Dermatitis – Types, Causes, Symptoms and Home Remedies

Dermatitis---Types,-Causes,-Symptoms-and-Home-Remedies

Dermatitis is a skin disorder that leads to skin inflammation and is often accompanied by itchy rashes, raised fluid-filled blisters and reddened skin. People of any gender or age can suffer from this skin issue. Rather than a health problem, dermatitis is considered as a skin’s reaction during the course of various diseases. Although it is not life-threatening or contagious, it can cause severe discomfort and can damage your skin that might take time to recover.

Types of Dermatitis

1. Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic-Dermatitis

An atopic dermatitis is a form of skin eczema that usually begins in infancy or childhood. This allergic reaction has a hereditary component as it is known to run down in families where members suffer from asthma. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting and tends to flare up from time to time. Your skin turns super sensitive and is accompanied by itchiness and thickened, raised plaques of scaling skin.

2. Nummular Dermatitis

As the name suggests, nummular dermatitis appears as coin-shaped oval eruptions on the outer layer of your skin. The sores can be itchy and dry or wet and open. It can occur in people of all age groups but doesn’t seem to be hereditary in nature.

3. Contact Dermatitis

Contact-Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis leads to the formation of red, itchy swellings when your skin comes in direct contact with any allergic stimulus such as chemical products, certain plants, soaps, cosmetics or other substances. Triggering this allergic reaction can sometimes damage the outer protective layer of your skin. Hence, it is important to identify the irritants and avoid them to protect your skin from contact dermatitis.

4. Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis leads to inflamed skin and generally occurs in people with poor blood circulation, heart diseases or chronic venous insufficiency. In most cases, this develops in the lower legs as blood typically collects in that area and is accompanied by swollen legs and feet, open sores as well as itchy and reddened skin.

5. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic-Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhoea is typically characterised by sore, itchy rashes on your scalp and other oil-producing areas of your skin that leads to scaly patches. This skin condition is often a chronic problem with periods of flare-ups and remission. The development of seborrheic dermatitis in infants is termed as cradle cap.

What Are the Causes and Factors that Lead to Dermatitis?

  • Reaction to a stimulant or irritant
  • Allergy-prone sensitive skin
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, cosmetics, clothing, plant materials and drugs
  • Physiological factors such as humidity, heat, cold, etc.
  • Allergy to eggs, dairy products, soy products, nuts and seeds, wheat and other food items
  • Reaction to pollens, dust particles, mould and dandruff
  • Age and heredity
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menstrual cycle

Signs and Symptoms

  • Tiny fluid-filled blisters
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Rough and thickened skin
  • Severe itchiness
  • Ulceration
  • Red rashes
  • Sores with a burning sensation
  • Inflamed skin
  • Blisters may ooze out fluid if scratched

How to Treat Dermatitis Naturally?

1. Chamomile

Chamomile

How does it Work?

Chamomile is hypoallergenic in nature and can reduce skin irritants by blocking and counterbalancing free radicals. It is also known to possess strong anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial characteristics, as well as contains healing properties. This helps to disinfect your skin and cure skin infections. Chamomile is a rich source of antioxidants that is useful in treating atopic dermatitis symptoms.

Method

  1. Heat a cup of water and add about 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers.
  2. Let the mixture boil on low heat.
  3. Remove from heat after 10 minutes and allow it to cool down.
  4. Strain the solution and soak a clean washcloth in it.
  5. Gently squeeze the washcloth and place it on your infected areas.
  6. Wait for 20-25 minutes before repeating the process.
  7. Follow it two to three times a day until the area heals.

2. Honey

How does it Work?

Since ancient times, honey has been considered as one of the most efficient natural remedies for chronic skin problems. It provides essential nutrients to your skin and possesses an enzyme that generates hydrogen peroxide, an effective disinfectant. Honey acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and treats swellings and rashes. It helps to maintain the oil balance of your skin, preventing it from excessive dryness.

Method

  1. Take equal amounts of pure raw honey and distilled water.
  2. Blend them together to form a homogeneous mixture.
  3. Apply it to the affected areas of your skin.
  4. Rinse with cool water after 15 minutes.
  5. Repeat it once a day for a month to notice an improvement.

