Other Forms of Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis encompasses both irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis is a reaction or damage due to a local toxic effect that occurs when the skin comes in contact with an irritating substance, such as detergents, soaps, cleaners, or other chemicals.

Sometimes, the skin develops an allergy to a substance (or allergens) that comes into contact with it; this is called allergic contact dermatitis. An allergy can develop after one or several exposures to a substance. Common causes of allergic contact dermatitis include cosmetics, adhesives, or metals. A frequent contributor to allergic contact dermatitis is nickel. Many people have an allergic reaction to nickel, which is commonly used in inexpensive jewelry, earrings, zippers on clothing, or eyeglass frames.

Contact dermatitis can cause mild swelling of the skin, dry or cracking skin, painful ulcers, reddening, and itching of the skin.

Dyshidrotic eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema is also called pompholyx or vesicular eczema. Dyshidrotic eczema forms small, itchy, fluid-filled blisters on the fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet and is often a manifestation of other types of eczema, such as atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Dyshidrotic eczema also causes redness of the skin and may be painful. Several factors can trigger dyshidrotic eczemas, such as stress, allergies, moist hands, and feet, or contact with irritants, including nickel, cobalt, or chromium salts.

Hand eczema

Hand eczema is caused by both genetic and environmental factors, such as contact with irritating chemicals or allergens. Hand eczema appears on the hands as redness, itching, pain, dryness (or blisters), and cracks in the skin, and is often a manifestation of an underlying condition like atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis.


Neurodermatitis is similar to atopic dermatitis, as it appears as thick, scaly patches on the skin due to rubbing or chronic scratching of an area. Also known as lichen simplex chronicus, neurodermatitis frequently appears on the nape of the neck, scalp, shoulder, ankles, wrists, backs of the hands, or the feet. The skin affected by neurodermatitis may often be thickened and often hyperpigmented.

Nummular eczema

Nummular eczema has a distinct appearance from other forms of dermatitis, producing coin-shaped spots on the skin that are frequently pruritic or itchy. The skin affected by nummular eczema may also be very dry and scaly. Also known as discoid eczema, it is believed that insect bites, dry skin during the winter, or other skin inflammations may cause the condition.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis, or seborrheic eczema, appears as a rash on areas of the body with a lot of oil-producing glands, including the scalp, upper back, and nose. Seborrheic dermatitis can cause redness, itchiness, greasy skin, crusty or flaky skin, or swelling. Seborrheic dermatitis is believed to be caused by genetic factors, and the microorganisms that live on the skin.

Follicular eczema

Follicular eczema is considered to be a variation of atopic dermatitis and is frequently seen in people with darker skin. Follicular eczema affects the hair follicles, and typically causes small red bumps and itching on the back, arms, and upper thighs. Like other forms of eczema, it is a chronic condition that is triggered by stress, changes in the weather, or allergies.

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