Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema. It develops on the upper back, scalp, and nose, which have a large concentration of oil glands. The exact cause is not clear, although it is believed that hormones, genes, and microorganisms that live on the skin may all contribute. It differs from other types of eczema in that it is not caused by allergies.

Anyone, of any age, can develop seborrheic dermatitis. Cradle cap, a condition common for infants, is a form of seborrheic dermatitis. Individuals with existing conditions that affect the nervous or immune system have a higher likelihood of developing the disease. Symptoms include red skin, swollen, greasy skin, and crusty spots that are white or yellow. The skin may itch or sting.

This skin condition may clear up on its own, but once you develop this condition you may experience chronic flare-ups. Your doctor can help you come up with a treatment plan to minimize flares. If the seborrheic dermatitis is on your scalp, an over-the-counter shampoo containing coal tar, salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione or other anti-dandruff ingredients can help.

If the condition is on other areas of the body, keep the area clean and dry and wash daily. Your doctor may recommend sulfur products, corticosteroids, or antifungal treatments to help clear up flares. Seborrheic dermatitis often responds well to over-the-counter treatments and diligent attention to hygiene.

Seborrheic dermatitis differs from other types of eczema in a variety of ways. Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema are often the result of exposure to allergens. Nummular eczema is often triggered by an insect bite or other skin irritation, and statis dermatitis develops as a result of blood flow problems.

Varicose Dermatitis

Varicose dermatitis primarily occurs in the legs of older individuals who have varicose veins. This is different from other types of dermatitis that will often occur in the folds of the skin. Also known as stasis dermatitis, this problem is caused by some types of heart disease, poor blood circulation or a collection of excess fluid. When an individual has varicose dermatitis, there are often open sores on the ankles or the lower parts of the legs. The ulcers on the skin can cause discoloration along with itchiness and pain. The skin on the lower part of the legs and the ankles can become thickened, making treatment more difficult.

This variety of dermatitis is often chronic, but an individual may have flare-ups instead. Treatment for varicose dermatitis is imperative to prevent any complications from infections that can spread to the upper areas of the legs or to the feet. Topical corticosteroids are the preferred treatment for varicose dermatitis, and there are over-the-counter or prescription medications available. This is considered an incurable condition, but fast treatment can prevent the complications.

In addition, a physician may recommend wearing compression stockings to apply pressure to the varicose veins in the legs. To improve this type of dermatitis, an individual can undergo treatment for the varicose veins, including stripping the veins or ablation with heat to close the enlarged veins. Mild physical exercise can reduce an individual’s weight, helping to improve the condition of the veins in the legs and the varicose dermatitis.

Understanding the Types of Eczema

Most people think there is only one type of eczema. In reality, there are several variations of the condition, each with its own causes, treatments, and manifestations. Understanding the type of eczema you have is an important step toward getting the treatment you need. Below, we’ve outlined the six major types of eczema.

If you think you have this common condition, it is important to know the types of eczema and eczema treatments available. Some forms of this rash are manageable without a doctor’s intervention, but a lot of people can benefit from specialized treatment strategies, especially when it comes to rarer, more severe forms of eczema.

Atopic Dermatitis

If you notice eczema symptoms, odds are that you have atopic dermatitis, the most common form of the condition. This rash typically forms in the creases of the elbows and knees, starting in childhood and often disappearing in adulthood. Atopic dermatitis symptoms include small bumps, which can leak fluid when scratched, and the affected skin areas may turn lighter, darker, or get thicker than the surrounding skin. This type of eczema is caused by a variety of factors, including dry skin, genetic predisposition, immune system deficiencies, and environmental triggers.

Contact Dermatitis

Eczema caused solely by contact with certain substances is known as contact dermatitis. This condition manifests as red, irritated skin, and it can be caused by the immune system’s reaction to an irritant (an allergen) or interaction with an irritating chemical substance. Common causes include bleach, nickel, detergents, latex, certain soaps and perfumes, tobacco smoke, and some skin care products. While contact dermatitis can look similar to atopic dermatitis, it is more likely to develop fluid-filled blisters.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

This type of eczema is characterized by where it forms on the body: on the hands and feet. The rash appears as fluid-filled blisters, most often on the toes, fingers, palms, and soles of the feet, and they can itch and hurt. Most dyshidrotic eczema is caused by allergies, but it can also be the result of stress, excessively damp feet and hands, and exposure to some substances, like nickel and cobalt.


Similar to atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis results in scaly, thick patches of skin that can appear anywhere on the body. Most commonly, it occurs on the legs, arms, scalp, the bottoms of the feet, backs of the hands, genitals, and the back of the neck. This severe form of eczema often appears in people who already have other forms of the condition or psoriasis. Doctors are unsure of its exact cause, but many think stress is a powerful trigger.

Nummular Eczema

Nummular eczema is characterized by its distinctive, coin-shaped rash. Round spots form on the skin, and they are often itchier than other forms of eczema. Most of the time, nummular eczema is triggered by an allergic reaction to certain metals or chemicals, or it can be caused by an insect bite. Dry skin is also a common cause.

Stasis Dermatitis

This severe form of eczema occurs in people who have significant blood flow problems, especially in the lower legs. It occurs when fluid leaks out of weakened veins and into the skin, causing extreme swelling, redness, pain, and itching. Open sores may develop on the lower legs and on the tops of the feet, and the legs themselves may ache. People with stasis dermatitis are also likely to have varicose veins, which may have dry, itchy skin.