(Last Updated on : 13-03-2014)
Dermatitis or eczema is a common skin disease that can be of different types and can cause harm to the skin. There are many symptoms of dermatitis that help in identifying the disease at an early stage. Typically, dermatitis can be characterised as an intensely itchy skin eruption distinguished by the formation of small papules or vesicles. A dermatitis-affected patient may have red bumps and blisters. The symptoms of dermatitis help in identifying the exact type of dermatitis and in following a proper treatment method.
The most common symptoms of dermatitis include red skin, dry skin, itchy skin, water blisters on the skin, scaly areas of skin in places that are scratched frequently, etc. Though,the symptoms of dermatitis vary according to the types of dermatitis, there are a few common symptoms. The very first symptom of dermatitis is erythema or redness on skin. Erythema is sometimes accompanied by intense itching and is followed by swelling of the skin due to oedema (excessive fluid retention). The next symptom of dermatitis is vesicles, which may appear with their bases exuding serum in case of rupture. The condition when vesicles appear is known as weeping dermatitis. The serum exuded from vesicles dries up at a later stage and forms crusts.
The symptoms of intense burning, stinging and itching are considered as common symptoms of dermatitis. Dermatitis or eczema may sometimes lead to the formation of small blisters on the skin and oozing lesions. Though the blisters tend to come out in crops, all stages can be seen simultaneously. The blisters may take about 7 to 10 days to lose their itching and burning sensations and after that, they begin to crust. They are rarely inflamed and do not contain pus. Dermatitis can lead to dry and scaly skin, as well. Eczema can also sometimes occur as a brief reaction that only leads to symptoms for a few hours or days. The symptoms of dermatitis persist over a longer period in a few cases and these cases are referred to as chronic dermatitis. The symptoms of dermatitis are mainly found on the external surfaces of body like the elbows, knees, buttocks, scalp, posterior, neck, sacral (lower end of the spinal column) and shoulder areas. The face and facial hairline are also occasionally affected. In rare cases, the lesions may occur with in the mouth, as well. The symptoms of dermatitis may also tend to wax and wane.
However, the symptoms of dermatitis usually vary from one type to another. The symptoms may also vary according to its severity and the stage of its evolution. The appearance of dermatitis or eczema may vary from person to person, as well.