Diagnosis and Management of Dermatitis

For most patients your doctor can diagnose cases of dermatitis by symptoms and by asking you some questions, regarding the disease and trouble it is causing. Your doctor may ask about

  • Symptoms, and when and how the symptoms start?
  • Does anything trigger your symptoms or any triggering agent with your symptoms?
  • If you are taking any medications at present, including oral medications, injections or creams or ointments that you apply to your skin?
  • Do you have a family history of similar problem or any family history of allergies or asthma?
  • If you have taken any treatment for this problem and is it helpful in any way?
  • Is there any similar past history?

Your doctor may ask such questions which will help him/her to arrive a diagnosis and in most cases the diagnosis based on physical examination and history taking can be accurately made.

Sometimes your doctor may ask you to undergo some tests such as certain skin tests as well as skin biopsy to rule out serious skin disorders. For example, if your doctor suspects you to have contact dermatitis, he/she may ask you to undergo “patch test”. In patch test, your doctor applies various substances in your skin in small quantity using adhesive tape and check if you show any allergy or reaction to any of the substances, which is checked during subsequent visits, which your doctor will ask you to do. Patch test can help if you have contact dermatitis for specific substance.

Management of dermatitis:

Treatment/management of dermatitis depends on various things such as type of dermatitis, cause of the disease, etc. Sometimes various home remedies and lifestyle changes can be of great help in dermatitis.

However, for most of the patients with dermatitis, following measures are helpful:

  • Use of corticosteroid creams and this is the most important treatment option available for treatment of dermatitis.
  • Phototherapy, where affected area is exposed to controlled amount of natural light or artificial light
  • Supplication of certain creams that affects immune system.

All the above mentioned treatment options may be used alone or in combination for satisfactory result in management of dermatitis.

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