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Eczema Treatment & Contact Dermatitis Symptoms

Dermatitis is a general term for a collection of skin inflammation disorders. Often characterized by itchy rashes, redness, swelling, discoloration or blistering, the severity of dermatitis is varied. The two main types of skin dermatitis are atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, and contact dermatitis, which is a skin reaction caused by contact with certain substances.

The expert dermatologists at University Hospitals have the skill and expertise to diagnose and treat all types of dermatitis. We offer comprehensive patch testing and photo-patch testing to diagnose and evaluate patients. Depending on the severity, dermatitis treatments include topical creams or ointments, oral medications or phototherapy.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin disorder that causes dry, itchy and scaly patches on the skin. It is most common in infants and young children, but symptoms may persist into the teens and adulthood.

Atopic dermatitis tends to run in families and is also associated with asthma and allergies. Treatments may include antihistamines, steroid creams, oral antibiotics and UV light therapy or chemophototherapy (PUVA).

Contact Dermatitis

Exposure to skin irritants may trigger allergic contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis causes include but are not limited to:

  • Certain foods
  • Latex
  • Lotions
  • Medications
  • Perfumes and cosmetics
  • Plants such as poison ivy
  • Soaps and detergents

Contact dermatitis symptoms may include mild inflammation of the skin, redness and swelling, blistering, itching and scaly skin. Mild contact dermatitis can usually be treated at home with cold compresses and over-the-counter creams and medications. However, if a reaction is persistent or severe, UH dermatology specialists may recommend oral or injected steroids or other prescription medications.

Contact Dermatitis and Occupational Dermatology

Testing services are available for specialized evaluation and education of patients with allergic contact dermatitis and irritant dermatitis. Environmental and industrial-induced dermatitis are evaluated, including work-related dermatitis disability.