The term ‘dermatitis is often used interchangeably with ‘eczema.’ However, the latter is characterized by itchy, red, dry patches of skin. It is a non-contagious skin condition that can develop just about anywhere on your body. However, it’s most commonly found on the chest, elbows, hands, scalp, feet, and knees.
It is estimated that one in four Americans has eczema. It’s also essential to understand that not everyone that suffers from it shows the same symptoms. Only a consultation with a certified and experienced dermatologist would help determine what type of dermatitis or eczema you have.
We at Mohave Dermatology provide specialized treatments for all types of skin problems including dermatitis or eczema.
Our team of expert dermatologists has treated thousands of patients with similar problems, very successfully.
Types of Dermatitis or Eczema
There are several different types of dermatitis and eczema, depending on what triggered the condition and where the rash is located. While all of these share some common symptoms like itchiness, there are some differences. Some of the most common types of eczema include:
- Atopic Dermatitis
This is the most prevalent type of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is believed to be caused due to the abnormal functioning of the immune system in the body. Itchy and inflamed skin are common symptoms. This condition can be hereditary, and about two-thirds of individuals that develop this type of eczema start showing signs before the age of one. The skin condition typically flares up and wanes intermittently throughout the person’s life.
- Contact Dermatitis
This type of dermatitis flares up when the skin comes into contact with irritants or allergy-producing agents. Determining what the triggering allergen is, becomes key to proper treatment and prevention. Different types of allergens can cause contact dermatitis, and some of the commonest ones include laundry detergent, jewelry, cosmetics, fabrics, diapers, perfume, and poison sumac /poison ivy.
- Dyshidrotic Dermatitis
This form of eczema surfaces on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. It produces deep, clear blisters that burn and itch constantly. Dyshidrotic dermatitis breaks out on the skin most frequently during in warm climates and the hot summer months.
This condition is also referred to as Lichen Simplex Chronicus. It is a chronic skin inflammation that is a result of the continuous cycle of itching & scratching in response to localized itches, like mosquito bites. It ends up creating scaly patches of skin, in areas like the wrists, forearms, head or lower legs. Over time, the skin in these areas may become leathery and thick.
- Nummular Dermatitis
This type of eczema shows up as round patches of inflamed skin that might be extremely itchy, scaly and crusted. This type of eczema most frequently surfaces on the lower legs, buttocks, arms, and back, and is typically a chronic condition.
- Stasis Dermatitis
Also referred to as varicose eczema, this form of dermatitis is a skin irritation which shows up on the lower legs of elderly and middle-aged people. Vein and circulation problems usually cause the condition. Reddish-brown discoloration on the skin and itching are common symptoms. As this condition progresses, it can also lead to skin lesions, blistering, and oozing.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
In this condition, yellowish, scaly, and oily patches occur on the scalp, face, or other parts of the body. Cradle cap, in infants and dandruff in adults are both types of seborrhea dermatitis. Unlike various types of eczema, this condition doesn’t always itch, and it can be hereditary. Common triggers include oily skin, weather, infrequent shampooing, and emotional stress.
What Causes Eczema?
Regardless of the form, dermatitis can be painful, itchy, and unsightly. It may affect any areas of your skin but generally appears behind the knees and on the arms. The exact cause of eczema isn’t known. However, many different factors could cause it, such as:
- Hormonal changes (puberty, menstruation, pregnancy)
- Circulatory problems
- Environmental triggers (fruit/vegetable juices, soaps, detergents)
- Allergens (pets, mold, pollen)
- Various foods (nuts, dairy soy)
- Insect bites
- Certain fabrics
If you suspect that you have eczema, its best to schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists. While there currently isn’t any cure for eczema, our expert dermatologists help a significant number of dermatitis patients per year. They have in-depth knowledge of and experience in treating different types of dermatitis successfully. Depending on the type and phase of dermatitis, some of the treatment options include:
- Routine and regular miniaturization of the scaly, itchy dry skin
- Prescription topical steroid ointments and creams
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory ointments and creams
- Oral antihistamines are often required to decrease the itchy sensation
- Oral antibiotics might be needed in case there is an infection.
Our Treatment Approach
Our certified and experienced dermatologists understand that skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema can be bothersome. The skin inflammation and itchiness can also make you very self-conscious in social and professional settings.
What makes our approach different is that we focus on you as an individual. We have the experience and knowledge to establish your form of eczema/dermatitis from a visual examination. Our experts can also determine what the triggers for your specific condition are, from a thorough evaluation during your consultation.
We will make the diagnosis based on the appearance of your skin, and by asking various questions related to the substances, you might have come in contact with. Sometimes, skin patches or patch testing may be needed to determine what the cause of the reaction is. These tests are typically required for people that have repeated or long-term contact dermatitis.
Other tests might be used to eliminate other possible causes, including a culture of the skin lesion/skin lesion biopsy. Once we have established the root cause of the condition, our dermatologist will work with you to find the best possible treatment path.
Our team of experts is here to provide all the information you need about our services. You can also schedule an appointment with us, via this online form.