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Dermatitis is an inflammation of the upper layers of the skin causing rash, blisters, scabbing, redness and swelling. There are many different types of dermatitis, these include:

  • Acrodermatitis
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Diaper Rash (Diaper Dermatitis)
  • Exfoliative Dermatitis
  • Herpetiformis Dermatitis
  • Irritant Dermatitis
  • Occupational Dermatitis
  • Perioral Dermatitis
  • Photoallergic Dermatitis
  • Phototoxic Dermatitis
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • Toxicodendron Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis
Allergic Contact Dermatitis, Contact Eczema, Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a reaction, which occurs when skin comes in contact with certain substances. Two mechanisms exist by which substances can cause skin inflammation - Irriatation (Irritant contact dermatitis) or Allergic reaction (Allergic contact dermatitis). Common irritants include soap, detergents, acids, alkalis and organic solvents (as are present in nail varnish remover). Contact dermatitis is most often seen around the hands or areas that touched or were exposed to the irritant/ allergen . Contact dermatitis of the feet also exists but differs in that it is due to the warm, moist conditions in the shoes and socks.
An allergic reaction does not generally occur the first time one is exposed to a particular substance but on subsequent exposures , which can cause dermatitis in 4 to 24 hours.
Treatment includes removal or avoidance of the substance causing the irritation, cleansing the area with water and mild soap (to avoid infection). A recent recommendation for mild cases is to use a manganese sulfate solution to reduce the itching. Antihistamines are generally not very helpful. The most common treatment for severe contact dermatitis is with corticosteroid tablets, ointments or creams, which diminish the immune attack and resulting inflammation.

Toxicodendron Dermatitis
When people get urushiol, the oil present in Poison Ivy , Poison Oak and Poison Sumac on their skin, it causes another form of allergic contact dermatitis (see above). This is a T-cell -mediated immune response, also called delayed hypersensitivity , in which the body's immune system recognizes as foreign, and attacks, the complex of urushiol-derivatives with skin proteins. The irony is that urushiol, in the absence of the immune attack, would be harmless.

Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, itchy inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. Often develops in people who have hay fever or asthma or that have family members with these conditions. Most commonly displayed during infanthood, usually disappering by the age of 3 or 4. Recent medical study suggest that Staphylococcus aureus (a bacteria ) contributes to exacerbations of atopic dermatitis.
Treatment is similar to that of contact dermatitis. See also Ezcema .

Seborrheic Dermatitis
An inflammation of the upper layers of the skin where scales appear on the scalp, face and sometimes in other areas. Usually more common in cold weather and often runs in families.

Stasis Dermatitis
A chronic redness, scaling, warmth and swelling on the lower legs. Often results in dark brown skin due to a pooling of blood and fluid under the skin, thus usually displayed by those with varicose veins and edema .




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