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Dermatitis or Eczema

Dermatitis (also known as Eczema) affects about one in every five people at some time in their lives. It is a chronically relapsing skin disorder. The clinical presentation varies from mild to severe.

Dermatitis can be acute or chronic or both.

  • Acute eczema (or dermatitis) refers to a rapidly evolving red rash which may be blistered, swollen and extremely itchy.
  • Chronic eczema (or dermatitis) refers to longstanding irritable areas. They are often darker than the surrounding skin, thickened (lichenified) and much scratched.

Reasons for Dermatitis:

  • Family history of allergy and atopy.
  • Asthma.
  • Hay Fever.
  • Urticaria (hives).
  • Food allergies and air-born allergies (eg. pollen)
  • Psychological stress can provoke or aggravate dermatitis, presumably by suppressing normal immune mechanisms.

Treatments include: adequate skin hydration, avoidance of allergy causing agents, topical anti-inflammatory medications, antihistamines, antibiotics and/or nutritional advice where appropriate regarding food allergies.