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What is dermatitis?

Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a skin irritation characterized by red, flaky skin, sometimes with cracks or tiny blisters. Dermatitis is extremely itchy, but scratching damages the fragile skin and exacerbates the problem so it is important for

people with eczema to try to leave the area alone.

Dermatitis affects about one in every five people at some time in their lives. It results from a variety of different causes and has various patterns.

The terms "dermatitis" and "eczema" are often used interchangeably. Dermatitis can be "acute" or "chronic" or both. Acute eczema refers to a rapidly evolving red rash which may be blistered and swollen. Chronic dermatitis refers to a longstanding irritable area. It is often darker than the surrounding skin, thickened (lichenified) and much scratched.

Psychological stresses can provoke or aggravate dermatitis, presumably by suppressing normal immune mechanisms.

Dermatitis is a wide-spread occupational disease. Two common forms of dermatitis, normally seen in the workplace, are allergic dermatitis and contact (irritant) dermatitis. These conditions comprise up to 15% to 20% of all reported occupational diseases in this nation. Dermatitis is extremely prevalent because there are many agents which can trigger a dermatological reaction. These reactions can take the form of rashes, itchiness, or hives.

More information on dermatitis

What is dermatitis? - Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a skin irritation characterized by red, flaky skin, sometimes with cracks or tiny blisters.
Types of dermatitis - There are several different types of dermatitis and these have different causes. The most common ones are related to allergies.
Contact dermatitis - Contact dermatitis is a dermatitis which is caused by something in the outside world which comes into contact with the skin.
Atopic dermatitis - Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, itchy skin condition that is very common in children but may occur at any age. It is also known as eczema and atopic eczema.
Seborrheic dermatitis - Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory condition of the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic, recurring scaly rash involving the face, ears, eyebrows, scalp, and the chest.
Nummular dermatitis - Nummular dermatitis (nummular eczematous dermatitis or nummular eczema) affects the hands, arms, legs, and buttocks of men and women older than 55 years of age.
Causes of dermatitis - Each type of dermatitis has different causes. Atopic dermatitis is caused by allergies, asthma. Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by overproduction of the oil glands.
Treatments of dermatitis - Dermatitis is often treated with prescribed cortisone creams and lotions. Treating contact dermatitis begins with eliminating or avoiding the source of irritation.
Prevention of dermatitis - The most effective method of dealing with any type of dermatitis risk is through prevention. Contact dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding the source of irritation. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005