Dermatitis Treatment NYC
Red, itchy skin can be a frustrating problem. In our Manhattan office, patients of all ages can obtain the assistance they need to manage skin health and unexpected rashes.
Both Dr. Quintana and Lucinda were wonderful! They were friendly and helpful, and I felt that my concerns were well addressed. The office environment was also very calm and pleasant, which made for a nice visit as well. – Alexandra W.
What Is Dermatitis?
Dermatitis is the term that is commonly used to describe skin inflammation. There are several ways in which dermatitis may occur and various symptoms that indicate inflammation. Usually, a condition that causes the skin to swell, redden, and itch is referred to as dermatitis.
Skin rashes are relatively common in all age groups. Usually, a rash is not contagious. However, itching and inflammation can become uncomfortable. With self-care tips and professional medical treatment, it is possible to reduce existing symptoms and decrease the risk of future flare-ups.
Symptoms of Dermatitis
The general symptoms of dermatitis include:
- Redness in the affected area
- Hives or welts
- Flaking skin
The type and degree of symptoms may vary based on the type of dermatitis one has developed.
What Causes Dermatitis?
Skin inflammation and itching may result from several factors. During a skin examination in our dermatology office, we observe symptoms as way of understanding what the underlying cause of irritation may be. Some common factors include:
- Contact with an allergen or irritant, such as
- poison ivy or perfume
- Dry skin or other environmental factors
- Immune system disfunction or genetic predisposition
- Fungus (yeast) that is present in the oil secreted by the skin
Risks Factors for Dermatitis
There are several factors that may increase a person’s risk for developing dermatitis in one form or another. These include:
- Asthma or allergies.
- Age (certain types of dermatitis tend to develop in infancy).
- Health conditions that affect the immune system or the skin.
- Occupation in which there is contact with potential irritants.
Can You Prevent Dermatitis?
There is no way to completely avoid risks for dermatitis because there is such a wide variety of factors that may lead to skin irritation. However, if there is a propensity toward skin rashes or sensitivities, steps may be taken to decrease the risk of a full-blown rash developing. These include lifestyle remedies such as:
- Choose cleaning products and hygiene products that are free of fragrance and dye. Consider soaps and shampoos formulated for sensitive skin and without chemicals such as sulfates and parabens.
- Keep water temperature in the lukewarm range when bathing. Hot water depletes the skin of moisture.
- Add oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil to bath water.
- Dry skin carefully by patting rather than rubbing harshly.
- Apply appropriate moisturizers depending on the season. Skin needs moisturizing right after a shower and, sometimes, several times a day. Moisturizers should be fragrance and dye free and may be layered as needed.
Types of Dermatitis
Dermatitis may look different based on the type of irritation that has occurred. Different types of dermatitis also tend to develop on specific parts of the body. The common types of dermatitis seen by dermatologists include:
- Contact dermatitis. This inflammatory rash occurs when the skin reacts to an allergen or irritant. Contact dermatitis may result from wearing jewelry with nickel or from nickel in a pants button. Chemicals in soap, cleaning products, essential oils or perfumes can also cause a rash that stings, itches, burns, or blisters.
- Seborrheic dermatitis. This type of rash may look red and scaly. Dandruff or cradle cap may also indicate that the epidermis has become irritated from oil in the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis may occur in areas where oil production is more prevalent, such as the face, chest, and back.
- Atopic dermatitis. This rash is also known as eczema. Atopic dermatitis may be related to allergies or asthma and may be seen in families. The condition is chronic and may first be noticed in infancy. Eczema flare-ups may occur periodically and appear as redness and itching in areas where skin flexes, such as behind the knees or in the bend of the elbow.
Treatment for Dermatitis
Depending on the type and severity of dermatitis that has developed, medical care may be needed. See a dermatologist if:
- A rash is preventing normal activities or is disrupting sleep
- Skin irritation becomes painful or coincides with a fever
- A rash looks like it may be infected
- Home remedies are not decreasing or managing symptoms
Medical care for dermatitis is developed based on the symptoms observed during a dermatologic exam. Often, symptoms can be treated or controlled with a corticosteroid cream or with medication that affects the immune system. In some instances, phototherapy may be considered to bring dermatitis symptoms under control.