If you or a loved one are struggling with dermatitis, you know how frustrating and uncomfortable it can be, but there’s no reason to let skin problems hold you back any longer. Learn more about this skin condition and how receiving dermatitis treatment from The Dermatology Clinic can help you achieve clear skin.

What Is Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a broad term that is used to describe inflamed skin. It is a common condition that can occur in many forms and can be found almost anywhere on the body. Usually dermatitis is a rash that is accompanied by itching and reddish or swollen skin. While this condition is not contagious, it can be uncomfortable and may make you feel self-conscious about showing your skin. It can also cause significant loss of sleep and put you at risk for skin infections. With dermatitis treatment, you can restore your skin back to a healthy state and feel confident once again.

Symptoms

Depending on the type, dermatitis may manifest in a variety of different ways. It may appear as an itchy rash, cause skin to blister, weep clear fluid, or become dry and scaly or flaky. Some forms may also cause stubborn dandruff, which is known as cradle cap when it occurs in infancy. The symptoms of dermatitis may be short-lived due to exposure to an irritant. However, in some cases, the condition may be chronic and might require ongoing treatment.

Types of Dermatitis

There are three main types of dermatitis: atopic, contact, and seborrheic.

  • Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, usually exhibits itself in early childhood or infancy, though it often goes into remission only to reappear in adulthood. Often people with this condition will experience flare-ups followed by periods of improvement. Eczema is itchy and red, and is usually found in folds of the body—inside the elbows and knees and at the back of the neck.
  • Contact dermatitis is caused by coming into contact with a substance your skin finds irritating, such as poison ivy, certain detergents or soaps, or even some jewelry. This form is usually the easiest to treat, and should not reoccur as long as the irritating substance is avoided. It can be found anywhere on the body that touches the irritant.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis affects areas of the body that produce oil, such as the scalp, upper chest and back, and the face. It can cause dandruff or scaly red patches, and is often a reoccurring condition. As with atopic dermatitis, it often improves and then worsens.

Causes of Dermatitis

The causes of dermatitis depend on the type that the patient is experiencing. Contact dermatitis, as mentioned above, is caused by a substance that irritates the skin. Atopic dermatitis is thought to be caused by a combination of factors, which may include genetics, dry skin, and an immune system disorder. Bacteria and environmental conditions may also be factors. Seborrheic dermatitis may be caused by a yeast that lives in oil secretions produced by the skin, and may worsen and improve seasonally. Emotional stress often makes atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis worse.

Diagnosis & Treatment

A doctor can usually diagnose dermatitis simply by examining the skin. However, if the cause of contact dermatitis cannot be easily determined, the doctor may administer a patch test, which involves applying various substances to the skin to see which ones cause irritation. In some cases, the doctor may suggest a skin biopsy to rule out other conditions.

Treatment of dermatitis is usually simple and involves alleviating symptoms through corticosteroid creams, topical treatments that may calm the immune system, or light therapy. If left untreated, dermatitis can worsen and may even become infected. In some cases, these infections can be so severe that they become life-threatening, so it’s important to make an appointment if symptoms persist. At The Dermatology Clinic, our board-certified dermatologists will work with you to determine the exact cause of your dermatitis and develop a treatment plan specifically for you.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Before your appointment, make a list of any substances you might have come into contact with recently. Be especially thorough in noting anything new or unusual that could have caused skin irritation, such as a new laundry detergent or lotion. Also be prepared to answer questions about how long you have been experiencing symptoms, whether you have noticed any patterns in how often you experience rashes, and your family history.

Schedule Your Appointment

Anyone who lives in the Baton Rouge area who is suffering from dermatitis in any of its forms should make an appointment at The Dermatology Clinic. We can help you determine the cause as well as help you find a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.