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Dermatitis Rash

Dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin, and is characterized by the development of rashes. The changes in the skin could occur due to skin conditions such as eczema or contact with an irritant or allergen. This write-up provides information on some of the common types of inflammatory skin conditions.
Smita Pandit
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Dermatitis is a broad term that is used to refer to the skin conditions associated with the inflammation of the skin. Inflammation of the skin may manifest in the form of skin eruptions or rashes. The skin could become inflamed if it comes into contact with an allergen or an irritant.
Contributing Factors
A dermatitis rash could be caused due to the following skin conditions:
Atopic Eczema
This inflammatory skin condition is considered to be idiopathic, which means that its exact cause is unknown. However, it is believed that genetic factors might play a role. So, the risk is higher, if it runs in the family. It is believed to have a connection with other diseases like asthma and hay fever. It gives rise to scaly, red patches on the skin that itch. It is also characterized by weeping, cracking, and scaling of skin. Scratching over the rash can also cause the skin to split, and make one susceptible to secondary bacterial infections.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
The skin could become inflamed due to exposure to an irritant or allergen. Some people might develop a red itchy rash, when the skin comes into contact with substances such as acids, hair dyes, rubber gloves, pesticides, soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, chemicals, and solvents. Single exposure to a strong irritant or repeated exposure to mild irritants can give rise to redness, burning/stinging sensation, and soreness of the area of the skin that has come into contact with an irritant.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
This skin condition is caused due to exposure to an allergen. Once a person comes into contact with a substance that the immune system considers to be a potential threat, the next time one is exposed to that substance, the skin reacts and becomes inflamed. Though the symptoms include redness, itching, and scaling of the skin that comes into contact with the allergen, other parts of the body might also develop red, itchy, skin eruptions in some cases. The main way to prevent this skin problem is to avoid the allergen. Stay away from substances that trigger such a reaction on your skin. Exposure to poison ivy, metals such as nickel or cobalt, adhesives, chemicals present in soaps, detergents, shower gels, perfumes, cosmetics, etc., could cause the inflammation of the skin.
Nummular Eczema
This is a type of eczema that is characterized by small papules, that start as itchy patches of pimples and blisters. These small papules merge to form coin-shaped itchy lesions. These might ooze for days and then form crusts. The nummular rash is accompanied by severe itching and burning sensation. Though the causes of this inflammatory skin condition are not known, it has been seen that dry weather conditions can aggravate the symptoms of this kind of eczema. Such coin-shaped rashes often develop on arms and legs, but can also spread to the torso. Inflamed patches of skin on hands or feet can be caused due to dyshidrotic eczema. Redness, scaling, and appearance of blisters are symptomatic of this type of eczema. Rashes on the scalp could be caused due to seborrheic eczema.
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, consult a dermatologist soon. Dermatologists usually recommend the use of antihistamines, emollients, and topical/oral steroids. The avoidance of irritants and allergens is the best way to prevent contact dermatitis.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.