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(dûr'mətī`tĭs), nonspecific irritation of the skin. The causative agent may be a bacterium, fungus, or parasite; it can also be a foreign substance, known as an allergen. Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to a substance that comes in contact with the skin, such as soap. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczemaeczema
, acute or chronic skin disease characterized by redness, itching, serum-filled blisters, crusting, and scaling. Predisposing factors are familial history of allergic disorders (hay fever, asthma, or eczema) and sensitivity to contact allergens or certain foods.
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, is a chronic, itching inflammation that tends to run in families susceptible to asthma and hay fever. Stasis dermatitis, or eczema of the legs, is caused by poor circulation and is found in older persons suffering from vascular disorders. When dermatitis is chronic it tends to cause thickening, pigmentation, and scaling, and when acute, a red, itching area of blisters and oozing.



inflammation of the skin caused by the direct exposure to various environmental agents—mechanical, physical, or chemical.

The irritants that cause dermatitis may be classified as unconditional or conditional. Unconditional irritants are those that can cause dermatitis in anyone (for example, strong acids, alkalis, high and low temperatures). Conditional irritants are those that cause dermatitis only in persons highly sensitive to them (the so-called allergic dermatitides). Dermatitis is considered either acute or chronic, according to the course of the inflammation. Depending on the nature, strength , and duration of exposure to the irritant, acute dermatitides are characterized either only by reddening and swelling of the skin or by the appearance on reddened skin of blisters that burst to form excoriations: less commonly they are characterized by necrosis and the formation of ulcers. These dermatitides are accompanied by a burning sensation, fever , tingling, sometimes pain, and, less commonly, itching. Chronic dermatitides, resulting from prolonged exposure to comparatively weak irritants, are characterized by a dull bluish color, intensified skin markings, and more or less pronounced thickening of the horny layer.

Dermatitides develop mainly at the site exposed to the irritant. When the irritant is removed, the inflammation disappears relatively quickly. Dermatitides are often seen in industry (occupational dermatitides) and sometimes as a result of therapy (for example, salve dermatitis, radiation burns). Among the mechanical causes of dermatitis, prolonged pressure and friction (formation of sores, usually on the feet, because of poorly fitting shoes, or on the palms, from the friction of oars or the unusual pressure of instruments) are of the most practical importance. The physical factors include high and low temperatures (burns, frostbites) and radiation (solar rays, X rays, and radioactive radiation). Dermatitis is most often caused by chemical factors, the number of organic and inorganic chemical compounds that cause dermatitis is large and keeps increasing with the development of industry. Dermatitis results most often from exposure to turpentine, nickel salts, chromium compounds, and dyes (particularly Ursol, which is used to dye fur and sometimes hair). Some pharmacological agents may cause conditional dermatitides in medical personnel and patients (Novocaine, mercury compounds, certain antibiotics). Dermatitis may result from contact with certain plants. Some of the more than 100 of these plants are unconditional irritants (crowfoot, spurge, fraxinella), others (for example, primulas) may be conditional irritants.

Anti-inflammatory agents, in the form of lotions, salves, and pastes, are used in treating dermatitides. In industry, dermatitis can be prevented by eliminating contact between workers and chemical compounds and supplying workers with special protective clothing and individual protective devices, such as shields, masks, aprons, and gloves.


Mashkilleison, L. M. Lechenie i profilaktika kozhnykh boleznei, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964. (Bibliography.)
Pavlov, S. T. Kozhnye i venericheskie bolezni. Leningrad, 1969. Pages 204-23.



Inflammation of the skin.


inflammation of the skin
References in periodicals archive ?
Based on the history and clinical findings, we concluded that the patient had postinflammatory depigmentation resulting from chronic irritant dermatitis attributable to application of the massage oil.
It is very difficult to differentiate clinically whether the skin changes are that of the allergic or irritant dermatitis or a manifestation of the scrotal dermatitis because in both conditions, there are apparent inflammatory changes over the skin.
If a higher-strength steroid is selected, it is appropriate to switch to a milder steroid as soon as symptoms resolve, with the goal of maintaining control with 1% hydrocortisone ointment or even continuous use of one of the skin moisturizers recommended for irritant dermatitis.
Both allergic contact dermatitis and contact irritant dermatitis are mediated by keratinocyte-derived cytokines (Corsini and Galli 2000).
Since corticosteroids became available in the late 1950s, dermatologists have been treating irritant dermatitis with corticosteroids, said Dr.
How does the appearance and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis differ from that of irritant dermatitis and atopic eczema in infancy?
They are: 1) disease and injury--allergic and irritant dermatitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fertility and pregnancy abnormalities, hearing loss, infectious diseases, low back disorders, musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities, and traumatic injuries; 2) work environment and workforce--emerging technologies, indoor environment, mixed exposures, organization of work, and special populations at risk; and 3) research tools and approaches--cancer research methods, control technology and personal protective equipment, exposure assessment methods, health services research, intervention effectiveness research, risk assessment methods, social and economic consequences of workplace illness and injury, and surveillance research methods.
The high attack rate of rash and the low probability of previous sensitization to MITC among persons exposed in this episode is consistent with irritant dermatitis.
Nineteen percent of patients had locus minoris infection without previous atopic dermatitis and developed blisters and erosions in areas of sunburn, laceration, or irritant dermatitis.
In most cases, these signs, which are essentially those of a primary irritant dermatitis, are accompanied by symptoms that, in the mildest cases, may only be slight soreness and/or irritation but may progress to quite unpleasant burning discomfort.
The differential diagnosis of perianal streptococcal dermatitis includes candidiasis, diaper dermatitis, irritant dermatitis (such as trauma from heavy wiping), atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, pinworm infection, cellulitis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, histiocytosis, and sexual abuse.
Conditions that may be obvious elsewhere on the skin can look different in the vulvar region, either because of moisture, pigmentation, skin fragility, or complications of yeast, bacteria, or contact or irritant dermatitis.