The main types of dermatitis: typical manifestations and danger to others

Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that can occur due to a variety of irritants: allergens, aggressive chemicals, fungi, and adverse weather factors. Chronic inflammation of the skin also occurs in psoriasis, but in this case the condition is distinguished as a separate disease, and dermatitis is a collective concept, a syndrome that may not refer to any specific disease, arising periodically. 

How does dermatitis manifest itself

When dermatitis occurs, the barrier functions of the skin are disrupted, it becomes inflamed, the following symptoms may occur:

  • dryness and flaking;
  • itching and irritation;
  • redness;
  • erosion and ulcers;
  • rash, blisters with contents of different composition and consistency;
  • in the future, the blisters can burst, forming weeping areas;
  • puffiness and swelling.

Types of dermatitis

Dermatitis is classified depending on the cause of the occurrence. The following types are distinguished:

  • atopic – caused by excessive skin sensitivity to environmental factors, the genetic nature of atopy is assumed; 
  • traumatic – appears as a result of mechanical injury to the skin;
  • medicinal – an adverse reaction to any pharmaceuticals;
  • thermal – burns or frostbite;
  • allergic – a skin reaction to any factor that leads to an increase in histamine levels;
  • seborrheic – occurs on those areas of the skin that are actively supplied with sebaceous glands, manifested by the occurrence of dandruff, acne;
  • herpetic dermatitis – associated with the defeat of the body with herpes;
  • infectious, such as scabies or lichen;
  • contact – a reaction to an external irritant factor.

You may have already heard the concept of “contact dermatitis”. This is not a separate type, but a type of dermatitis, which is caused by direct skin contact with a damaging factor. For example, allergic dermatitis can be contact if you used a detergent to which your skin reacted, or it could be non-contact if the allergen was in the air or food.

Is dermatitis contagious

In the vast majority of cases, dermatitis is not contagious to others and does not pose any threat to them, because it is caused by an individual skin reaction to an irritant. If we analyze the reasons for the development of dermatitis, it becomes clear that a reaction to chemicals, sun, cold, rough clothes, excessive activity of the sebaceous glands, allergies or diathesis cannot be transmitted to anyone. This is an individual feature of the skin of a particular person. Atopic, allergic, contact, cold and other similar types of dermatitis cannot be transmitted from person to person in any way.  

But there are exceptions, for example, with seborrheic dermatitis, the scalp is often infected with fungi of the Malassezia species, therefore, antimycotic shampoos are prescribed for the treatment of dandruff. If a person with seborrheic dermatitis uses one comb with a healthy one, the other may also develop dandruff over time. The same applies to herpes, scabies and other dermatitis that are infectious in nature.

Treatment for dermatitis is selected individually, depending on which factor caused it. 

event_note September 10, 2021

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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