It can be debilitating if you have dermatitis because of the considerable discomfort and pain it causes. Worse, though, it’s a sign of an underlying problem that may be further complicated if left unattended or untreated.
At least four types of inflammatory skin conditions cause itch, pain, and discomfort. The four main types of dermatitis include Allergic contact dermatitis, Irritant contact dermatitis, Atopic dermatitis, and Stasis dermatitis.
Learn how to recognize these four common skin conditions to get relief from the itching and other signs of inflammation caused by the condition.
We at University Urgent Care are glad to offer a wide variety of essential treatments for this condition, addressing its unique signs, symptoms, and other patterns according to severity.
What is Dermatitis?
Dermatitis is a general term for inflammation of the skin. It can affect the skin anywhere on your body — but it often affects the hands, face, and feet.
Dermatitis is most common in babies, children, and adults over 50.
There are many different types of dermatitis. The most common type is atopic dermatitis (or eczema), which usually begins in early childhood. Atopic dermatitis causes dry, itchy patches on the skin with redness and sometimes scaling.
Other types include seborrheic dermatitis (red, scaly patches on the scalp), contact dermatitis (inflammation caused by contact with an irritant such as poison ivy), nummular dermatitis (small bumps), and stasis dermatitis (swelling of ankles).
Dermatitis can be itchy or painful. It can also cause redness and inflammation. Dermatitis may occur on any part of your body, but it’s most common on the hands, arms, face, and neck.
Dermatitis is usually treated with topical steroid creams or oral steroids to reduce inflammation. Doctors may prescribe ultraviolet light therapy or phototherapy if these treatments don’t work or aren’t tolerated well.
What are the Types of Dermatitis?
1. Contact Dermatitis
This dermatitis occurs when an allergen triggers an immune reaction in the skin. It is often caused by exposure to chemicals or other substances in certain products, such as detergents, soaps, metal jewelry, and cosmetics.
2. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and itching on the upper body, legs, arms, and face.
It tends to run in families, meaning that if one member has atopic dermatitis, your chances of developing it are more significant than for someone who does not have an affected family member.
People who suffer from atopic dermatitis usually have hay fever or asthma and other allergic conditions such as hives or food allergies. It is also more common in children than adults and may begin as early as infancy.
Eczema can flare up suddenly or come and go over time depending on environmental conditions such as stressors like cold weather or dryness that irritate the skin.
3. Hand Dermatitis (Hand Eczema)
Hand dermatitis may be caused by contact with irritants such as harsh soaps, detergents, hot water, and continual hand washing — all things you do every day!
Hand dermatitis can also be associated with other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis.
4. Stasis Dermatitis
Stasis dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that occurs when the body’s circulation is impaired, usually due to a heart or kidney condition. It usually affects the lower legs but can also appear on the arms and other body parts. It’s characterized by redness, swelling, and itching.
5. Perioral Dermatitis
Perioral dermatitis is a common rash that affects the face around the mouth. This irritating rash can develop around your nose and mouth, causing red blotches and small bumps on your skin. The cause of perioral dermatitis isn’t clear, but factors that may lead to its development include:
6. Dyshidrotic Dermatitis
This is a chronic condition that causes tiny blisters to form on the hands and feet. An allergy causes it to a substance called Fusarium, found in some plants, soil, and compost.
7. Seborrheic Dermatitis
This dermatitis can cause redness, itching, and scaly skin on the scalp, chest, or back. It’s often mistaken for dandruff or acne.
The main symptom is flaking skin that looks like scales or yellowish crusts. This occurs in areas with visible oil production (on the scalp) or where the skin rubs together (on the chest).
8. Perioral Dermatitis
Perioral dermatitis is a common condition that most often affects middle-aged women. It causes redness and swelling around the mouth and nose.
Perioral dermatitis can be very itchy, especially at night. The rash usually starts as tiny red bumps that become larger and more swollen with time. They may also become scaly or crusted over with dry skin. Some people also develop small spots on their eyelids and under their eyes (periorbital dermatitis), which may look like acne.
Causes of Dermatitis
Dermatitis is a broad term that describes inflammation of the skin. An irritant, allergy, or infection can cause it. Some conditions can lead to dermatitides, such as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Irritants are substances that cause damage to the skin because they cause an inflammatory response in the body. Common irritants include soaps, detergents, chlorine, and ammonia. Irritants may cause a reaction immediately or up to several days after exposure.
Allergies are one of the most common causes of dermatitis. Up to 30 percent of people with eczema have an allergic reaction to something in their environment.
The most common allergens are pollens, dust mites, animal dander, and mold spores. If you think your child has allergy-related dermatitis, talk to their doctor about testing for allergies.
2. Irritants & Contact Dermatitis
Irritants are substances that can cause inflammation in the skin when they come in contact with it. Common irritants include soaps, detergents, cosmetics, clothing fabrics, and jewelry made from nickel or other metals that can cause rashes on sensitive skin.
Irritants can even worsen existing rashes if they come into contact with them long enough or frequently. Symptoms of irritation may include redness, itching, and swelling around the irritated area on your skin (contact dermatitis).
3. Bacterial Infections
Bacteria are one of the most common causes of dermatitis. They can be introduced into the skin through infected wounds or by contact with someone with a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections include impetigo and Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infection.
4. Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are another common cause of dermatitis. These include ringworm and athlete’s foot. Both fungi live on dead tissue in people’s environments, but they can also grow on healthy skin if they have access to it. They may infect open wounds or cracks in your skin and cause irritation or itching.
5. Infections with Blood Vessels
Blood vessel infections are another common cause of dermatitis that can affect any part of your body. Blood vessel infections include cellulitis (cellulitis), lymphangitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and venous insufficiency ulcers (V1).
Signs and Symptoms of Dermatitis
The signs and symptoms of dermatitis vary depending on which type you have. Atopic dermatitis tends to appear on the face, scalp, hands, or feet in people with allergies or asthma.
Contact dermatitis may appear in any body area after direct contact with an irritant or allergen (such as poison ivy).
Dermatitis symptoms include:
- Redness and swelling of the affected area.
- Itching, pain, or burning sensation in the affected area.
- Blisters or scales on the skin (exfoliation).
- Localized heat in the affected area.
- The skin may be red and itchy.
- Blisters can form on the skin that is filled with clear fluid.
- The skin may develop dry, scaly patches that can be white, yellow, or brown.
- The affected area may swell as welts form, turning into blisters and then crusting over when they heal.
How University Urgent Care Can Help You Find Dermatitis Relief
If you’ve ever had a skin condition, then you know it can be frustrating to treat. Skin issues like eczema, hives, and dermatitis can make it nearly impossible to focus on other things.
The good news is that you don’t have to live with these conditions forever. University Urgent Care is here to help you find relief from dermatitis and other skin problems.
The University Urgent Care offers urgent care services to patients who need immediate medical attention but don’t want to wait for an appointment at their PCP or even worse, an emergency room.
Our team will evaluate your condition and create a treatment plan based on your symptoms and needs. We may recommend topical creams, oral medications, or other treatments to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain and advise on how to prevent a recurrence of your condition.