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Dermatitis is a common condition that describes inflammation of the skin. There are several forms of dermatitis but usually the condition leads to itching, pain and a skin rash that may be formed of blisters or red, swollen bumps.
Some of the different types of dermatitis include:
Also called eczema, atopic dermatitis is one of the most common forms of dermatitis. The condition usually develops during childhood and affects almost 10 to 20% of children in developed countries, compared with only 1 to 3% of adults.
Atopic dermatitis has become almost three times as common in the US over the last three or four decades. The condition leads to dry, red and itchy skin that may crack, ooze fluid and form crusts. This can lead to scarred and thickened skin in affected areas.
Contact dermatitis refers to a skin reaction that occurs on contact with a particular substance. The substance may be either an irritant that causes physical damage to the skin or an allergen that triggers an immune response leading to skin symptoms.
Irritant contact dermatitis is much more common than allergic contact dermatitis, with irritants accounting for 80% of contact dermatitis cases. Some examples of substances that trigger contact dermatitis include soaps, detergents, metals, cosmetics, jewellery, perfumes, latex, rubber, certain topical medications and plants such as poison ivy.