3. Coconut Oil

How does it Work?

Coconut oil offers deep moisturization to your skin, reducing the itchy sensation and scaly skin. It is antimicrobial in nature and contains healing properties that are beneficial for contact dermatitis treatment. Coconut oil is easily available and convenient to apply. It makes your skin soft, smooth and acts as a protective layer to block irritants.

Method

  1. Take 3 to 4 teaspoons of warm coconut oil.
  2. Liberally apply a layer of the oil on your dry, concerned areas to make them soft.
  3. Make sure you do not rub or massage the area by using pressure on the skin.
  4. Repeat every night before going to bed until your skin turns better.

4.Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal-Bath

How does it Work?

Oatmeal is a great source of antioxidants and helps to undo the damage done to your skin by pollution, chemicals or irritants. People with ultra-sensitive skin can use it as works on all skin types. Oatmeal is anti-pruritic and helps to reduce itching and inflammation, soothing your skin. The presence of proteins and emollient properties helps to soften your skin and lock in moisture, getting rid of the dryness.

Method

  1. Add a cup of colloidal oatmeal powder to lukewarm bathwater.
  2. Soak your affected body parts in this bathwater for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. For best results, continue the procedure for a month on a regular basis.

5. Olive Oil

How does it Work?

Olive oil provides relief from eczema symptoms by penetrating deep into the epidermis and nourishing your extremely dry skin. It is a great source of vitamin C that helps to balance your skin’s pH levels. The extra virgin olive oil is more preferred as it helps to eliminate dry and flaky skin within a few applications.

Method

  1. Directly apply a heavy layer of olive oil onto your skin and gently massage it.
  2. Allow the oil to get absorbed into your skin to offer complete moisturization.
  3. Take a bath after 30 minutes.
  4. Follow this daily until you get rid of the dry skin and inflammation.

6. Sandalwood and Camphor

How does it Work?

Sandalwood consists of emollient properties that provide moisturization and soothes your burning skin. As it acts as an excellent antiseptic, it helps to treat the itchiness and the need to constantly scratch the flaky skin by offering instant relief. On the other hand, camphor is used as a counter-irritant to reduce swelling, pain, skin rashes and redness of the skin.

Method

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon sandalwood (oil or powder form) with ½ tablespoon powdered camphor tablets.
  2. Add in a teaspoon or more of water if necessary to get a paste-like consistency.
  3. Apply the paste directly on the infected skin.
  4. Allow it to work for 15 minutes.
  5. Using a damp washcloth, gently clean the area and wipe off the paste residues.
  6. Continue this remedy as often as you want, depending on the severity of your eczema.

7. Herbal Soap

Herbal-Soap

How does it Work?

Herbal soaps are often used for eczema treatment as they are made of all-natural ingredients like aloe or vitamin E, which can soothe and heal your infected skin. They are free from chemicals, synthetic colours and fragrances and act as mild cleaners. Daily use of herbal soaps can ease itchy skin, irritation, dryness and acne to a great extent.

Method

  1. Cleanse your skin with a mild herbal soap that is free from harmful chemicals and synthetic perfumes.
  2. Make sure you do not overuse the soap as it can lead to the excessively dry skin.
  3. Apply a moisturiser or body lotion after washing your skin with the herbal soap.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

How does it Work?

Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic in nature and applying it on your skin may help restore the skin’s natural pH balance. It heals the eczema symptoms by acting as a protective barrier to restrict the access of irritants in your body and makes your skin healthy. Additionally, apple cider vinegar it is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent with immune boosting properties.

Method

  1. Take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and dilute it by adding a tablespoon of water.
  2. Dip a cotton ball or soft cloth into the solution and place it directly over your affected skin.
  3. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Clean the area using a wet washcloth.
  5. Do this every day to get relief from itchiness and inflammation.

9. Turmeric and Neem Paste

How does it Work?

Turmeric and neem are both used in Ayurveda to treat atopic dermatitis symptoms as they contain medicinal properties that are known to eliminate the toxins from the body that causes eczema. They help to offer relief from severe itchiness, rashes and pain. These herbs possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that work wonders for hand eczema treatment.

