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Dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin that can result in various symptoms such as redness, itching, swelling and sometimes blistering or oozing. It is one of the most common types of skin conditions, affecting millions of people every year. There are several types of dermatitis, each with distinct causes, symptoms and treatment approaches. Understanding these different types is crucial for proper diagnosis and management.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a chronic and relapsing inflammatory skin condition characterized by itchy and red patches that often appear on the face, hands, elbows and knees. It tends to run in families and is associated with a hypersensitivity reaction in the skin. The exact cause is not fully understood but involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Management includes moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, antihistamines for itching and sometimes immunosuppressants in severe cases.

Contact Dermatitis

This common type of dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with irritants or allergens. There are two main types:

  • Irritant Contact Dermatitis: Caused by exposure to substances like soaps, detergents, acids or chemicals that directly damage the skin’s outer layer. It results in redness, itching and sometimes blistering.
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Develops when the skin encounters an allergen, triggering an immune response. Common allergens include nickel, certain cosmetics, fragrances and certain plants like poison ivy. It manifests as redness, itching, swelling and sometimes blisters in the affected area. Treatment involves identifying and avoiding the allergen, along with topical corticosteroids and antihistamines for symptom relief.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This chronic condition affects areas rich in oil glands, such as the scalp, face and upper chest. It presents as red, scaly and greasy patches accompanied by itching and flaking. The exact cause is not fully understood but involves a combination of genetics, a yeast-like organism called Malassezia and increased oil production. Treatments include medicated shampoos, topical antifungal agents, corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors.

Nummular Dermatitis

Characterized by round or coin-shaped lesions that are itchy, red and may ooze or crust. This type of dermatitis is more common in drier climates and often appears on the arms, legs or torso. The exact cause is not clear, but it may be linked to dry skin, irritants or an allergic reaction. Treatment involves moisturizing creams, topical corticosteroids and avoiding triggers that worsen symptoms.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Also known as pompholyx, dyshidrotic eczema primarily affects the hands and feet, causing small, itchy blisters. The blisters may be triggered by factors like stress, allergies or exposure to certain metals. Treatment involves topical corticosteroids, antihistamines and keeping the affected area clean and dry.

Stasis Dermatitis

Occurring in the lower legs, stasis dermatitis results from poor circulation, usually due to underlying venous insufficiency or varicose veins. It leads to swelling, redness, itching and skin discoloration. Treatment includes improving blood flow with compression stockings, leg elevation, topical steroids, and addressing underlying vascular issues.

Perioral Dermatitis

This type of dermatitis affects the skin around the mouth, manifesting as red, bumpy, and sometimes scaly or itchy patches. Its cause is not definitively known but may be related to the use of topical steroids, cosmetics, or fluoride-containing products. Treatment involves discontinuing potential triggers, avoiding steroid creams, and using mild topical antibiotics or anti-inflammatory agents.


Neurodermatitis, also known as lichen simplex chronicus, is characterized by thickened, scaly patches that result from repetitive scratching or rubbing in response to itching. It often occurs in localized areas, such as the back of the neck, scalp or ankles. Treatment focuses on breaking the itch-scratch cycle through topical corticosteroids, antihistamines, and behavior modification techniques to reduce scratching.

Since there are so many variations of dermatitis, it is essential to consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to the specific type of dermatitis. Management often involves a combination of avoiding triggers, topical medications, proper skin care and, in some cases, oral medications or phototherapy to alleviate symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

If you have itchy, red or inflamed skin, you may be experiencing a form of dermatitis or some other skin condition. To get a diagnosis and treatment plan, contact our team at Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc. Call our clinic in Atlanta, GA, to schedule an exam and consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists.

Posted on behalf of Medical Dermatology Specialists, P.C.

5730 Glenridge Drive, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328

Phone: Call (404) 939-9220
FAX: (470) 312-2157

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I truly cannot express how thankful I am for this practice. I have been treated with kindness and immense care by every staff member I have encountered here. The nurses and assistants are beyond attentive and genuinely care for the patient. I have just received a treatment plan from Dr. Laura Biehl, and even if this particular treatment plan doesn't provide me relief, I am confident that Dr. Biehl will work to figure out a solution. She is extremely knowledgeable, listens to patient concerns, and takes time to answer patient questions. Dr. Biehl, and this practice are true gems. If you have any dermatological issues this practice is absolutely the best of the best.
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Contact Medical Dermatology Specialists

If your skin disease is affecting your quality of life or you have been told your skin disorder is no longer treatable, we invite you to discover our unique medical dermatology practice in Atlanta. You will find a team of experts in dermatology who are not only dedicated to treating your skin symptoms, but who will work with your primary care doctor and other specialists to give you the comprehensive skin care approach you need to be healthy. Dr. Weisman can show you what it means to have a doctor who is truly an advocate for your health.

Contact our Atlanta Dermatologist today for personalized care and strong expertise in skin care for your entire family.


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Medical Dermatology Specialists, P.C.


5730 Glenridge Drive, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328



Phone: (404) 939-9220
Fax: (470) 312-2157
Research Fax: (470) 312-2156

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 7:45AM - 4:45PM
Sat - Sun: Closed

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