Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin often accompanied by puffiness, itchiness, oozing, or scabbing.

What causes it?

Dry skin, allergies, genetics, yeast or fungus, bacteria, and environmental factors. People with increased risk include those whose work industry exposes them to metals/chemicals, or those with other underlying conditions such as Parkinson’s, HIV, or congestive heart failure. 

What are the types?

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) usually begins in infancy and often occurs behind elbows and knees and on the neck. The itchy, oozing red rash, may come and go throughout your life.

Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in contact with irritants such as poison plants, jewelry with nickel in it, wool, new chemicals, new products, or anything that you may be allergic to.  You’ll develop a red, raised, itchy rash, that may spread to other areas.

Seborrheic dermatitis affects oily parts of your body, like your head, face, upper back, and chest. It causes stubborn red patches, scaly skin, and dandruff. It may come and go throughout your life. In infants, it’s known as cradle cap.

How is it treated?

Your dermatologist can prescribe topical and oral medication to provide relief, and in the case of contact dermatitis, help you to discover and avoid the cause. If your dermatitis is recurrent, your dermatologist may recommend you see an allergist to further identify the cause.

Can it be prevented?

Taking short, lukewarm baths and showers help. You should only use gentle preferably non-toxic soaps and personal care products, or sometimes simply cleanse with just water, and pat dry rather than rub yourself dry. Keep your skin hydrated, with an unscented natural non-toxic skin cream.

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