Dermatitis - what is it, what causes it and how to prevent it

By Antonette Golikidis, Little Innoscents

PBC Expo spoke with Antonette from Little Innoscents to get the facts on Dermatitis.

What is dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a term for several skin inflammations, the most common being contact dermatitis. Other types include atopic dermatitis (eczema) and seborrheic dermatitis (different forms of this include dandruff in adults and cradle cap in newborns).

How to recognise dermatitis

Symptoms vary with each form of dermatitis but generally include red, itchy, scaly and/or inflamed skin. Blisters may develop that can ooze if scratched. Contact dermatitis is often found where an irritant has made contact with the skin, for example a detergent. Other forms of dermatitis favour different areas including the folds of elbows and arms, knees, wrists, face, and hands. Dermatitis can range from mild to severe. Even medical practitioners can have difficultly distinguishing different forms of dermatitis.

What causes dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis tends to appear after exposure and/or an allergic reaction to skin irritants, including chemicals, shampoos, cosmetics, hair dye, deodorants, perfumes and lotions. It can develop when someone first comes into contact with a particular chemical, or after years of use, when the skin has become sensitised (that means rather than being naturally sensitive, the skin has become prone to irritation due to repeated exposure).

Another type of dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, can be caused by physical stress. For eczema, the exact cause is not known.

Prevention and treatment

Soothe red, irritated skin by moisturising with the Little Innoscents Massage Lotion or Massage Oil. All of the Little Innoscents range is dermatitis friendly.

  • Avoid contact with irritants such as heat and chemical based products
  • Bathe in lukewarm water and pat dry, rather than rub skin
  • Try using a non-irritating body wash that is chemical and sud free as foaming agent have a big part to play with regards to skin irritation
  • Wet compresses may also help

Medical treatments prescribed by doctors for different forms of dermatitis can include: corticosteroid creams, oral antihistamines and antibiotics, but their effectiveness is debated.

Switching to organic skin care alternatives specifically designed for dermatitis, like Little Innoscents, can bring the relief for your child or baby, without any of the negative side affects related to medical treatments. Always consult your healthcare practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen, or if a rash, fever, oozing, or signs of infection become evident.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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