Understanding Dermatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Dermatitis is a group of skin conditions that causes red, itchy, and inflamed skin. While the condition can affect people of any age, it is most common in children. There are several types of dermatitis, each with its own set of symptoms and triggers. Common types of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.

What Causes Dermatitis?

The exact cause of dermatitis is not known. However, there are several factors that can trigger or increase the severity of dermatitis symptoms. These include environmental factors, such as exposure to irritants or allergens, stress, and temperature changes. In some cases, dermatitis can be caused by a reaction to certain medications or makeup.

What Are the Symptoms of Dermatitis?

The symptoms of dermatitis vary depending on the type. Common symptoms include:

  • Redness and irritation of the skin
  • Dryness and flaking of the skin
  • Itching and burning sensations
  • Rashes and hives
  • Blistering of the skin
  • Darkening or lightening of the skin
  • Cracking and peeling of the skin

How Is Dermatitis Treated?

Treatment of dermatitis depends on the type and cause. Options may include topical medications, such as corticosteroid creams or ointments, topical immunomodulators, and antihistamines. Phototherapy, or exposure to ultraviolet light, is sometimes used. In some cases, systemic medications, such as antibiotics or oral steroids, may be necessary. Other therapies may include lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers, moisturizing regularly, and taking cool baths.