Method

  1. Wash and peel two to three medium sized pieces of raw turmeric.
  2. Take a handful of neem leaves and thoroughly clean them.
  3. Create a fine paste by grinding these two ingredients together with few drops of water.
  4. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil to the mixture for the right consistency.
  5. Smear a thick layer of the paste on your red, itchy skin for instant relief.
  6. Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Rinse the area with normal water and pat dry.
  8. Repeat the procedure once or twice a day until eczema cures completely.

10. Slippery Elm

Slippery-Elm

How does it Work?

Slippery elm consists of high amount of mucilage that gets rid of dry skin and encourages the healing process. It can be used for eczema cure as it works as a natural ointment to lock in the moisture and reduces pain, skin irritation and inflammation.

Method

  1. Prepare a paste by grinding a handful of slippery elm leaves (fresh or dried).
  2. Add in a little water if needed.
  3. Apply the paste generously all over your affected skin.
  4. Rinse it off when it completely dries (after an hour or so).
  5. Repeat the procedure thrice a day for better results.

11. Aloe Vera

How does it Work?

Aloe vera is referred to as the ‘miracle cure’ for eczema as it is rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions. It prevents dehydration of your skin by increasing the water content in the top layer of the skin and providing deep moisturization. It helps to calm inflamed eczema and restores the pH balance of your skin, reducing the itching sensation.

Method

  1. Extract fresh aloe vera gel from the flesh of the plant or take a ½ tablespoon of store-bought organic aloe cream.
  2. Apply it on your affected skin by gently massaging it using your fingertips.
  3. Continue using it several times throughout the day for a few weeks.

12. Bilberry Cleanse

How does it Work?

Bilberries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins and polyphenols. These help to curb inflammation and reduce free radicals, giving you a healthy skin. The wound healing and anti-allergic properties of bilberry are believed to provide relief from atopic dermatitis symptoms.

Method

  1. Immerse around 50 grams of bilberries in a litre of hot water.
  2. Cover and let it rest for an hour so that the mixture turns homogeneous.
  3. Heat the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes in medium flame.
  4. Allow the solution to cool down to room temperature.
  5. Soak a soft cloth in this solution and clean your eczema infected skin with it.
  6. You can follow it two to three times a day until the area is treated.

13. Almond Leaves

Almond-Leaves

How does it Work?

The pulp of almond leaves is believed to treat eczema symptoms and offer relief from skin redness, swelling and rashes. It has been actively used in traditional folk medicines due to its ability to heal infections and wounds. The almond leaves also possess sedative properties that help to soothe the burning sensation and itchy skin.

Method

  1. Crush and grind around 5 to ten fresh almond leaves using a little water.
  2. Smear a layer of the fine paste on your skin.
  3. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the area with lukewarm water to remove any residue of the paste.
  5. Continue repeating the remedy two to three times a day until you notice an improvement.

14. Magnesium Bath

How does it Work?

Magnesium facilitates safe and effective detoxification by eliminating the toxic waste products from the body. This home remedy for eczema can be effective for seborrheic dermatitis treatment as it helps to improve the levels of fatty acids on the skin, protecting your skin from dryness and providing essential nutrients needed for healing of your skin.

Method

  1. Prepare a magnesium bath by mixing a cup of Epsom salt in a tub of warm water.
  2. Add ½ cup of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract to it.
  3. Stir the solution so that the salts get dissolved.
  4. You can also add 10 to 15 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil.
  5. Soak your entire body or the concerned areas in the bath water for minimum 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Continue it daily for a month.

15. Witch Hazel

Witch-Hazel

How does it Work?

Witch hazel is known to relieve symptoms of eczema such as pain, itching, redness and scarring and its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and astringent properties are effective in contact dermatitis treatment. It seals in your skin’s natural moisture and protects it from drying out, restoring the oil balance of your skin.

Method

  1. Combine witch hazel and distilled water together in the ratio 1:1
  2. Using a cotton swab, apply it directly over your affected skin.
  3. Wash off after 15 minutes.
  4. Repeat this once or twice a day until eczema disappears.

