatitis. For example, the optometrist can get dermatitis in his non-dominant hand, because of holding the frames for long time, the frame may be the heated one at times.
Symptoms of Dermatitis
The dermatitis rashes have a lot of itching. The acute dermatitis rashes look like distinct blisters, the sub acute dermatitis has scaling and crusting, whereas the chronic stage has lichenification.
Swelling, itching, oozing and lesions can appear in dermatitis. If it is contact dermatitis or is due to the allergens, it is likely to be localized in the area which came in contact with that allergen. The neurodermatitis restricts itself to some specific areas of the body, like neck, wrist, ankle, thighs or forearm.
Causes of Dermatitis
The causes of dermatitis can be many, for example: allergy, genetics and certain outside irritants. The factors that act as a trigger to dermatitis determine the type of dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is caused by the chemicals present in the detergents like bathing soaps or washing powders. Rubber, metals, jewelery, cosmetics, perfumes can also cause dermatitis.
Some people get dermatitis upon using a skin ointment, named neomycin – neomycin is an antibiotic ointment. As usual stress is another cause which gives seborrheic dermatitis. Statis dermatitis is caused by poor blood flow as is seen because of varicose veins, certain chronic conditions and at times some infections. When the blood flow of the legs is hampered statis dermatitis takes place.
Risk Factors of Dermatitis
Those who are allergic to something are at risk of dermatitis. Varicose veins patients can become prone to dermatitis. The persons who have to handle chemicals are at risk. The barbers are also known to contract dermatitis in the developed nations, because they have to sanitize their equipment and their hands after every haircut. Out of all types of dermatitis, contact dermatitis accounts for 80%.
The patients of celiac disease need to be watchful, as they can get dermatitis herpetiformis. Patients of AIDS are at risk of getting seborrheic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis can catch hold of people living in urban areas with low levels of humidity.
Treatment of Dermatitis
The doctor makes a diagnosis first, because there are many types of dermatitis. based on which type of dermatitis it is, the physician will decide the treatment. Usually it calls for steroids treatment. And it will have to be applied topically. As steroids can have side-effects the doctors are careful and cautious in prescription.
But all said and done, there are certain measures that are commonly taken irrespective of the type of dermatitis. One should keep the skin moisturized always. If the skin gets dry, its topmost layer will develop cracks, thus exposing the inner delicate skin and complicating the matter even more.
Topical creams are used so that the itching is reduced, doctors usually give antihistamines, in addition to the topical creams.