The Webster definition of dermatitits is simply: inflammation (itis) of the skin (derma).
Additionally: a medical condition in which the skin becomes red, swollen, and sore, sometimes with small blisters, resulting from direct irritation of the skin by an external agent or an allergic reaction to it.
QUESTION: If I suffer from dry skin, does that mean I have dermatitis?
ANSWER: Not necessarily at all … read the below info on dermatitis then read on regarding “dry skin” … why we get it, when, where it occurs and what we can do about it.
Are there different types of eczema?
Absolutely… eczema is common and very young children can suffer with it. Some will grow out of eczema as they reach early teens but others have continuing flare-ups which improve, then flare up again. Eczema (also referred to as atopic dermatitis) is generally a red and itchy rash most commonly occurring behind the knees, inside the elbow, at the front of the neck, wrists … basically where skin flexes. The itchy rash is scratched for relief and fluid leaks from the rash and crusts over exacerbating the discomfort and condition.
One can be sensitive to some irritants which cause an allergic reaction. Some plants and their saps can cause this, so can certain soaps, even one’s own sweat. This dermatitis is referred to as contact dermatitis. Naturally, identifying the cause then avoiding contact with it will help prevent these rashes which can sting and burn and involve blistering.
And any time the skin is broken – our protective casing! – one is at risk of infection so hygiene for the affected area is paramount.
Babies may experience what is referred to as “cradle cap” … this is a seborrheic dermatitis which can progress through life causing scaly patches and red skin (generally on the face, chest and back which have oil secreting glands. Sebum is the oily substance secreted from sebaceous glands, hence the name). Stubborn dandruff is also a symptom, and like eczema, it can flare up, then improve and the cycle can be, unfortunately, long-term.
Other types of dermatitis would include stasis dermatitis … skin around the ankles and shins becomes thickened and red. There is swelling, itching and crusting from open sores. It occurs when there are problematic circulatory conditions, ie varicose veins, which allow fluids to build up in the lower legs. This swelling then causes pressure under the skin which reduces blood and oxygen levels so they are then insufficient to nourish the skin and maintain health. This condition can be seen in people who may be sedentary from other health concerns and would create increased immobility which worsens the situation.
Neurodermatitis occurs from repeated scratching. It’s generally confined to a limited area, the skin becoming leathery and scaly. The patch darkens in comparison the the healthier surrounding skin and can resemble lichen, hence its nomenclature lichen simplex chronicus. The patch will generally be on the head, wrist, forearm or ankle.
Psoriasis is not classed as a dermatitis, by the way, although the skin symptoms of dry raised patches of skin, which can be itchy or burning with blisters certainly resemble dermatitis. It’s a long-term skin condition that can also effect the joints and is an autoimmune disease which explains why it does not fit the definition of a dermatitis.
The above list is not conclusive but it covers those conditions we are most likely to see around us.
So whilst many of us have none of the above conditions, we can still experience dry itchy skin. What’s this all about?
Healthy skin is hydrated, plumped, supple and glows. But there are many causes that adversely affect a healthy skin.
Skin can dry as we age as it loses collagen; nutrients are reduced from less than optimal blood flow. Whilst this downhill slide appears just part of an aging process, it is also accelerated from stress, lack of sleep and inadequate nutrients from a healthy diet and lifestyle. So we can help ourselves here :o)
Cold, dry weather sucks moisture from our skin so for many people, transient skin dryness is seasonal with winter being the unpleasant time! Lack of humidity ie water vapour in the air, can cause skin dryness. You can even feel nasal dryness … think of the over-air-conditioned flights when travelling … dry eyes, dry skin, dry nasal passages!
Dry skin occurs when there is insufficient water in the most superficial layer of our skin – the epidermis – the outer layer. Men and women are equally affected although women are more likely to reach for the hand cream than men … until their fingers feel like sandpaper that catches on fabrics.
When skin is dry, it can become itchy. Scratching can worsen the situation as the skin may be broken and open to infection, and the skin may can thicken and darken.
People with eczema tend to suffer from dry skin so moisturizing adequately is always a part of an eczema sufferer’s regime.
Our hands often cop the brunt of this dryness – they are generally always exposed and are often washed and exposed to soap and other irritants that remove healthy oils from our skin.
So what can we do?
Certainly any dermatitis needs to be assessed and treated professionally but many people can improve their skin health and reduce discomfort by applying healthy creams and oils that don’t irritate their skin. Dry skin sufferers can benefit quite simply sometimes from using hand cream and body lotions.
For many people, the hydrating and plumping of their skin can be greatly improved by ingesting the correct oils. Sea Buckthorn oils (berry and seed combination) will work on the skin from inside the body radiating outwards … generally, within 3-4 weeks of approx 3-4 500mg capsules daily, the outer skin will appear more supple, glowing, moistened with a more uniform hue. See Sea Buckthorn Complete Vitality soft gels.
Sea Buckthorn oils applied to the outer skin will give, in most cases, immediate relief from dryness. See Sea Buckthorn Skin Rejuve and Sea Buckthorn Skin Rejuve Exotic (topical creams) and Sea Buckthorn Body Glow (body oil). For chronic skin conditions, we offer Sea Buckthorn Pure Seed and Berry Oil. The important factor in using moisturizing creams etc is that they contain natural ingredients with no irritants. Kavalia Power is very aware of this and resultantly only offers products with pure natural ingredients.
We hope this information is helpful.
Good Luck !
We are not healthcare or medical professionals and the information contained here is not to be taken as medical advice. It is recommended that you consult you healthcare professional prior to taking any supplements and always read the label, use only as directed, and if symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.