Also known as eczema, this is a condition which can cause significant discomfort and embarrassment. Gentle treatments that enhance the skin’s natural healing process can heal or significantly reduce dermatitis.

What is dermatitis?

A skin condition that can result in one or more of the following: rashes, dry skin, itching, swelling, blisters, stinging or burning skin and skin discolouration. Dermatitis (also known as eczema) can occur in many different places in the body.

Those who experience it may have an intense desire to scratch the affected area, which can lead to further damage and even bleeding.  It can seriously affect our lives by interrupting our ability to concentrate, disrupting our sleep and affecting our self-confidence. 

There are three main types of dermatitis:

  • Atopic dermatitis 
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
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What causes dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis

A chronic condition where areas of skin become dry, cracked, sore and itchy. It is most common on the hands and fingers, the insides of the elbows and the backs of the knees. However, it may occur anywhere in the body. It tends to run in families and anyone who experiences asthma or hay fever is more likely to also experience atopic dermatitis. Because it is a chronic condition, those of us who experience it will usually have flare ups throughout our lives. 

Contact dermatitis 

As the name suggests, this form of dermatitis is a reaction to something in the body’s environment. An itchy rash forms on the skin, caused by an irritant coming into contact with the skin, for example soap, detergent, solvents or even a lot of contact with water. It can also be caused by exposure to an allergen. Common allergens include cosmetics, some metals found in jewellery (like nickel or cobalt), latex and some plants. 

Seborrheic dermatitis

This tends to occur on the scalp and other oily areas of the body like the face and upper back. It results in dandruff, scaly patches and inflamed skin. While it can affect anyone of any age, it is most common in adults from the ages of 30 to 60. As with atopic dermatitis, it can flare up, clear, and then flare up many years later, and it can also run in families. Some medical conditions like HIV, acne, Parkinson’s disease, eating disorders and depression can increase an individual’s risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis.

Dermatitis is not contagious, so it cannot be passed from person to person. In most cases it is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but not very harmful. However, if you experience any of the following, we advise consulting your GP:

  • A rash that is so itchy you can’t sleep or go about your day
  • A severe or widespread rash
  • A rash that is on the eyes, mouth or genitals
  • Experiencing a fever and pus oozing from blisters, which are signs of a skin infection – in this case, please seek immediate medical treatment

How to get rid of dermatitis?

At Hannah London, we take care of your skin by following a set of processes to identify a patient’s individual triggers and support with ways to avoid them. We also offer prescribed medications that offer your skin a chance to heal. Our qualified practitioners will assess your condition to determine a gentle course of treatment that will create the desired results.

A dermatitis flare-up is usually triggered by something specific, and the exact triggers can vary a lot between individuals. Where possible, we will aim to identify your triggers so we can care for your skin by finding ways to avoid them. 

Newer treatments include:

At Hannah London, we offer blood testing (skin-prick test) to identify your hormone profile and allergens.
Other processes we use include asking our patients to write a skin diary and using patch tests. 

 Find out more about identifying triggers

At Hannah London, we also take care to offer prescribed medications that are matched to each patient’s condition.
Topical medications, like steroids, can be supplied as creams, lotions, gels, tapes and bandages, and are available in different strengths, depending on the severity of the condition. They may be used for all types of dermatitis.  

Find out more about topical steroids

Oral medications specifically formulated for atopic dermatitis are also available. They are called JAK inhibitors and can work very quickly by inhibiting the body’s inflammation response.

Find out more about oral medications for dermatitis.

Protopic may be used for severe contact dermatitis, especially if topical steroids are not having the desired effect. This is an ointment that calms the autoimmune response that may be causing the skin inflammation.

Find out more about Protopic.

Phototherapy (or LED therapy) uses light to reduce the skin’s inflammation response. It usually involves 2-3 treatments per week for several weeks, and the skin gradually improves. 

Find out more about phototherapy.

Emollients (or moisturisers) gently hydrate damaged, inflamed skin. This may be enough to heal milder cases of dermatitis or may be used in combination with other treatments.

Find out more about emollients.

At-home Self Care Treatments

At Hannah London we also advise on home remedies and alternative therapies to heal and care for your skin in a calming, natural way.  These include:

changing laundry detergents used
switching to cotton bedding and ensuring it’s washed regularly
wearing loose clothing
using a water softener
advice on soap substitutes for the bath or shower
increasing omega 3 in the diet

Find out more about natural alternatives for dermatitis.

Meet one of our doctors for a consultation to discuss your treatment options

Welcome to
Hannah London

We’re a team of aesthetic and medical specialists lead by Dr Kaywaan Khan. We provide award-winning facial, body and hair treatments to clients across London.

Our ethos is to offer cutting-edge treatments in a luxurious setting, ensuring that you leave our clinic feeling pampered and looking fabulous.