Painful, itchy and unfortunately very common; Dermatitis is the general term for an inflammation of the skin. With numerous different types of dermatitis found, it is important to consult with a dermatologist to properly identify the symptoms you are having. 

What is dermatitis?

Remaining with individuals on and off throughout their lives, dermatitis can be caused by any number of health conditions, allergens and skin irritants, genetic factors and physical and mental stressors. Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) and atopic dermatitis (eczema) are two of the most common forms of the condition. Typical signifiers are redness, swelling, itching and skin lesions and infection.

What are the treatment options?

If you display the signs and symptoms of dermatitis schedule an appointment with a board certified dermatologist at the Soderstrom Skin Institute. After a consultation your doctor may choose to administer a series of patch testing to identify irritants.

Corticosteroid creams, avoiding allergens and applying wet compresses are some of the most important steps in treating and calming flare ups.

What else should I know?

Below is listed the different forms of dermatitis, their common irritants and underlying causes as well as treatments options.

  • Contact dermatitis – Common irritants are laundry soap, skin soaps or detergents, and cleaning products.  Possible allergens are rubber, metals, jewelry, and cosmetics, weeds like poison ivy as well as ingredients neomycin and bacitracin which are found in topical antibiotic creams. Treatment includes creams containing hydrocortisone, steroid creams and cold, wet compresses.*
  • Neurodermatitis – Commonly seen on the ankle, wrist, outer forearm or arm and back of the neck the reasons for developing this type of dermatitis are dry skin, chronic irritation, and eczema. Treatment includes protecting and covering area, hydrocortisone creams and lotions, wet compresses and antidepressants.*
  • Seborrheic dermatitis – Showing itself as a red rash with yellow and oily scales on the scalp, face ears and nose it is triggered by physical stress and neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Treatment options include warm mineral or olive oil, medicated shampoos, and topical creams.*
  • Stasis dermatitis – Occurring when there is an accumulation of fluid beneath the skin, this form of dermatitis is typically seen in individuals with varicose veins, extreme obesity, deep vein thrombosis and pregnancy. Treatment options include wearing elastic hose, undergoing varicose vein surgery, and wet compresses.*
  • Atopic dermatitis-Occurring commonly in infancy, it is seen in children with allergies, asthma, hay fever or eczema, and tends to regress in adulthood. Underlying factors are dry skin, immune system malfunction, and genetic predisposition. Treatment options include hydrocortisone lotions, wet dressings with mild astringent properties, immunosuppressant topical medications, and light therapy.*
  • Perioral dermatitis-Sometimes a form of rosacea, adult acne or seborrheic dermatitis, this type of dermatitis is characterized by its occurrence around the nose or mouth. Possibly causal factors are makeup, moisturizers and topical corticosteroids. Treatment options include oral antibiotics and mild corticosteroid cream.*


*treatment results may vary