Dermatitis is a common term for red, inflamed, often dry and itchy skin. There are different types of dermatitis — including atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis – which can have similar symptoms, but different causes and triggers. Atopic dermatitis, which often appears in early childhood, can be chronic or long-lasting – it typically presents as red, itchy, dry, scaly or cracked skin and patching outbreaks on any part of the body (including face, neck, chest, arms, elbows, knees or feed) and can include small, red, raised bumps on the skin that may blister, crack and ooze when scratched.
While contact dermatitis may present with similar symptoms as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to a substance that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction – including detergents, chemicals, bleach, dust, shampoo, makeup, or metals like nickel in jewelry or zippers, as well as other triggers that can cause your skin to have an allergic reaction when you touch them, such as a wool sweater, poison ivy and perfumes.
Although they may have different causes, treatment for atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis are often the same. Topical corticosteroid creams and oral antihistamines are often recommended to help reduce inflammation and itching. In addition, a short course of oral steroids, such as prednisone, is sometimes prescribed if the rash is severe or is not responding to topical steroids and antihistamines.
If you are experiencing symptoms of either atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ros and her team to have your skin checked and treated. Call us at either our North Bergen office at (201) 255-4046 or our Clifton office at (973) 472-1000, or email us.