That constant itchy skin could be dermatitis. Here’s a handy guide to treat the condition

Updated on:9 January 2020, 15:57pm IST
The uncontrollable urge to itch every part of your body can sure get quite annoying! Be cautious as it might be dermatitis.
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Bothered by that itchy sensation? Get rid of it by slathering on generous amounts of jojoba oil . Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Winter season is here upon us. With the onset of the cold, people face a host of skin problems, including dry, cracked skin, itchiness and dandruff. The condition, termed as dermatitis, is a skin irritation that may also cause blisters, crusts, reddened skin and rash.

Let’s face it, it does not help when you need to go to a party and have dandruff!

Dermatitis, is, however not just seasonal. A general term for skin inflammation, it can be an uncomfortable condition that can last for a long time for people or flare-up according to cyclical changes or stress.

A study, published in HHS Public Access, saw researchers establish through clinical and physiological means that psychological stress is a significant contributor to AD (atopic dermatitis) disease through its direct and indirect effects on immune response, neuropeptide expression of the skin, and skin barrier function.

Another study, published in the journal PLOS One, found that exposure to meteorological variables and air pollutants are associated with AD symptoms in young children.

Dermatitis can be of various types…

1. Atopic dermatitis
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines atopic dermatitis as being caused when T-cell function is defective and serum IgE concentrations are elevated in the human body.

According to WHO, the condition usually resolves spontaneously between the age of 5 and 8 years but it may continue into adulthood. Also known as eczema, it causes rough patches of dry skin, which can itch a lot.

How to treat atopic dermatitis

  • A study, published in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research, found that the treatment options for AE include standard medical treatment with pharmaceutical agents such as topical steroids and topical immunomodulators, adjuvant therapy, and the following basic treatment such as using emollients.
  • The study further stressed avoiding triggering and/or aggravating factors that lead to itching such as woolen clothes, emotional stress, and uncomfortable climatic conditions.
Do you know, stress can be an invitation to skin allergies?

2. Contact dermatitis
This usually occurs when a substance touches the skin and causes an allergic reaction or irritation. According to WHO, both irritants and allergens can induce this form of dermatitis. It can be caused due to prolonged exposure to chemicals like soaps, detergents, and solvents.

Allergic contact dermatitis, WHO defines, is a form of delayed hypersensitivity and can be caused by plants, dyes, rubber cosmetics, and topical medicines.

Also read: 4 chemical-free Indian skincare brands you need to commit to in 2020

How to treat contact dermatitis

  • A Canadian Pharmacists journal shared guidelines for the management of eczema that includes recommendation of appropriate moisturisers based on patient and disease factors.
  • Apart from that, WHO recommends the use of emollient creams and abstaining from the use of abrasive soaps and irritants.

3. Seborrheic dermatitis
Dandruff is a greasy, scaling eruption mostly involving the scalp, which according to WHO is the mildest form of seborrhoeic dermatitis. It can also be found in the central portion of the face as well as the chest.

A more aggressive form in which lesions appear is seen as an early cutaneous indicator of HIV infection.

how to get rid of dandruff
Excessive dandruff could be a form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to treat seborrheic dermatitis

  • A study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology, found that effective management of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff requires clearing of symptoms with antifungal and anti-inflammatory treatment, ameliorating associated symptoms such as pruritus, and general scalp and skin health to help maintain remission.

So, without further ado, take necessary measures and bid adieu to that itchy dermatitis.

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