• Red, dry, itchy skin
  • Inflammation
  • Crusty scales
  • Blisters
  • Painful cracks


in Fargo, North Dakota

If you or your child experience itchy, inflamed skin; hives, or blisters, there is a good chance you are experiencing some form of dermatitis. Dermatitis covers many different types of skin irritants and conditions. This means that, in order to find the best treatment options for you, it’s important to see your dermatologist.

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What is Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a common skin condition that causes the skin to become red and inflamed. Dermatitis can appear anywhere on the skin, most commonly around the knees and arms. This condition usually starts to show in the early stages of adolescence. There are many different types of dermatitis, and all have their own causes and triggers.

What Causes Dermatitis?

Since dermatitis covers many types of skin inflammation conditions, there are different causes to each. Many common triggers of dermatitis include detergents, soaps, disinfectants, cosmetics, plants, and food allergies. The different types of dermatitis are as follows:

  • Contact Dermatitis (allergic contact rash): This happens when you come into contact with a trigger, like poison ivy or a fragrance, so your immune system reacts. This produces chemicals that cause the allergic reaction, such as hives or itchy skin.
  • Atopic Dermatitis (eczema): This is a long-lasting skin condition that causes red, itchy patches on the skin, causing the skin to look inflamed. Atopic dermatitis is not contagious and is usually caused by genetics and environmental factors that cause the skin to become irritated. This condition is very popular in infants, typically appearing on the chin and cheeks.
  • Nummular Dermatitis: This type of dermatitis is characterized by coin-shaped, red patches that typically appear on the legs, torso, hands, and arms. This condition tends to appear in people in their late fifties to early sixties and affects more men than women.
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis (cradle caps): This condition is characterized by greasy, yellowish, or reddish scales that appear on the scalp, face, or genitals. This condition tends to be brought on by large amounts of stress. If it appears on the scalp of adults, it is known as dandruff.
  • Stasis Dermatitis: This condition is caused by poor circulation in the legs. It is common in people with congestive heart failure, varicose veins, and any other condition that can cause leg-swelling.

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How to Treat Dermatitis?

Dermatitis symptoms will often go away within a few days. However, if you are experiencing dermatitis, there are some home remedies that can help reduce symptoms, such as applying a cool, wet compress; warm baths, wearing cotton clothing, moisturizing your skin, and choosing a mild laundry detergent. If symptoms continue or start to affect your daily life, then you should see your dermatologist. Dr. Rachel Ness is a board-certified dermatologist at Fargo Center for Dermatology, and she can create a personalized treatment plan for you. The most common treatments for dermatitis are corticosteroid creams, immunosuppressants, laser treatments (using our XTRAC Excimer system), and phototherapy. The treatments prescribed will be used to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Control itching
  • Clear the infection
  • Loosen and remove scaly lesions
  • Prevent new lesions from forming

Dermatitis Maintenance

Dermatitis is an irritating skin condition that affects millions of people around the U.S. However, there are a few ways to help prevent dermatitis and reduce inflammation at home. Firstly, take stock of any products you use that could irritate the skin. Also, try switching to detergent for sensitive skin, using mild and fragrance-free cleansers, and limiting bath time for children. Other ways to help manage dermatitis are by using special moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated. Dermatitis is a very uncomfortable condition to live with, but there are many ways to help to make the progression better. During a consultation with Dr. Ness, we can recommend the best products from our full, in-house line to supplement your daily skincare.

Schedule a Consultation

Dermatitis can be very frustrating to live with, since it can cause embarrassment and discomfort. Fortunately, Dr. Ness can help you explore treatment options during a consultation at our Fargo office. To schedule an appointment, contact us or directly book online.



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