08 Dec Dermatitis
Dermatitis is a red and itching inflammation of the skin
What to look for
Contact dermatitis (an allergic reaction)
- A red rash that is restricted to the area of skin exposed to an irritant.
- Red, itchy, circular lots of weeping, scaly, or encrusted skin, common in older people who have dry skin or live in dry environments.
- Greasy, yellowish scales on the scalp and eyebrows, behind the ears, and around the nose; in infants it is called cradle cap.
- Scaling, greasy-looking, sometimes ulcerated skin appearing inside the lower legs and around the ankles.
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema , or eczema
- Extreme, persistent itchiness.
Dermatitis simply means skin inflammation, but it includes a wide range of sicknesses. In nearly all cases the early stages are distinguished by dry, red, itchy skin, although later stages may include crusty scales or blisters that ooze fluid.
The following are the most common general types of dermatitis and their typical causes:
- pink or red rash, which may or may not itch.
- causes include contact with poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, and certain flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables irritates some people. detergents, soaps, chlorine, some synthetic fibres, nail polish remover, antiperspirants. The inflammation is often caused by cosmetics and skin-care products.
- Living in a dry environment or taking very hot showers can cause this condition,
- a biotin deficiency in infants (where it is known as cradle cap)
- or with overproduction and blockage of oil glands in adults.
- common in AIDS patients.
- poor circulation.
The cause of dermatitis must first be identified and removed before treatment can get under way.
Most mild skin inflammations respond well to warm baths followed by application of petroleum jelly or over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.
Seborrheic dermatitis may respond to coal-tar-based shampoo; avoid sunlight immediately after using it, as it can cause sunburn on the scalp. Once irritants causing contact dermatitis are identified, avoid them and obviously the condition will improve.
To help dry the sores of nummular dermatitis, soak the area in salt water, then apply a corticosteroid cream.
If you suffer from stasis dermatitis, wear support stockings and rest often with your legs elevated to help improve circulation.
To reduce inflammation and heal the irritation of most types of dermatitis, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription cream.
Alternative therapies are good for relief of symptoms of this chronic disease.
Herbal Therapies – Always seek the assistance of a Professional. But here are some tried and true herbs that have been successful in relieving some patients. Always seek the assistance of a Professional. But here are some tried and true herbs that have been successful in relieving some patients.
Burdock (Arctium lappa) boosts the immune system and helps reduce inflammation.
Some practitioners believe evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) works as well as corticosteroids for itchy skin and has fewer potential side effects.
You can also make a tea from fresh nettles or fresh cleavers.
Homoeopathy – For benign, short-term skin problems, an over-the-counter Calendula cream may soothe the inflammation. Taking Rhus toxicodendron three or four times a day may relieve the itching of contact dermatitis. For benign, short-term skin problems, an over-the-counter Calendula cream may soothe the inflammation. Taking Rhus toxicodendron three or four times a day may relieve the itching of contact dermatitis.
doctor may suggest vitamin B complex, Vitamin A and zinc which may aid in skin healing, while vitamin E ointment can help relieve itching and dryness. Always have your doctor check the doses of all supplements you take to avoid over dosing.
- For dryness, rub petroleum jelly or olive oil on affected areas after a bath, or use a topical ointment containing aloe or zinc.
- Avoid eating potential allergens. You may get help from supplemental vitamins A, B complex, and E, as well as zinc.
- If you suspect an allergy to a chemical or cosmetic, try an at-home patch test. Apply a small amount of the suspected irritant to a spot on your arm or back for seven days. If you have a reaction, you know it is a potential irritant.
The best way to prevent a rash caused by contact with toxic plants like poison ivy is to wash the exposed skin with soap and water as soon as possible after contact. If you feel you are at risk, consider these preventive steps:
- Use a humidifier at home and at work.
- Wear natural loose-fitting.
- Avoid plated jewellery.
- Be careful choosing watches with tight plated watchbands as these can cause problems by rubbing on your sensitive skin.
- Supplement your diet with vitamins A, B complex, and E, and zinc.
- Lubricate your skin after a bath using an unscented, preservative-free lotion or ointment such as sorbolene cream.
When to seek further professional advice
- if your skin has pus or is oozing
- if your skin does not respond to your treatment
- if your skin is affected and you are exposed to anybody with a viral skin infection such as cold sores etc.