Dermatitis Demystified: Learn About the 10 Types of Skin Inflammation

If you’re dealing with an itchy, red rash that just won’t go away, you are likely suffering from a type of dermatitis. Dermatitis is a common skin problem that affects people of all genders, ages, and even ethnicities. Dermatitis is a skin inflammation that various factors, including allergies, irritants, and infections, can cause. Some forms of the condition require ongoing care and management and can be chronic, despite many mild cases, and can be managed with over-the-counter treatments. 

There are different types of dermatitis, in which these types differ from each other in terms of causes, symptoms, and treatment. If you’re curious about dermatitis and how you can have it, dermatitis is divided into 10 types:


Also called lichen simplex chronicus, Neurodermatitis is a skin condition that’s non-life threatening and involves scratching and itching, often on just one or two patches of skin. The itch is most commonly found on body parts such as legs, hands, arms, shoulders, back of the neck or scalp, wrists, elbows, and ankles. Additionally, the itch can also be found in the genital and anal areas. 

Research shows that people between the ages of 30 to 50 years old are more likely to have Neurodermatitis. Moreover, at a ratio of 2:1, women are more likely to suffer by having this condition than men. If you or you know someone who is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, or families who have histories of other skin diseases, you or this person may have the condition as well. Since the itching can be intense, you might find yourself scratching your skin frequently, or it might come and go. The itching is most active when you’re relaxing or trying to sleep. There are cases when you may wake up rubbing or scratching the affected area.  

Stasis dermatitis 

This is also known as Gravitational dermatitis or Varicose eczema. According to researchers, 15 to 20 million people aged 50 from the United States live with this condition. Stasis dermatitis is still common, even though it’s not contagious. This condition begins when the valves inside your lower legs will start to be weak as you continue to age. The job of the one-way valves is to push blood up the legs directly to the heart. 

When these valves become vulnerable, some fluid can stay in the legs or leak out; this will cause them to swell. As a result, you may have a medical condition called venous insufficiency. Statis is the pooling of fluid from venous insufficiency. Aside from the developing venous insufficiency that increases when you age, the condition can also occur when you have a blood clot in your leg or after a bad leg injury. Statis dermatitis develops on the skin due to poor blood flow, even if not everyone with venous insufficiency will develop Stasis dermatitis. 

Nummular dermatitis

If you have circular, raised skin spots, you may suffer from Nummular Dermatitis. The word “Nummular” comes from the Latin word “coin” because the patches are coin-shaped. The lesions are often itchy, and the condition is chronic. Over an extended period, patches can last for weeks to months, and episodes or flare-ups can happen frequently. 

While Nummular dermatitis can affect anyone, it’s still more common among men or people who are assigned as males at birth. Specifically, this condition tends to occur in men between 50 to 65 years old and women between 15 to 25 years old. If you have this condition, this is triggered by the use of drying soaps, extremely dry skin or dry environments, frequent showering with hot water, and allergies.

Diaper dermatitis

Diaper dermatitis pertains to any rash that forms in your baby’s diaper area. The skin may be tender or red in mild cases. Moreover, a more severe diaper rash may have open sores that can be extremely painful. Within three to four days, mild cases clear up with home treatment, while more severe cases will need medical treatment. In young infants, diaper rashes are the most common skin condition.

Your baby may have Diaper dermatitis through yeast infection, food allergies, chafing or rubbing in the diaper area, and too much moisture in your baby’s diaper area. Your baby may also have slightly reddened skin around their buttocks in mild cases. While in more severe cases, the rash may involve sores and open blisters. 

Atopic dermatitis 

This is a chronic condition in which your skin gets dry and scaly due to itching. This may affect your entire life or can only occur during childhood. Atopic dermatitis looks like red rashes for people with light-colored skin. People with darker skin may develop purple, brown, or gray rashes. This condition affects people assigned to females at birth (AFAB) and people assigned to males at birth (AMAB). 

65% of people develop this condition within the first year of life, while 90% of people before the age of 5 develop the condition. Approximately 1 out of every 10 young children and infants have symptoms of Atopic dermatitis. This condition develops in skin flexes and bends areas such as the inside of your elbow or behind your knees. But it can still occur anywhere, appearing in your lips, hands, fingers, eyelids, feet, toes, arms, and legs. 

Contact dermatitis

If your skin reacts to something that causes an itchy rash in your environment, this is called Contact dermatitis. You’ll most likely receive this condition by engaging in contact with an object, substance, chemical, or organism that irritates your skin. You can get contact dermatitis through either Allergic Contact dermatitis (allergic reaction) or Irritant Contact dermatitis (response to an irritating substance). 

Contact dermatitis can affect anyone, regardless of age. After a single exposure or after repeated exposures over time, skin reactions can occur. Those with a higher risk of developing Contact dermatitis work in certain professions if they continue to encounter irritating allergies or chemicals. Some professions that have a higher risk of developing contact dermatitis are artists, florists, food handlers, and healthcare providers. 

Perioral dermatitis

This is a red rash that circles your mouth. Your skin can be dry, flaky, and scaly with swollen, inflamed bumps known as papules. This condition can look like acne, so it’s always mistaken. Perioral dermatitis burns or itches, as reported by some people. It also spreads up in the genitals, the eyes, and the nose. You can easily recognize this condition by the location of the rash around your mouth. 

Suppose you’re a female between the ages 25 and 45 who uses face creams and topical steroids. But even men and children can also develop perioral dermatitis. Experts have noted possible causes of this condition, such as gum chewing, dental fillings, inhaled prescription steroid sprays, and hormonal changes (or oral contraceptives). 

Dyshidrotic dermatitis

This skin condition, that’s usually dry and itchy, develops in your hands, feet, and fingers. This condition can affect anyone, specifically people between the ages of 20 and 40, assigned females at birth, those with a family history of Contact dermatitis, and those who develop allergic reactions when they touch an antigen. There are 50% of Dyshidrotic dermatitis cases that are inflicted on people who have allergic reactions every time they come in contact with an antigen. People who are assigned females at birth are more likely to develop this condition because they interact more with cobalt, nickel, and specific antigens in jewelry.

Your skin may develop blisters or bumps that look like tapioca pearls. These blisters are one to two millimeters when measured in diameter. Aside from blisters coming out from one large blister, they may become scaly and cracked after being dried out. 

Seborrheic dermatitis 

This is an easy-to-manage skin condition that’s common but noncontagious. This dermatitis type causes greasy scales and itchy red patches on your skin with yellow or white powdery or crusty flakes on your scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis can appear in several areas of your body. It may be on your face/forehead, behind your ears, upper back and chest, under your breasts, belly button, and eyebrows. 

Research shows that 11% of the population has this condition. It specifically occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 60 and in infants younger than three months old. Additionally, it’s more common in Caucasians than African Americans. You’re more likely to get this type of dermatitis if you’re born with naturally oily skin. 

Photosensitive dermatitis

When you develop unusual reactions on your skin due to sunlight, artificial light, UV radiation, and visible light, you may have Photosensitive dermatitis. Photosensitive is the reaction to light, while dermatitis pertains to skin inflammation. A photoallergic or phototoxic reaction can cause an abnormal response to sunlight. These reactions appear both due to medications or topical treatments to the person’s body.

According to experts, they can characterize Photosensitive dermatitis by skin eruptions and “photo-distributed” lesions. These can appear in areas of your skin that are often prone to sun exposure, such as the chest, hands, outer part of the arms, back, and the side of the neck. This condition may also be the resemblance of an exaggerated form of sunburn. 


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