Dermatitis: Treatments, types and symptoms
Dermatitis, put simply, means ‘inflammation of the skin’. It can be characterised by any skin condition where the skin is red, itchy, swollen or sore, but this doesn’t mean that every skin condition is caused by Dermatitis. There are many different types of Dermatitis but the two most common are Contact Dermatitis and Atopic Dermatitis.
Contact Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that is triggered by coming into contact with a particular substance or irritant. There are two types of Contact Dermatitis: Allergic Dermatitis and Irritant Dermatitis. The first, is where the body responds to a substance that the skin comes into contact with, and the second is where the outer layer of the skin is damaged by a substance, which then leads to irritation. Many of the skincare products we use every day contain irritants and chemicals such as Mineral Oils, which can damage the skin and cause irritation. Some people will react to an irritant after a single exposure, whereas others may be able to use a product but then over time, develop symptoms in response to repeated exposure. Even mild irritants can cause strong reactions which can be sore, painful and a hindrance on everyday life. Common irritants and products that can trigger Contact Dermatitis include bleach, products such as soaps and deodorants and even airborne substances such as dust.
Atopic Dermatitis is usually a long lasting (chronic) skin condition which causes skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. It seems to be more common in babies and children, but can improve or go away over time. Sometimes, Atopic Dermatitis will not become a problem until adulthood, but in both cases, the skin can be prone to dryness and easy to irritate. Atopic Dermatitis is often labelled as Eczema and both are very similar, in that they can often come alongside Asthma, Hayfever or other allergies and can be more common in affected families.
The symptoms of Dermatitis can be:
- A rash that appears suddenly and makes the skin dry, scaly, and itchy
- A rash that forms on the scalp and face
- Skin that burns, blisters or becomes increasingly sore
- Skin that can bubble up, then ooze or weep fluid
- Non-stop itching
- Trouble sleeping
- Skin infections, due to rubbing and scratching
Treatment for Dermatitis
It is easier to treat Dermatitis if you know what is causing it, but there are measures that can be taken to improve symptoms even if the exact type is not known:
- Keep skin moisturised at all times, as dry skin will make the condition worse. We recommend using a natural, perfume-free and steroid-free moisturiser such as our Recuperating Cream, always after showering and anytime the skin starts to feel dry or sore throughout the day. This will protect and hydrate, helping the skin to begin the healing process
- Reduce itching and scratching, try to keep skin cool and avoid extremely hot baths or showers, which could dry the skin out further
- Avoid products which contain harsh chemicals, strong perfumes or other known irritants. Use gentle shower and bath products, such as our Hair and Body Complex and our Eczema Moisturising Oil, which are much gentler on the skin than traditional body washes and shampoos. These products contain ingredients which have been chosen for their anti-inflammatory properties, to leave skin feeling calm and restored
- Stay hydrated – drinking water and hydrating your body from the inside out, will help to improve the condition of the skin
- Stay calm and try to rest! When we are stressed, skin conditions can worsen and our immune system is compromised, making it more difficult for skin to repair and heal
- Topical Steroids are often given by healthcare providers to treat Dermatitis and reduce inflammation but they can have significant side effects. Using a natural cream or Recuperating Lotion at the first sign of trouble, is often a better alternative to keep skin soft, smooth and calm at all times
For help treating your Dermatitis, view the Dermatique shop where all of the products only contain the ingredients they need to restore skin back to health. We choose every ingredient for its reputable and tested benefits, to help bring your skin back into balance.