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Dermatitis -overview

Here a primary external factor is not responsible for the manifestation -it is mediated by inflammatory processes and pharmacological intervention is required

Atopic eczema / atopic dermatitis most common form of eczema, particularly in children ( occurs in all ages ) chronic disorder presents with generalised skin dryness , itch and rash-favours the skin creases pathology is not well known but it is thought to happen due to a complex interplay between defects in skin barrier function , environmental and infectious agents and immune dysregulation

Asteatotic eczema ( eczema craquele ) also known as xerosis ( dry skin ) starts with dry skin often during winter months leading to skin cracks ( criss-cross pattern which look like crazy paving or a dried-up river bed ) and fissures seen frequently in the elderly

Seborrhoeic dermatitis chronic dermatitis which affects scalp , face , chest , back , axilla and groin ( areas rich in sebaceous glands ) presents as flaky , greasy , erythematous patches inflammatory response to a common skin organism Malassezia 

Nummular ( discoid ) eczema sharply defined , oval or coin shaped , erythematous eczematous plaques often described also by other terms as Pompholyx , dyshidrotic eczema intensely pruritic lesion which can be multiple , symmetrically distributed often affecting the lower limbs followed by upper limbs.

Neurodermatitis – lichen simplex a localised area of eczema due to repeated rubbing or scratching skin is scaly and thick ( hypertrophic ) it can be due to a primary reason for e,g psychological or secondary to other cutaneous issues as eczema or psoriasis

Endogenous vesicular hand ( and foot ) eczema also known as pompholyx , dyshidrotic, vesicular eczema affects hands and feet- often co-exists with atopic eczema intensely itchy vesicles or bullae called pedopompholyx when it affects the feet

Stasis ( gravitational ) dermatitis / Venous eczema due to chronic venous insufficiency inflammatory process often present along with oedema as poorly demarcated erythematous plaques b/l in lower legs clinical manifestations can include erythema , scaling , weeping , crusting , hyperpigmentation , lipodermatosclerosis and ulcerations.

Here a well defined trigger can be identified and removing the cause if possible can achieve remission 

Irritant contact dermatitis more common of the two seen in about 80 % of all contact dermatitis no immune mechanism in play and happens when skin comes in contact with substances and / or environmental factors that injure the skin and damaging the skin barrier seen more often in people with atopic dermatitis- common skin irritants are water , soaps , hand sanitisers

Allergic contact dermatitis when a specific allergy develops and the immune system over-reacts to some substance when they come in contact with the skin delayed allergic reaction triggers can be substances as metals ( e.g.nickel and cobalt ) , latex rubber , adhesives , plants , scents , cleaning agents , solvents , topical medications

Dermatophytide ( Id or Ide reaction ) spontaneous development of widespread dermatitis distant from a local inflammatory focus -autoeczematization ( secondary rashes ) various forms have been described in literature with common ones being e.g distant dermatitis in patients with chronic eczematous leg ulcer , acute vesicular eczema or pompolyx on hand and feet in patients with tinea ( dermatophyte )

Eczematous polymorphic light eruption ( PMLE ) most common of the immunologically mediated photosensitivity dermatoses several variants have been described , a rash develops a few days after exposure to sunlight in spring or summer can affect women particularly age 20-40 in areas as N Europe , considered to be a delayed allergic reaction to Ultraviolet radiation

Infective dermatitis it is as a severe form of recurrent skin changes that present in childhood considered as a cutaenous manifestation of HTLV-1 infection an oozing dermatitis which affects the scalp , face , retroauricular areas , the neck , intertriginous area such as axilla and groin

Post-traumatic dermatitis happening at the sites of chemical , physical , mechanical or surgical trauma

Acute -erythema and moderate to intense degrees of inflammation erosions , oozing and vesicles

Subacute -erythema and scaling redness, swelling , crust , scale , infection

Chronic -from uncontrolled scratching and or continuing irritation lichenification , dark pigmentation and thick papules and plaques


  1. Specht S, Persaud Y. Asteatotic Eczema. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
  2. Givler DN, Basit H, Givler A. Pityriasis Alba. 2021 Oct 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 28613715. ( Abstract )
  3. [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Allergic contact dermatitis: Overview. [Updated 2020 May 7]. Available from:
  4. Kapur, Sandeep et al. “Atopic dermatitis.” Allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology : official journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology vol. 14,Suppl 2 52. 12 Sep. 2018, doi:10.1186/s13223-018-0281-6
  5. Charifa A, Badri T, Harris BW. Lichen Simplex Chronicus. 2021 Aug 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 29763167. ( Abstract )
  6. Leung AKC, Lam JM, Leong KF, Leung AAM, Wong AHC, Hon KL. Nummular Eczema: An Updated Review. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2020;14(2):146-155. doi: 10.2174/1872213X14666200810152246. PMID: 32778043. ( Abstract )
  7. Clark GW, Pope SM, Jaboori KA. Diagnosis and treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Am Fam Physician. 2015 Feb 1;91(3):185-90. PMID: 25822272. ( Abstract )
  8. Eczema and its management : A Guide for Healthcare Professionals National Eczema Society
  9. Dermatitis ( Eczema ) including Occupational Dermatitis Synopsis of Causation Dr Tony Woolfson et al September 2008
  10. Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology Edited by Christopher Griffiths et al Wiley Blackwell
  11. Oakley AM, Ramsey ML. Polymorphic Light Eruption. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
  12. Dermnetz


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