What is Dermatitis?

Symptoms: Dry, Itchy, or Burning Irritated Skin With Bumps

Dermatitis is an extremely common condition that affects the outermost layer of the skin and can be caused by a wide range of inflammatory agents and conditions, including physical contact with irritants and psychological distress. It may appear and disappear without treatment, or may be a chronic, lifelong affliction for some. Contact dermatitis affects most people at some point in their lives. Skin symptoms can vary from mild to excruciating and include:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Burning
  • Hives
  • Bumps
  • Blisters
  • Darkened Skin
  • Leathery Skin
  • Dry, Flaky, and / or Scaly Skin

Types of Dermatitis

There are many types, subtypes, and associated conditions related to dermatitis. Although all are grouped together and labeled as dermatitis, the symptoms and treatments for each variant are widely divergent. The cause must be determined prior to initiating treatment. Some of the most common forms of dermatitis that we treat include:

Eczema (also referred to as dermatitis): This condition can be acute or chronic. Initially, a red rash appears, which may swell and blister. If longstanding, the area becomes darker, thicker, and consistently more irritated than the surrounding skin.

Atopic Dermatitis: Familial condition prevalent amongst children –causes dry, itchy patches on cheeks, forehead, scalp, and face

Contact Dermatitis: Irritation caused by contact with substances such as nickel, chemicals, soaps, plants, etc.

Seborrheic Dermatitis (Inflammation Dandruff): Result of infection with malassezia yeasts and the effects of exposure to their toxic byproducts

Infective Dermatitis: Irritation resulting from fungal and bacterial infections, such as impetigo

Otitis Externa: External ear canal dermatitis

Gravitational Dermatitis: Caused by inadequate leg vein functioning, swelling, etc. (common amongst the senior population)

Meyerson Nevus: Irritation of moles (melanocytic nevi)

How is Dermatitis Treated?

For many of our patients, dermatitis is a chronic, life-long condition and, as such, the treatments involved may affect all spheres of our patients’ lives. Aside from the medications and therapies prescribed by your doctors, we recommend that our dermatitis patients take special care of their skin to help minimize symptoms and flare-ups. Dermatitis can become a vicious cycle. By addressing it on all fronts, you can help get your dermatitis under better control –and keep it manageable. Each patient’s treatment recommendations will vary. Ask your doctor if the following may be helpful for your particular type of dermatitis:

  • Avoid the Use of Soap (Ask Your Doctor About Mild, Soap-Free Cleansers)
  • Keep Your Skin Properly Moisturized at ALL Times
  • Use Your Medications as Prescribed
  • Antihistamines May Be An Option -Ask Your Doctor
  • Avoid All Perfumed Body Care Products
  • Shower Instead of Bathe
  • Limit Full Showers to Every Other Day or Less Often (Consult Your Doctor)
  • Shower With Lukewarm Water and Minimize Time Spent in the Shower
  • Wear Soft Clothing With a Smooth Texture
  • Take Care to Protect Your Skin From Injury, Irritation, Dust, Detergents, Water, Solvents, etc.

Patch Testing Available to Properly Identify Contact Allergens Associated with Certain Types of Dermatitis

Allegheny Advanced Dermatology Center provides patch testing as a diagnostic tool to identify the root cause of dermatitis. Dermatitis is a condition where the skin becomes inflamed due to certain contact allergens present in the environment. These allergens may range from soaps, jewelry, fabrics, and perfumes. Patch testing involves the application of small amounts of potential allergens on the skin, which are then covered with patches. The patches are removed after a set time, and the skin is examined for any signs of localized inflammation. This helps identify the contact allergens that are causing the dermatitis so that patients can avoid them in the future. Allegheny Advanced Dermatology Center offers this service to provide a more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options for patients suffering from dermatitis.

Take Proper Care of Your Skin to Help Treat Dermatitis

Contact Allegheny Advanced Dermatology Center to schedule an appointment. We treat all types of dermatitis. Call: (814) 944-7109.