DERMATITIS - Watsons Health

DERMATITIS

Dermatitis is a general term for skin inflammation. The skin will typically appear dry, swollen, and red. The condition can have many causes, but is not considered contagious. Symptoms of dermatitis may range from mild to severe and may last a long time or may flare up depending on the season, exposure and stress.

The symptoms of dermatitis range from mild to severe and will look different depending on what part of the body is affected. Not all people with dermatitis experience all symptoms. In general, the symptoms of dermatitis may include:

  • Rashes
  • Blisters
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Painful skin, with stinging or burning
  • Redness
  • Swelling

DIAGNOSIS

A thorough history and physical examination is needed before making a diagnosis. In some cases a dermatologist may be called on to identify the type of dermatitis. Tests a doctor may likely request are the following:

  • Skin patch test for allergy identification
  • Skin biopsy for severe cases

 

TREATMENT

Treatments for dermatitis depend on the type, severity of symptoms, and the cause. Your skin may clear up on its own after one to three weeks. If it doesn’t, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend:

  • Allergy medications
  • Phototheraphy
  • Topical creams with a steroid
  • Creams or lotions for dry skin
  • Oatmeal baths or warm sitz baths to relieve itching

Antibiotics or antifungal medications are usually given only if an infection has developed. Infections can occur when the skin is broken due to intense scratching.

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