Dermatitis: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 05:03 PM

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Dermatitis, or eczema as it is commonly called, is inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. It causes itching, blisters, redness, and swelling. It is often accompanied by oozing, scabbing, and scaling. Almost any rash can be classified as dermatitis, including skin cancer, psoriasis, and seborrhea.
 
Dermatitis Treatment
 
It is best to identify the type of dermatitis before starting any kind of treatment. However, symptomatic treatment can be started even as the exact type of dermatitis is being determined. For effective dermatitis treatment,
 
1) Keep the skin as moist as possible. Dry skin causes cracks in the outer layer, inhibiting its barrier function.

2)
Reduce itching and scratching with topical medications or antihistamines.

3)
Avoid irritating and drying substances such as perfumes and harsh detergents.

4)
Treat other rashes, especially fungal infections, even if they do not seem related.

5) C
chronic Actinic Dermatitis (CAD) occurs in areas that have been exposed to sunlight or artificial light. The skin becomes inflamed in this condition. It is also called Photo sensitivity Dermatitis/Actinic Reticuloid Syndrome (PD/AR). Avoiding direct exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet sources is the treatment for CAD.
 
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dermatitis herpetiformis is an uncommon, chronic disease in which the primary clinical manifestations are cutaneous, that is, relating to the skin. It is also called Brocq. The treatment for dermatitis herpetiformis frequently involves the use of dapsone.
 
Latest Medical Breakthroughs

The FDA has recently approved tacrolimus (brand name Protopic) for treating atopic dermatitis. Protopic is the first effective non-steroid treatment for this common, chronic, and itchy condition. A related drug, Pimecrolimus (brand name Elidel) is also now available on the market.

A recent study confirms the use of patch testing. It has proven effective in identifying common contact allergens. The process consists of placing potential allergens covered with patches on the patient’s back for two days to identify the substances that cause skin inflammation.

Research by the Mayo Clinic shows that overall, patients were satisfied with the contact dermatitis patch testing process and with the way their skin improved following the testing.
 
Research also shows that avoiding allergens is the main treatment for contact dermatitis.

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