Foods to Battle Dermatitis

1. Essential Fatty Acids

  • Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids contributes to your immunity boosting potency by supplying crucial nutrients to your skin cells and strengthening them.
  • Consuming fish, soybeans, walnut, flaxseed, blackcurrant seed oil and other healthy fat containing items will lead to reduced inflammations and improve the general condition of your skin.

2. Vitamin E

  • Deficiency of vitamin E makes your skin prone to environmental irritants, leading to damaged skin cells.
  • Topically applying vitamin E oil or intake of vitamin E rich foods like almonds and avocados can offer immediate relief from swelling and itching.
  • The elasticity and overall health of your skin can be restored by adding vitamin E supplements to your diet.

3. Liver Oil Supplements

  • Treating dermatitis ensures that your skin is hydrated and moisturised both internally and externally. Liver oil supplements, when taken in appropriate amount, has multiple skin benefits.
  • Cod liver oil is known to possess fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D and K and omega-3 fatty acids that effectively reduces inflammations, boosting the formation of healthy cells in your body.
  • Consult to your doctor about an appropriate dosage.

4. Gelatine Rich Food

  • Gelatine containing food items encourage the healing process of your skin when you are suffering from chronic dermatitis due to its ability to tighten loose skin.
  • The abundance of protein and amino acids makes sure that your skin remains rejuvenated and well nourished.
  • You can prepare bone broth at home or opt for purely powdered gelatine to increase its consumption.

Preventive Measures that Should Be Taken

  • Protect yourself from irritants

From environmental pollutants to everyday products and natural substances, a variety of elements can be classified as irritants and become one of the eczema causes. It isn’t always possible to avoid exposure to such irritants and hence, taking proper precaution is necessary. Wear cotton linen layered vinyl made gloves while using household products to prevent allergic reactions and perspiration.

  • Rely on foods rich in zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B complex

It is crucial to improving your immune system so that your body can show resistance towards irritants and allergens, defending you both internally and externally. Consuming a balanced diet that includes necessary vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B complex ensures a strong immunity that is ready to fight health issues.

  • Wear loose cotton clothes

Cotton clothes are your best option in case you tend to suffer from dermatitis. Unlike polyester, woollen or artificial synthetic material, loose clothes made with pure cotton feels light and soft on your skin and doesn’t trigger itchiness and rashes.

  • Careful with the temperature

Sudden and rapid alteration in the temperature of your surroundings can impact your skin in a negative way and aggravate the itchy sensation. Stay away from drastic increase or decrease in temperature as well as hot baths as it can make your skin extremely dehydrated and strip away the natural moisture.

  • Consume more fish oil

Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that help your skin by regulating its oil production to improve hydration and keep it well nourished. Intake of an appropriate dose of fish oil on a daily basis acts as an effective measure to keep a check on the eczema symptoms before they even occur.

Stay Away from Dry Air

Exposure to dry air is a strict no-no for dermatitis as the lack of moisture in the air can dehydrate your skin. Make sure to keep your indoor air clean and moist by using humidifiers and air purifiers in close proximity to the person experiencing the atopic dermatitis symptoms.

When to Call A Doctor?

  • Self-care methods and home remedies don’t improve your skin condition
  • If you feel severe pain and irritation
  • The skin seems to get infected
  • Your skin condition makes you feel uncomfortable and hinders your day to activities

Also read: Cold Sore – Signs, Diagnosis and Home Remedies

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Shreoshi Mitra
Hello everyone, this is Shreoshi from the cultural capital of India, Kolkata. Well, I have been associated with the content and creative writing for more than a year now after I completed my post-graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication last year (2018). While doing my graduation as an English honour’s student, I fell in love with the subject both literally and metaphorically. As a matter of fact, I recently started teaching a bunch of kids as well, because why not! There’s no harm in spreading a little knowledge right! Writing started as hobby-cum-passion which should become a profession for me. It gives me an immense sense of freedom and helps to channelize my thoughts well. Writing for Anveya has opened up new horizons for me as I realised my articles regarding personal care, home care, and wellness can influence someone’s perception and way of thinking. While a lot of people wanted me to take up political science as my major because I was one of the top scorers in the city, I always believed that creativity and art is where my heart belongs… and it really feels good to know that I was right from the beginning.

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