What is Dermatitis?
Dermatitis is a term that describes skin irritation and inflammation. The word dermatitis is used to describe different skin rashes that are caused by infections, allergies, and various irritating substances.
The infection usually involves itchy, dry skin or a rash on swollen, reddened skin. It may also cause the skin to blister, ooze or flake off. Dermatitis doesn’t spread with touch, but it may have an adverse effect on your appearance. Needless to add, the discomfort is both on a physical and psychological level.
Moisturizing regularly helps control the symptoms. Few types of dermatitis can last a long time, while others may spread up, depending on the season, or stress. Some types are more common in children and some are more common in adults.
Types of Dermatitis
There are several different types of dermatitis. Below are the most common ones:
- Atopic dermatitis- This type of dermatitis is also called eczema; this skin condition is usually inherited and develops during infancy. A person with eczema experiences rough patches of dry, itchy skin.
- Contact dermatitis- If you get an allergic reaction or irritation on the skin after getting in touch with a specific substance, it is contact dermatitis. These allergens can develop further into rashes that burn, sting, itch, or blister.
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis- In this type of dermatitis, the skin losses its ability to protect itself. This results in itchy, dry skin, and small blisters. Its main location is restricted to hands and feet.
- Seborrheic dermatitis- This type is also known as cradle cap in babies, this type is most common on the scalp, though it can also occur on the face and chest. It often causes scaly patches and dandruff.
Causes of Dermatitis
The causes of dermatitis vary as per the type of underlying disease. Some types, like dyshidrotic eczema, neurodermatitis, and nummular dermatitis, may have various unknown causes. The known causes are as follows:
- Contact dermatitis
Common substances that cause allergic reactions include:
- Poison ivy and oak
Risk Factors in Dermatitis
Common risk factors for dermatitis include:
- Age - Apart from atopic dermatitis, which is common only in infants, this disease can occur in people from any age group.
- Allergies and asthma - People who have a personal or family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever or asthma are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.
- Occupation - Certain jobs in which a person may have contact with certain metals, solvents or cleaning supplies increase your risk of contact dermatitis.
- Health conditions - Health conditions such as congestive heart failure, Parkinson's disease and HIV/AIDS.
Symptoms of Dermatitis
Dermatitis symptoms vary from mild to severe most levels. In general, the dermatitis symptoms may include:
- Dry, cracked skin
- Painful skin, with stinging or burning
Ayurvedic Dermatitis Treatment
Ayurveda suggests Virechana as the primary treatment for dermatitis. While various herbal medications are necessary throughout the treatment process, they are not enough to treat the condition.
In Virechana, doctors expel the accumulated waste or toxins that are caused by vitiated Pitta and to re-balance the doshas. Preparatory dermatitis treatment for this condition typically includes oil application therapies (both internal and external) and medicated steam. These internal medicines are prescribed to increase the digestive fire (Deepana) and burn waste (Ama Pachana) of the body.
Ayurvedic dermatitis cure also includes various oil treatments which are considered very effective and so are certain panchakarma procedures like Abhyangam, Virechan, Nasyam are recommended under expert supervision.
- Abhyangam (full body massage)- This relaxing and refreshing full body massage is a masterpiece of Ayurveda and an effective dermatitis treatment. It is done with medicated herbal oil massages by trained therapists in a synchronized manner for 45 minutes.
- Nasyam (Nasal Therapy) – It involves the nasal instillation of herbal medicines, which helps in clearing the pathways of the body, that helps in removing the toxins from the body This procedure helps in increasing the flow of energy to the brain.
- Virechana (Purging) – It is an induced purgation that clears the lower gastrointestinal region from the duodenum to the anus. It also helps in purifying the blood. It is a great dermatitis treatment in Ayurveda that focuses on the liver and gall bladder. It is quite beneficial for people suffering from Pitta disorder.
Home Remedies for Dermatitis
Ayurveda highly recommends the following herbs and natural products for controlling seborrheic dermatitis:
- Amla: It works as an anti-oxidant that strengthens immunity against sudden outbursts of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Giloy: it is a soothing herb that is used for soothing inflammation and pacifying increased pitta levels in the human body.
- Neem: This calms pitta. Wash the area affected by skin infection with neem infused water.
- Mulethi: This regulates hormonal levels and prevents flare-ups.
Prevention/Lifestyle for Dermatitis
Dermatitis prevention includes the following steps:
- Take shorter baths- Limit your baths and showers to 5 to 10 minutes. Use warm, rather than hot, water.
- Use a gentle, mild cleanser. Choose mild and nonsoap cleansers. Some soaps can dry your skin resulting in the worsening of the disease.
- Moisturize your skin. While your skin is still wet, seal in moisture with an oil, cream or lotion.
- Wear cotton gloves under rubber gloves for all wet work.
- Petroleum jelly or vaseline is also a good choice for protecting skin against infections.
- Avoid getting in contact with skin-irritating substances.