Dermatitis is a general medical term used for inflammation of the skin. It appears in many forms and can be caused by various factors. It presents as dry, itchy skin with redness and swelling. It is not contagious. The skin affected by dermatitis may be dry, inflamed, develop blisters, ooze, develop a crust or scale off. Certain types of dermatitis are chronic, while others may flare up intermittently, depending on the season, environmental exposures and stress. Some types of dermatitis are more common in children while others in adults.
Though dermatitis is the term used generally for different types of skin rashes, the most common forms are
Atopic dermatitis or eczema-It is an inherited chronic condition and usually appears during childhood.
Contact Dermatitis-This term is used as it occurs when the skin comes in contact with certain things which cause an allergic reaction. The symptoms and signs depend on the cause and severity of the condition.
TYPES OF DERMATITIS
Atopic dermatitis: is usually chronic, inherited and occurs during infancy. It presents with patches of rough, dry and itchy skin. The most commonly sites of the lesions are the folds of skin such as the inner side of the elbows, behind the knees and neck.
Contact dermatitis: it develops when the skin comes in contact with a substance and causes an allergic reaction to it. It usually presents as rashes which might burn, sting, itch, or blister.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis: it presents as dry, itchy skin with small blisters especially on the palms and soles.
Seborrheic dermatitis: it is most common on the scalp (dandruff), face, chest and neck. It presents as dry, scaly eruptions which flakes off. It is a chronic condition with periodical remissions.
Exfoliative Dermatitis: the skin of the whole body becomes red and scaly. There might also be some amount of hair loss.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis: this condition presents as erythematous rashes with severe itching. The eruptions appear in group and are symmetrical.
Neuro-dermatitis: develops as itching of the skin due to an irritant or stress.
Nummular dermatitis: it appears as sores after an injury to the skin.
Stasis dermatitis: it affects the areas of skin with sluggish blood circulation.
CAUSES OF DERMATITIS
1.Age: children and old people are more prone to skin diseases
2.Genetic factors since most of the skin diseases have a strong family history
3.Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, etc
4.Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic venous insufficiency
5.Allergens and irritants such as cleaning products, perfumes, cosmetics
6.Skin infections such as fungal and bacterial infections
4.Irritants and chemicals
5.Other allergens like dust, mites, pollens, etc
RISK FACTOR OF DERMATITIS
1.Old age and infancy
2.Allergies and asthma
3.Certain occupation which brings in contact with some irritants or allergens on a daily basis
4.Some medical conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, Parkinson's disease, etc.
COMPLICATIONS OF DERMATITIS
Constant touching and scratching the skin lesions can cause open sores, which may lead to infection. These skin infections can spread to adjacent areas and may cause serious illness.
PREVENTION OF DERMATITIS
1.Avoid dryness of skin by frequently moisturizing the skin.
2.Use lukewarm water to take bath.
3.Take shorter baths or showers.
4.Limit the bath time to 5 to 10 minutes.
5.Use mild cleansers or gentle soaps. Some soap can dry your skin.
6.Gently pat your skin to make it dry, after bathing, with a soft towel instead of rubbing.
7.Moisturize the skin even while the skin is still damp to seal the moisture preferably with a bath oil or a cream.
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES FOR DERMATITIS
Sulphur:Best homeopathic medicine for treating dermatitis.Useful for dry and scaly skin accompanied by itching. very useful when itching and burning worsen during the night.Most recommended when the skin looks dirty and unhealthy but patient still avoids bathing.
Graphites:Very useful for dermatitis with eruptions in the folds of the skin such as the elbow, knee, behind the ear and neck. There is rawness of skin with itching and eruptions. It covers eczema on the nose, chin, face and the eyelids, with thick discharges.
Rhus Tox: It is indicated in dermatitis with asthma, where the skin turns red and the itching is severe. Fluid-filled vesicles appear on the skin. Scaling of the skin. For dermatitis, which happens during the monsoon.
Mezereum: This is one of the best homeopathic medicines used in the treatment of dermatitis where weeping eruptions appear on the scalp. Oozing eruptions, on the scalp. Thick scab on the scalp with thick pus discharges. Ulcers and vesicles on the scalp.
Natrum muriaticum: Dry eruptions long the hairline, or along the margin of the scalp. Formation of crusts.
Anacardium orientale: Dermatitis with intense itching. Complaints of eczema. It is an excellent remedy for urticaria, lichen planus and neurotic eczema. Eczema of face and neck.
Arsenicum album: Severe itching and burning of the skin. Eruptions which are dry, rough and scaly worse from cold and from scratching. Pus filled eruptions, urticaria, with burning and restlessness. It is very good remedy for psoriasis.
Borax venata:Very helpful remedy for dermatitis, herpes and psoriasis . There is Itching on the finger joints.There is unhealthy skin with eruptions on fingers and hands with itching and stinging.There is wrinkled skin with herpetic eruptions on face.
Cantharis vesicatoria:Very useful in treating dermatitis with bleb formation.Also indicated for secondary eczema around scrotum and genitals with excessive perspiration.There is Vesicular eruptions with burning and itching and sunburn.There is burning with rawness better by cold applications.
Lycopodium:Especially indicated when skin is very unhealthy and has tendency to for ulcers and abscess. There is worseness from warm applications.Usefull for violent itching with fissured eruptions.Useful for chronic dermatitis associated with urinary, gastric and liver disorders. Brown spots and freckles on face and nose.