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What is dermatitis?


Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin. Depending on the type of dermatitis, areas of skin may become red and itchy with some acute attacks causing crusty scales or blisters that ooze fluid.

The symptoms of dermatitis include dry, reddish and itchy skin, or skin inflammation, of which there are many types:

· A red rash that is limited to the area of skin exposed to an irritant is probably contact dermatitis.

· Red, itchy, circular patches of weeping, scaly, or encrusted skin suggest nummular dermatitis, common in older people who have dry skin or live in dry environments.

· Greasy, yellowish scales on the scalp and eyebrows, behind the ears, and around the nose indicate seborrhoeic dermatitis; in infants it is called cradle cap.

· Scaling, sometimes ulcerated skin appearing inside the lower legs and around the ankles, may indicate stasis dermatitis.

· Extreme, persistent itchiness may signal atopic dermatitis (eczema). Very often, however, itchiness results simply from dry skin.