Your health directory for professionals  

Subscribe today

Contact US






Skin which is inflamed, red and itching is known as dermatitis. Dermatitis simply means skin inflammation, however it does also include a wide range of sicknesses. In practically all the cases the early stages are characterized by dry, red, itchy skin, although later stages can include blisters or crusty scales that ooze fluid. Here are the most common general types of dermatitis and there causes.

Contact dermatitis usually appears as a pink or red rash which may or may not itch, it is often caused by an allergic reaction and the rash is therefore restricted to the area of skin exposed to the irritant such as poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac and certain fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as chlorine, detergents, soaps and some synthetic fibres, anti-perspirants, nail polish remover, cosmetics and skin care products.

Nummular dermatitis is red, itchy, circular lots of encrusted, weeping or scaly skin, it is quite common in older people who suffer with dry skin or live in dry environments or people who take very hot showers as well as stress

Seborrheic dermatitis symptoms are greasy, yellow scales on the eyebrows, around the nose, on the scalp, behind the ears, and in infants it is commonly known as ‘cradle cap’. It is caused by a biotin deficiency in infants or the overproduction and blockage of oil glands in adults. Stress is another cause and it is quite common in Aid's patients.

Atopic dermatitis or eczema is an extreme and persistent itch, often hereditary, or caused through allergies, stress and asthma.

Stasis dermatitis is a greasy looking, scaly, sometimes ulcerated skin which occurs inside the lower legs and around the ankles. It is caused because of poor circulation

Dietary Considerations


To help aid your skin to heal try Vitamin A and zinc. your doctor may also suggest vitamin B complex. And to help relieve itching and dry skin use vitamin E ointment. You should always have your doctor check the doses of all supplements.

At-Home Remedies


Use petroleum jelly, olive oil or topical ointment containing aloe or zinc to help with the dryness of the skin, use this after you had a bath. Try to avoid eating potential allergens.

You should try a at-home pact test if you suspect it is caused by an allergic reaction to a chemical or cosmetics. Apply a small amount of the suspected irritant to a spot on your arm or back for seven days. if there is an reaction you now know that it is a potential irritant.


Wash the exposed skin with soap and water as soon as possible after you came in contact the a toxic plant like poison ivy, this is the best way to prevent a rash from forming.

If you feel you are at risk, consider these preventive steps:
Use a humidifier at home and at work.
Try to wear natural loose-fitting clothes
and avoid plated jewellery.

You should be careful when choosing watches with solid plated watchbands because these can cause problems by rubbing on your sensitive skin.
Enrich your diet with vitamins A, B complex, and E, and also zinc.
You should also lubricate your skin after you have had a bath. use an unscented, preservative-free lotion or an ointment such as sorbolene cream.

When to seek further professional advice

If your skin is starting to pus or there is oozing coming out. 
If your skin is affected and your come in contact with a person with a viral skin infection such as cold sore etc. 
If you notice that your skin is not responding to the treatment.


Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-21