Skin Dermatitis – The Basics

Skin DermatitisSkin Dermatitis

Skin dermatitis is actually a general condition that refers to the inflammation of the skin. The causes of the condition vary and can come in different types. Oftentimes, its classification would depend on what caused the condition.


According to Mayo Clinic, this disorder usually involves an itchy rash on swollen, reddened skin.


Skin affected by dermatitis may blister, ooze, develop a crust or flake off. Examples of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis (eczema), dandruff, and rashes caused by contact with poison ivy or certain metals.


Dermatitis is a common condition that usually isn’t life-threatening or contagious. Even so, it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A combination of self-care steps and medications can help you treat dermatitis.


Source: Mayo Clinic


Out of the different types of skin dermatitis, there is one that is most common, and that is allergic contact dermatitis. This is brought about by an allergic reaction of the skin when it comes in contact with some material.


According to, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your immune system reacts against a specific substance. The substance is then called an allergen. You only need a small amount of allergen in contact with your skin to cause the rash.


You are not born with this type of allergy – you must have previously come into contact with the allergen which has sensitised your immune system. Once sensitised, your skin reacts and becomes inflamed when it comes into further contact with the allergen. This is why you can suddenly develop a skin allergy to something you have come into contact with many times before. It is not clear why some people become allergic to some substances and most people do not.


Many substances can cause an allergic contact dermatitis. Common ones include:


  • Nickel – this is the most common cause. Nickel occurs in many types of metal. For example: jewellery, studs in jeans and other clothes, bra straps, etc. So it is common to develop itchy red patches on the skin next to such things.
  • Cobalt – traces of this metal may be found in some jewellery.
  • Cosmetics – particularly perfumes, hair dyes, preservatives and nail varnish resins.
  • Additives to leather and rubber (in shoes, clothes, etc).
  • Preservatives in creams and ointments.
  • Plants – the most common culprits being chrysanthemums, sunflowers, daffodils, tulips and primula.




If you have been previously diagnosed of being allergic from any of the stuff mentioned here, it is best to avoid them so as to lessen the risk of getting skin dermatitis.

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