Dermatitis is a general term that describes skin inflammation involving itchy, dry skin or swollen, red skin. A common condition, it has many causes and comes in a variety of forms.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the many different types of dermatitis, as well as suggest some natural treatments.
Types of Dermatitis
Dyshidrotic Eczema (DE)—characterized by small blisters filled with clear liquid. Usually, these blisters appear on the hands and feet and are often very itchy and painful. Once blisters clear (after about 2-3 weeks), the skin underneath is typically cracked, red, and dry.
For treatment, we recommend this moisturizing Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. It’s excellent for soothing irritated skin and provides nourishment from its Manuka, organic tree nut-free oils and beeswax ingredients.
Suffering from painful blisters? Find out how to treat eczema blisters naturally.
Seborrheic Dermatitis—typically begins as stubborn dandruff on the scalp, which develops into scaly patches, red skin, increased irritation, and even crust on the scalp. Affected areas can be sore and itchy with greasy-looking skin flakes. In severe cases, itchiness and sensitivity can extend to oily areas on the body including behind the ears, over the eyebrows, on the side of the nose, and around the chest.
Perioral dermatitis—a form of dermatitis that appears as a scaly or red bumpy rash around the mouth. In some cases, there may be a clear fluid discharge as well as redness or a burning sensation.
It commonly appears in women between 16 and 45 years old, but it can affect men and children as well. While the exact cause is unknown, research suggests it may be triggered by the use of topical steroids applied to the face.
Stasis dermatitis—a skin inflammation that develops in those who have poor circulation - which explains why it most commonly occurs in the lower leg.
Typical characteristics include swollen legs and feet, open sores, scaling, itchy and reddish skin, and calf tenderness.
Contact Dermatitis—an itchy, red rash that develops in response to direct contact with a substance in the environment. Essentially, it is an allergic reaction.
Common irritants include fragrances, animal dander, dust mites, cosmetics, and pollen. Also known as contact eczema, it usually affects the hands, arms, face, and legs.
To prevent contact dermatitis on your hands, try these Eczema Gloves for Adults or kids. Made from biodegradable bamboo, they can be used along with moisturizer to promote faster healing. Remedywear™, clothing for eczema also offers a variety of garments that can help protect skin from irritants while soothing it with TENCEL and anti-inflammatory. Some of our favorites are:
Check out our selection of Remedywear clothing perfect for contact dermatitis here.
Nummular Dermatitis—a chronic condition that causes ‘coin-shaped’ patches to appear on the skin. These patches are itchy and swollen, and may become crusty or ooze a clear liquid. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, they usually don’t affect the face or scalp.
Neurodermatitis—starts as an itchy patch of skin on the arm, leg, or on the back of the neck. In some cases, it can develop in the anal or genital areas. The itchy-scratch cycle associated with this condition causes the skin to appear thick and leathery. The urge to itch is typically heightened when under stress.
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)—an auto-immune condition linked to celiac disease. Symptoms include raised, red patches of skin with blisters that burst with scratching, accompanied by intense itching and stinging. The rash most commonly appears on the knees, buttocks and elbows.
While it can develop at any age, it typically affects those between 50 and 69 years old.
Atopic Dermatitis—a common skin disease in children that can also affect adults. More commonly known as simply ‘eczema’, it is characterized by dry, scaly patches that appear on the scalp, forehead, cheeks and face. As a chronic condition, its symptoms tend to flare periodically.
While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it is believed to be triggered by a number of factors such as:
Air borne allergens: Anything in the environment can trigger eczema including dampness, house dust mites, pollen, and moulds. Other environmental factors include extreme hot or cold weather, as well as pet fur.
Food allergies: Common food triggers include dairy, eggs, nuts, spices, and gluten. Bear in mind that there is a difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity. While undergoing an elimination diet may be helpful in determining which foods are causing flare ups, remember to always work with a dietician, nutritionist or physician to ensure you are still getting all the essential nutrients. To learn more about your body’s relationship with diet, we recommend reading The Eczema Diet Book.
Fabric Irritants: Common fabric irritants include latex, polyester, nylon, and wool. Try wearing hypoallergenic or latex-free eczema clothing instead. Discover why eczema clothing is an important part of eczema therapy.
Medications: Creams and ointments used to treat atopic eczema can trigger eczema in individuals - particularly if they contain chemicals or harsh toxins. If this occurs, discontinue use immediately and speak to your doctor. Learn how you can naturally treat your eczema here.
Psoriasis— while technically not a form a dermatitis, psoriasis is often confused with eczema. This autoimmune condition affects 125 million people worldwide and normally occurs in both men and women equally.
Psoriasis is characterized by scaly red, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales and is typically found on the elbows, scalp, lower back, and knees.
To treat psoriasis, we recommend this 20% Pine Tar Soap because it helps restore the skin’s natural appearance and reduces the inflammation, itching and scaling associated with psoriasis. This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is also a wonderful treatment for psoriasis, as it acts as an intensive moisturizer.
If you suffer from dermatitis or psoriasis, let us know your favourite natural treatments!
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes.