The terms eczema and dermatitis are often used interchangeably to describe the same condition. Dermatitis is characterized by a rash, dryness of skin, itching, and redness of skin. The symptoms of dermatitis occur due to the over production of damaging inflammatory skin cells and continue to worsen as a result of certain factors in the environment.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Basic Facts On Dermatitis

Dermatitis is the most common inflammatory disease of the skin. It affects 15 million adults and children - 6% of all Americans.

Dermatitis nearly always begins within the first 5 years of life and while 50% of cases will be outgrown, the remainder will persist throughout a lifetime.

The exact cause of dermatitis is not known, but genetic factors are thought to play a role in the development of this disease.

Persons with dermatitis often have allergies or asthma, as well. Various materials such as wool can cause a worsening of symptoms.

Dermatitis appears as redness, scaling and/or small blisters (vesicles) on the head, face, neck, or the insides of the elbows, wrists, and knees. These characteristic features are often masked by secondary lesions such as crusting, excoriations, infection, or irritation from topical treatments.There is no cure for dermatitis.

Current therapy is directed at suppressing the inflammation and reducing triggering factors with topical treatments and ultraviolet light therapy.