Types of Dermatitis

I never realize that there were so many different types of dermatitis!

When you hear the term, “dermatitis,” you immediately think of a skin rash.

The most common type of dermatitis is “contact dermatitis,” which simply means that an outside irritant such as some types of jewelry, laundry additives, tight clothing or any number of other skin irritants is the cause.  

However, there are a number of other less well-known types of dermatitis and they all have varying causes. Let’s look at a few........................................

Spongiotic Dermatitis

Spongiotic dermatitis, otherwise known as acute eczema, often appears as a diaper rash when one is a baby and more often in males than females over areas of the abdomen, chest or buttocks.

The causes, or “triggers,” vary but include foods, stress, exposure to sunlight, medications, plants, insect bites, or any number of other irritants. It is even possible that Spongiotic dermatitis has a hereditary element.

Since it can result in moderate to severe scarring, immediate treatment is recommended and usually consists of topical lotions, creams and even topical steroids.

Lichenoid Dermatitis

Another little-known type of dermatitis is Lichenoid dermatitis, also known as Lichen Planus, which manifests as a recurring skin rash due to inflammation.

The rash consists of small flat-topped bumps that eventually join together to form rough, scaly patches on the skin.

The most unusual element of Lichenoid dermatitis is the fact that the rash is a lilac color.

It generally appears in the vicinity of the inner wrist, forearms, lower legs just above the ankles, and the lower part of the back, though it can also affect the mouth, nails and genital area.

While there is no cure, treatments such as topical corticosteroids are effective as are antihistamines to reduce itching.

More difficult cases sometimes require further treatment with oral corticosteroids such as Prednisone, retinoid drugs or photo chemotherapy light treatment.

However, this can be a problem, especially in children since your body metabolizes the components found in steroids and other topical drugs.

For most types of dermatitis, you can reduce itching by taking soothing baths with oatmeal or try anti-itch lotions and cleansers that contain skin healing ingredients like Natural Phytosterol, Ceramide 3, and Hyaluronic Acid.

Whatever lotion and cleansers you try make sure it's free of dyes, fragrances, or irritants....the more natural, the better.

Sometimes even wet dressings are helpful. As Lichenoid dermatitis heals, it can leave a brown discoloration on the skin which should fade over time.

Repeat attacks of Lichenoid dermatitis usually occur in 1 in 5 people.

Another extremely common form of dermatitis is Rhus dermatitis, which may sound complicated but is in fact the rash that results from contact with Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac as well as the cashew nut tree, mango tree, Japanese lacquer tree and marking nut tree.

25 to 40 million Americans annually seek medical attention following exposure to the leaf, stem or root of the plant.

These produce a resin called urushiol, which will cling to clothing, tools and under fingernails unless it is removed by immediate washing.

The severity of the rash depends upon the amount and extent of the exposure as well as skin sensitivity.

Common treatments include calamine lotion, though it can cause drying if used too long. Steroid creams and lotions are also useful, with prescription strength ones being the best, but may not be suitable or safe for everyone – especially children.

Cool tub baths with oatmeal can soothe and help reduce inflammation.

Finally, consider using specially formulated, gentle eczema soaps and lotions to sooth and moisturize your skin.

This is especially helpful for babies, children, and aging adults with dry, hypersensitive or wrinkled skin.


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