Dermatitis

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Description

Dermatitis is a recurring inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis is a term that describes any inflammatory skin condition.

There are different types of dermatitis: atopic, nummular, seborrheic, contact-irritant, and allergic contact dermatitis. Although dermatitis and eczema are sometimes used interchangeably eczema refers specifically to atopic dermatitis

Dermatitis can affect all ages and both sexes and isn’t contagious

Symptoms

With Dermatitis skin inflammation can produce scaling, flaking, thickening, weeping, crusting, redness, papules or pustules, dry, cracked skin, patches of dry or desquamated skin itching, bumps in hair follicles, and colour changes.

1. Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) is common and affects the scalp. It causes scaly patches, and red skin, This form of dermatitis can also affect oily areas of the body, such as the face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, and chest. Seborrheic dermatitis may go away on its own without treatment

2. Nummular dermatitis (Coin-shaped) most frequently appears after a skin injury, such as an abrasion, burn, or insect bite, there may however be other causes such as allergies, asthma, stress, and environmental irritants. Coin-shaped lesions form that can spread, itch, ooze, and crust over. Nummular dermatitis may last for several months.

3. Atopic dermatitis (Eczema) is a superficial inflammation of the skin, characterised by chronic, itching, dry skin, seen especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees. There may be small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched. In infants, the inflammation may appear on the face and scalp. Atopic dermatitis often occurs in people who have a history of allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever. This condition is common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long-lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically.

4. Contact dermatitis. There are two main types of contact dermatitis:
a. Allergic contact dermatitis symptoms may include”
i. Skin that is dry, scaly, and flaky.
ii. Hives.
iii. Oozing blisters.
iv. Skin redness and burning
v. Extreme skin itchiness.
vi. Sensitivity to the sun.

b. Irritant contact dermatitis symptoms may include:
i. Blistering
ii. Extremely dry skin that leads to cracking
iii. Swelling
iv. Skin that feels stiff or tight
v. Ulcerations
vi. Open sores that form crusts

Treatments

General treatments and considerations:
a. Try to keep your environment humidified, also by taking fewer baths and showers will help not to deplete the natural oils in the skin.
b. Be mindful of clothing that is abrasive or non-breathable e.g. wool and nylon as these may irritate the skin.
c. Skin moisturisers should be perfume-free to avoid irritation. Chemicals found in bubble bath products may also be a factor so avoid soaking in bubble baths for too long.
d. Using a tea-tree-based antiseptic cream on the skin may be beneficial after contact with any irritants or water.
e. Food allergies are a factor and can cause dermatitis so avoid potential food sensitivities and triggers.
f. Colon health is important as poor gut health may have an impact on the skin. Be sure to add fiber to your diet.
g. Primrose oil and Vitamin B6 may assist infants with dermatitis

1. With nummular dermatitis, treatments can include:
a. lotions and bandages.
b. Antihistamines to help with itching.
c. It also helps to avoid irritants such as excess bathing.
d. Managing stress levels
e. Limiting alcohol consumption

2. Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
a. Eliminate potential allergen-causing foods from the diet.
b. Try to use a perfume-free moisturising lotion daily. Avoid using oily or greasy ointments on the skin as this can prevent it from breathing. Avoid using ointments that contain benzocaine or antibiotics. Lanolin in certain skin lotions may also be problematic.
c. Being constipated or having irregular bowel movements can make eczema worse because the skin must eliminate more waste. Add more fiber to your diet and ensure you are sufficiently hydrated.
d. Try to keep your environment humidified. Avoid temperature extremes and physical activity that will promote excessive sweating. Do not use hot water when bathing or showering, rather use warm water.
e. Avoid stress and practice stress-reduction techniques. Stress can exacerbate eczema.
f. Clothing containing synthetic fibers may exacerbate the condition, also avoid using wool garments.

3. For seborrheic dermatitis treatments such as creams, shampoos, or ointments that control inflammation may be useful.

4. Contact dermatitis:
a. Avoid scratching. Scratching may make the irritation worse and in some cases cause a skin infection that requires antibiotics.
b. Wash skin with unperfumed soap and lukewarm water to remove any irritants.
c. Avoid using any products that might be causing irritation to the skin
d. Try using anti-itch treatments such as calamine lotion.

Nutrients and supplements:
1. Eczema formula – for all forms of eczema
2. Allergy formula – for allergic reactions and is a natural antihistamine
3. Vitamin B Complex – required for healthy skin and circulation
4. Buffered Vit C – helps to inhibit inflammation
5. Zinc – aids with healing and enhances the immune function
7. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – a deficiency in B6 may be implicated in seborrheic dermatitis
8. Vitamin D3 – assists in healing tissue

Causes

1. For Atopic dermatitis (Eczema):
a. Metals such as nickel found in watches and jewelry
b. Stress and fatigue
c. History of allergies or hay fever. Common allergens that may cause symptoms  include: Animal fur, egg , fish , dust mites , milk , peanuts, pollen, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat 
d. Pollution
e. Sweat
f. Chemicals such as those found in some washing detergents
g. Clothing that is abrasive or non-breathable e.g. wool and nylon
h. Cigarette smoke
i. Genes

2. The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown although researchers think there may be many factors such as:
a. A type of yeast called Malassezia which is found on everyone’s skin, but overgrows in certain people.
b. An increased level of androgens (a hormone).
c. An inflammatory reaction.
d. An increased level of skin lipids.
e. Genetic factors (where dermatitis runs in the family).
f. Stress.
g. A cold and dry climate.
h. Oily skin.
i. A History of other skin disorders, including rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.

3. Nummular dermatitis may have the following causes:
a. A skin injury, such as an insect bite, abrasion, burn, or a skin infection.
b Stress.
c. Dry air, heat, and humidity.
d. Allergies
e. Asthma
f. Overconsumption of alcohol.
g. Using medications that can cause dry skin.

4a, Allergic contact dermatitis
This is an allergic reaction after the skin has been exposed to a foreign substance. Inflammatory chemicals are released by the body that can make the skin feel itchy and irritated. Common irritants may include:
i. Gold or nickel jewelry
ii. latex gloves
iii Skincare products that contain perfumes or chemicals
iv. Natural irritants such as poison oak or poison ivy

4b. Irritant contact dermatitis
Irritant contact dermatitis is caused when the skin comes into contact with toxic materials. Toxic substances may include:
i. Battery acid
ii. Bleach
iii. Drain cleaners
iv. Petroleum
v. Detergents
vi. Frequent handwashing with soap and water
vii. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers

Underlying Emotions

The mind and emotions play a definite role in the course of atopic dermatitis
With this condition, there is a greater tendency for anxiety, and depression, Evidence supporting this does not necessarily imply that emotion causes the disease, but it becomes apparent that the state of mind may have a definite effect on the course of the condition.

Diet

1. Avoid sugar, chocolate, refined, and processed foods.
2. Food allergies may be a factor so try a gluten-free diet for at least 6 weeks. Re-introduce gluten-containing foods after 6 weeks one by one and see if the condition changes or worsens. Also avoid cow’s milk, eggs, soy products, nuts, fish, shellfish, and strawberries.
3. Avoid any foods containing raw eggs, as eggs contain avidin. Avidin is a protein that binds to biotin preventing it from being absorbed. A Biotin deficiency may lead to thinning hair and rashes on the face.

Remedies

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