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Dermatitis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Dermatitis

is skin inflammation. Dermatitis may be caused by allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and certain foods. Dermatitis can also develop when something touches your skin and irritates it or causes an allergic reaction. Examples include soaps, chemicals, latex, and poison ivy.

Signs and symptoms of dermatitis

depend on the cause:

  • An itchy rash
  • Redness
  • Bumps or blisters that crust over or ooze clear fluid
  • Swelling

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

  • You have symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as sudden trouble breathing, throat swelling, or feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You develop a fever or have red streaks going up your arm or leg.
  • Your rash gets more swollen, red, or hot.

Call your doctor or dermatologist if:

  • Your skin blisters, oozes white or yellow pus, or has a foul-smelling discharge.
  • Your rash spreads or does not get better, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for dermatitis

depends on the cause of your rash. You may need medicines to help decrease itching and inflammation or treat a bacterial infection. They may be given as a topical cream, shot, or a pill.

Manage dermatitis:

  • Apply a cool compress to your rash. This will help soothe your skin.
  • Apply lotions or creams to the area. These help keep your skin moist and decrease itching. Apply the lotion or cream right after a lukewarm bath or shower when your skin is still damp. Use products that do not contain dye or a scent.
  • Avoid skin irritants. Examples include makeup, hair products, soaps, and cleansers. Use products that do not contain a scent or dye.

Follow up with your doctor or dermatologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Dermatitis (Ambulatory Care)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.