Dermatitis and Allergies

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Definition and Causes

Dermatitis and allergies are terms used to refer to inflammation of the skin. The causes of dermatitis can be diverse, the most common being contact dermatitis. This can be caused by direct irritation from detergents, acids, corrosives, etc. It can also be caused by skin allergy to substances present in cosmetics, metals, or other products.

There are several types of dermatitis that have different signs and symptoms. Some of these types are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, diaper dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis in infants.

Signs and Symptoms

Both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis manifest as pimples, redness, and itching. Constant scratching injures the skin causing more inflammation, thickening, and burning cracks or fissures. In more severe cases there may be blistering or “weeping skin”. 


It is normal to progress from irritation to inflammation, followed by pimples; however, occasionally, some skins are prone to the instant appearance of a rash with inflammation or burning in the affected area. 



Sometimes the substance or material that is causing the condition can be easily identified. If not, allergy skin tests can be used. This consists of putting different substances in contact with the skin and observing which one it reacts to.


The most important thing is to identify the substance or product that is causing this condition and avoid contact. When doing housework, it is important to use cotton gloves under latex gloves in order to avoid irritation from plastic. 


The medication of choice to treat dermatitis and allergies are topical corticosteroids as they help to quickly reduce inflammation. These should be prescribed by a dermatologist since their inappropriate use may cause adverse effects.