What are the Different Dermatitis Symptoms?

M.R. Anglin

Dermatitis is a generic term for many types of skin problems, and symptoms vary with the different types of this condition. Of the many dermatitis symptoms, itching is one that may be common to many form of dermatitis. Other common dermatitis symptoms include redness, scaling, rashes, and pain. Discoloration of the skin, pimples, and blisters may also be a result of dermatitus.

Contact dermatitis can cause itching, swelling, and a rash where the skin made contact with an irritant.
Contact dermatitis can cause itching, swelling, and a rash where the skin made contact with an irritant.

One of the more common forms of dermatitis is atopic dermatitis. This skin condition is characterized by dermatitis symptoms such as itching, bumps, crusty patches, and oozing. A person with this condition may be sensitive to irritants such as clothes that are rough or certain forms of jewelry.

Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.
Visible white flakes of dry dead skin on the scalp are a sign of dandruff.

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As with many other forms of dermatitis, itching is one of the main symptoms of serborreheic dermatitis. In addition, this skin condition often includes dandruff as a symptom. Dandruff is characterized by the scaling and flaking of the scalp. People with severe cases of serborreheic dermatitis may also experience pimples along the hair line and rough patches in areas like behind the ears and in the ear canal, and on the bridge of the nose or the chest. Infants with this form of dermatitis may develop yellowish scales on the scalp, known as cradle cap, as one of the dermatitis symptoms.

Laundry soap can cause dermatitis.
Laundry soap can cause dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis can be caused when a person comes in contact with something that causes an irritation or allergic reaction on the skin. There are two forms of contact dermatitis — irritant contact and allergic contact — and each has slightly different symptoms. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when a person comes in contact with an irritant such as cleaning solutions, and the primary symptom may be pain rather than itching. With allergic contact dermatitis, the main symptom is often itchiness. Other dermatitis symptoms associated with either form of contact dermatitis include swelling, redness of the skin, and blisters.

Symptoms of localized scratch dermatitis include discolored or scaling skin.
Symptoms of localized scratch dermatitis include discolored or scaling skin.

There are times when a person develops an itch for a particular reason, such as from an infection or bug bite. Whatever the cause, after the initial itch is gone, that person may keep feeling the itch and keep scratching. This condition is called localize scratch dermatitis. The dermatitis symptoms associated with this are usually caused by the persistent scratching rather than the itch. Some of these symptoms are discolored skin or skin that is dry or scaling.

Dermatitis herpetiformis causes tiny, fluid-filled blisters to form on the hands, arms and legs.
Dermatitis herpetiformis causes tiny, fluid-filled blisters to form on the hands, arms and legs.
Poison ivy, which causes contact dermatitis.
Poison ivy, which causes contact dermatitis.
Itchiness can be a sign of dermatitis.
Itchiness can be a sign of dermatitis.

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