Skin Inflammation: Dermatitis Symptoms and Treatment

Jan 29, 2024 | 3 Min Read

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If you’ve ever had a rash break out or any kind of skin irritation, chances are you’ve experienced dermatitis. This condition, depending on its severity, can be a real challenge for sufferers, but there are ways to help. In this guide, we’ll explore the types of dermatitis, their symptoms and treatments, and preventive measures for maintaining healthy, irritation-free skin.

Dermatitis is a general term for inflammation or irritation of the skin. There are lots of different types of dermatitis, each with its own set of treatments. Some common types include:

  1. Allergic/contact dermatitis, caused by skin coming into contact with an allergen
  2. Seborrheic dermatitis, which usually presents as dandruff
  3. Perioral dermatitis, which presents as small pus-filled bumps around the nose and mouth
  4. Atopic dermatitis, another term for eczema
  5. Stasis dermatitis, usually caused by varicose veins or other circulatory conditions

As there are many types of dermatitis, it can manifest in many forms, each presenting its own set of symptoms.

Common indicators include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • A rash
  • In more severe cases, blistering and oozing

The key to effective treatment lies in recognising these symptoms early on and identifying their cause. If you're experiencing persistent skin discomfort, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and advice on what to do next.

For mild cases of dermatitis, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory creams and ointments containing hydrocortisone can help alleviate itching and redness.
In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid creams or oral medications to control symptoms.
The regular use of fragrance-free moisturisers and emollients can help to maintain skin hydration and prevent flare-ups. Even if the dermatitis seems to have subsided, it’s important to continue a moisturising routine to prevent further problems.
The most important part of managing dermatitis is identifying and avoiding triggers, such as certain soaps, detergents, allergens, and environmental factors.
In cases of chronic dermatitis, phototherapy, which involves exposure to controlled amounts of ultraviolet (UV) light, may be recommended.
Switch your existing skincare and household products to hypoallergenic and fragrance-free options to minimise the risk of skin irritation.
Use mild soaps and lukewarm water to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils. Be sure to thoroughly dry your skin, especially in areas that can get sweaty, and moisturise well with fragrance-free creams.
Wear protective clothing, like gloves or glasses, when handling anything that might irritate your skin. In extreme weather conditions (hot or cold), shield your skin from exposure that might cause irritate.

High stress levels can exacerbate dermatitis symptoms. If you notice your dermatitis worsening during periods of stress, consider practicing some stress management techniques like meditation or mindfulness.

Dermatitis can be a hard condition to get to grips with, but compiling a list of triggers, knowing what to use in a flare up, and keeping up consistent routine can make all the difference. 

If you’re abroad and concerned about your skin reacting to the different features of your environment, Allianz Partners can help. Our international insurance covers diagnostic tests, hospital visits and prescriptions, so you can investigate any new skin condition and get help quickly. For more information, request a call back from our team to chat through your options.
If you are a member and have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article please contact our helpline today to find assistance.