DERMATITIS

CAUSES – When the skin develops a pink or red rash, the individual has contracted contact dermatitis which may or may not itch.  Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are the leading causes.  There are some herbs and flowers that will also cause dermatitis.  The legs, buttocks, hands, and arms will develop coin-shape red patches which is a sign of nummular dermatitis.  It is usually in people that are 55 years of age and older.  Greasy, yellowish scaling of the scalp, face, and genital areas which produce hair can develop seborrheic dermatitis.  When your body has poor circulation and the veins in the lower legs fail to return blood efficiently, this is a sign of stasis dermatitis.

TREATMENT – Petroleum jelly or over the counter hydrocortisone cream along with a warm bath will help to clear it up.  Doctors may also prescribe corticosteroid cream or an oral antihistamine to relieve itching.

PREVENTION – One of the best preventions is to try to avoid the irritant.  Use an humidifier at home or work to keep the air from getting too dry.  Wearing loose-fitting clothing with untreated cotton works well.  Try to avoid plated jewelry.  Vitamins A, B complex, E, and zinc are good supplements to add to your diet.

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