Additional Information on Dermatitis
Appearance: The specific appearance of dermatitis varies greatly depending on its location and type. In general, areas affected by dermatitis do not look like the rest of the adjacent tissue. The area may be red, paler or darker; it may be dry or blistered. Any area of skin that changes quickly or that remains changed for any length of time and where the cause is unknown, is worth investigating with a physician.
Location: Dermatitis can occur anywhere on the body from the top of the scalp, into the ears and right down to the toes.
Causes: The causes of dermatitis are wide-ranging and influenced by genetics and environment.
Treatment: Treatment for dermatitis is focused on reducing skin inflammation, proper hydration and control of itch-scratch cycle:
Moisturizer: An emollient that is perfume free and gentle may be all that is needed to moisturize and keep the affected area soft. Your physician can recommend options that may work best for you.
Topical steroids: A topical steroid cream may be prescribed. Typically, your doctor will recommend this will be applied to the affected areas once or twice a day for a period of time during a flare-up and sometimes with a recommendation to repeat as required for flare-ups.
Antibiotics: If an infection is causing or irritating the dermatitis, your doctor may prescribe a short course of antibiotics to treat the underlying condition.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines may also be recommended. Antihistamines control the bouts of itch and reduce scratch-itch cycles.
Other prescription medications and phototherapy: For severe or resistant forms of dermatitis phototherapy or other prescription medications may be recommended. Your physician will discuss with you the options and any potential side effects.