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7 Types of Dermatitis

This bothersome skin condition is characterized by itching, flaking, or a skin rash that is red, swollen, even crusty or scaly. Dermatitis can be diagnosed, but unfortunately, curing it is a whole other story. In fact, most treatments recommended by dermatologists are highly inefficient.

Types of Dermatitis:

  • Contact aka Contact Allergic
  • Atopic also known as Eczema
  • Seborrheic
  • Phototoxic
  • Nummular
  • Hand, also known as Hand Eczema
  • Perioral

Let’s break the above down a bit:

1.  Contact dermatitis aka allergic contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, inflamed, or sore after direct contact with a substance. There are two kinds of contact dermatitis: allergic and irritant. Irritant being the most common.

Causes of irritant dermatitis may include:

  • Shampoos
  • Cement
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hair dyes
  • Pesticides or weed killers
  • In babies or the incontinent, long-term exposure to wet diapers

Causes of  allergic dermatitis may include:

      • Adhesive, such as the ones used for false eyelashes
      • Topical antibiotic creams
      • Balsam of Peru (used in many personal products and cosmetics, as well as in many foods and drinks)
      • Nail polish, hair dyes, or chemicals used to curl or straighten the hair
      • Metals (even those found in lipstick holders, watch straps, bra hooks—the list goes on)
      • Fragrances found in cosmetics, soaps, moisturizers and perfumes
      • Latex or rubber gloves (ex: rubber gloves some use to wash the dishes with)
      • Plants, in addition to poison ivy, poison oak, sumac

2.  Atopic dermatitis aka eczema is a condition is a chronic, meaning long-term condition. It’s characterized by scaly, itchy rashes, even bleeding, swollen skin irritations.

Causes of eczema may include:

    • Applying lotions to the skin or washing with soaps that contain fragrances
    • Allergies to pollen, mold, dust mites, or animals
    • Cold and dry air in the winter
    • Colds or the flu
    • Contact with irritants and chemicals
    • Contact with rough materials, such as wool
    • Dry skin (be sure to read our chapter on dry skin)
    • Stress and emotions
    • Exposure to too much water, such as taking too many baths or showers and swimming too often.

3.  Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky scales, which may or may not arise with red skin.

Symptoms of Seborrhea may include:

    • Skin lesions
    • Plaque, yellowish looking oily skin appearing over large areas
    • Greasy, oily areas over the skin
    • Scaly skin aka dandruff
    • Itchy sensation- if you scratch too much, an infection my occur
    • Mild redness
    • Alopecia (hair loss)

4.  Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when an allergen (such as the one listed above) are activated by sunlight. Phototoxic symptoms and causes are much like the ones associated with contact dermatitis.
5.  Nummular eczema is related to an allergy disorder by which patches or itchy spots shaped like a coin appear on the skin. Causes are unknown, but atopic dermatitis is related.
Symptoms may include:

  • Skin inflammation
  • Skin redness
  • Scaly or raw skin

6. Hand eczema is associated with painful itching of the hands and or soles of the feet. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate from other types of dermatitis.
Symptoms may include:

    • Erythema (redness)
    • Itching
    • Pain
    • Dry, flaking, peeling skin
    • Skin cracks
    • Blisters

7.  Perioral dermatitis is a condition presented by tiny red bumps around the mouth. The exact cause is unknown. It is known, however, that it is more common in women than men. This may be a direct result of women using more face creams than men do. These face creams may contain some type of irritant that causes a flare up. Itchiness is not usually associated with perioral dermatitis.

Symptoms may include:

  • Burning sensation around the mouth
  • Fluid or pus filled bumps around the mouth

While diagnosing dermatitis is usually on point, treatment is limited to two options:

  1. Oral prescriptions which may suppress the bacteria or virus associated with the problem. Organisms associated with bacteria or viruses were probably living on the skin, peacefully, until the skin became compromised one way or another.
  2. Topical treatments consisting of creams that when applied to the skin, provide some type of relief.

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