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Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that causes disturbing symptoms, such as a red rash and itchy, dry, and scaly skin. There are several types of dermatitis with different causes and characteristics
Dermatitis or eczema is a skin disease that is generally chronic (long term) but not dangerous. Symptoms that appear are usually mild, such as itching of the skin. However, this itching sometimes makes it difficult for sufferers to refrain from scratching continuously until it causes injury to the skin.
Injured skin can be easily infected by bacteria, making eczema worse. Sometimes, dermatitis also causes fluid-filled bubbles (blisters) in the skin or deep, painful cracks in the skin (fissures).
Types of Dermatitis
The following are some types of dermatitis that you need to know:
1. Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of dermatitis. This type of dermatitis usually affects children under 5 years of age and will improve with age.
This type of dermatitis can be caused by genetic factors (heredity), dry skin, immune disorders, and environmental factors. Some of the characteristics of atopic dermatitis are:
- This dermatitis often occurs in patients who have a history of asthma and nasal inflammation due to allergies (allergic rhinitis or hay fever) or have a family history of dermatitis.
- A red, itchy, dry, scaly rash usually appears on the face, scalp, and skin folds, such as the folds of the elbows and the back of the knees.
- Sometimes small bubbles appear on the skin that ooze clear fluid.
- Symptoms may worsen due to exposure to certain chemicals or allergens (allergy triggers), such as mite bites and certain foods.
2. Contact dermatitis
There are 2 types of contact dermatitis, namely irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin becomes irritated due to exposure to certain chemicals that damage skin tissue, for example in detergents, household cleaning fluids, or soaps.
Symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis may appear after 1 time exposure to a very strong irritant or after repeated exposure to a weak irritant.
Meanwhile, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the skin is exposed to materials that trigger allergic reactions, such as nickel, latex, nettle (poison ivy), make-up products,or certain jewelry materials..
The symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis usually appear within 48–96 hours after the skin is exposed to the allergen. Symptoms of dermatitis can appear on any part of the skin, such as hands, feet, neck, body, to the chest and nipples.
3. Dyshidrotic Dermatitis
Dyshidrotic dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of small fluid-filled bubbles (blisters) on the fingers and palms of the hands or feet. Blisters on the hands and feet can cause pain that interferes with activities. After 2–3 weeks, the blisters will disappear and leave the skin looking dry and cracked.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis is usually triggered by hot temperatures which cause the hands or feet to sweat more often and dry easily. This type of dermatitis is also prone to be experienced by workers who are often exposed to liquids, such as washers, cleaners, or salon workers.
4. Nummular dermatitis
Numular dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of rashes or blisters in large numbers and in groups accompanied by itching and pain. This type of dermatitis is more common in men aged 55–65 years, while women usually experience this type of dermatitis at the age of 15–25 years. Nummular dermatitis rarely affects children.
The exact cause of nummular dermatitis is not known. However, triggers can include exposure to nickel and formalin, use of certain medications, other types of dermatitis, skin infections, or skin injury.
Neurodermatitis begins with itching that appears on the hands, feet, behind the ears, behind the neck, or genitals. The itching may worsen when the sufferer sleeps or is under severe stress.
The patient will continue to scratch the itchy skin area until the skin is thickened, reddish or purplish, and looks wrinkled.
6. Stasis dermatitis
Static dermatitis begins with the inability of the blood vessels (veins) in the legs to push blood back to the heart. This condition causes fluid to build up in the leg area, causing swelling and pain.
This condition is also often accompanied by the emergence of varicose veins. The skin around bulging veins (varicose veins) may turn darker, drier, crack, or develop sores (venous ulcers).
7. Seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of yellowish scales on the skin. This type of dermatitis usually appears on oily skin, such as the scalp and facial skin.
In babies, seborrheic dermatitis can form thick yellowish scales on the scalp. This condition is also known as cradle cap. Meanwhile, in adults, seborrheic dermatitis causes stubborn dandruff and yellowish scales that can spread to the face area.
This type of dermatitis is usually caused by the overgrowth of certain fungi on the skin. Treatment usually uses special shampoos and antifungal drugs.
To prevent the recurrence of dermatitis, use lotion or moisturizer regularly after bathing, avoid bathing for too long, and use soap products that do not contain perfume.
There are various types of dermatitis with different causes. If your skin feels itchy and scaly or a red rash appears, immediately consult a dermatologist. The doctor will conduct an examination to find out the cause and provide appropriate treatment for the cause.
dr. Irene Cindy Sunur