Dermatitis is a congenital skin condition.
It is an inflammatory condition of the skin caused by outside agents. Contrast this with eczema, an endogenous disease in which outside agents do NOT play a primary role.
- Primary irritant dermatitis may occur in anyone who has sufficient contact with irritants such as acids, alkalis, solvents and (especially) detergents.
- Primary irritant dermatitis is the commonest cause of occupational dermatitis in hairdressers, nurses, cooks etc..
- In the case of allergic contact dermatitis skin changes resembling those of eczema develop as a delayed reaction to contact with a particular allergen, which may be present at low concentrations.
- In women one of the most common types of allergic contact dermatitis is nickel dermatitis due to the metal nickel used in jewellery, jeans studs etc.
- In men chromium dermatitis is relatively common.
- Treatment of dermatitis depends on removing the cause, which is not always possible.
- Dermititis herpetiformis is an uncommon very itchy rash with symmetrical blistering, especially on the knees, elbows, buttocks and shoulders. It is related to sensitivity to gluten.