Conditions & Treatments

Other Dermatitis Conditions

The following are some of the other common dermatitis conditions: localized scratch dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.

Other Dermatitis Conditions

The following are some of the other common dermatitis conditions:

Condition

Description

Symptoms

Treatment

Localized scratch dermatitis

A chronic, itchy inflammation of the skin that usually affects more women than men, and more Asians and American Indians than other races.

It is a result of chronic scratching of a skin area, which causes itching, triggering more scratching, leading to a vicious circle. The exact cause is unknown. Psychologic factors could play a role.

The condition can occur anywhere on the skin, including the anus. Symptoms may include:

  • Itching

  • Dryness and scaling

  • Dark areas from rubbing

Effective treatment usually includes cessation of scratching or rubbing. Other treatment may include:

  • Antihistamines or topical medications to control itching

  • Corticosteroid creams

  • Over-the-counter moisturizing creams 

Nummular dermatitis

A chronic rash that most commonly affects middle-aged people and is more common in the winter.

The cause is unknown.

The condition is characterized by circular spots with small blisters, scabs, or scales. Although the condition can occur anywhere on the body, it usually appears on the back of the arms and legs, and on the buttocks. Other symptoms may include:

  • Itchy areas of pimples

  • Dry skin

Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Treatment depends on the individual person, as one treatment approach is not effective for everyone with this condition. Treatment may include:

  • Moisturizers

  • Antibiotics

  • Corticosteroids

  • Ultraviolet light therapy

Perioral dermatitis

A red, bumpy rash around the mouth and chin that usually affects women between the ages of 20 and 60.

The cause is unknown.

Symptoms may include little blisters, skin scaling, and acne- or rosacea-like bumps.

Treatment may include:

  • Tetracyclines (antibiotics)

  • Isotretinoin (acne medication)

Stasis dermatitis

A chronic inflammation of the lower legs. Caused by pooling of blood and fluid under the skin. The condition tends to affect people with varicose veins and edema (swelling). It is most commonly seen in the ankles and can spread up to the knees.

The skin may turn dark brown over time from this condition. Other symptoms may include:

  • Red and scaly skin

  • Swelling

  • Warm skin

  • Skin breakdown

The goal of treatment is to reduce the pooling of blood in the veins in the legs. Treatment may include:

  • Elevating the legs

  • Wearing prescription compression stockings to prevent fluid accumulation

  • Applying cool compresses

  • Keeping the skin clean to prevent infection

  • Corticosteroid creams

  • Antibiotics (if infection occurs)

  • Zinc oxide dressings

  • Skin grafts (if the skin develops large ulcers)

Treatment Programs


Massachusetts General Hospital understands that a variety of factors influence patients' health care decisions. That's just one reason why we're dedicated to ensuring patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Because a single option might not serve all patients, we offer a wide range of coordinated treatments and related services across the hospital. Patients should consult with their primary care doctor or other qualified health care provider for medical advice and diagnosis information.

Select a treatment program for more information:



Department of Dermatology

  • The Medical Dermatology Program
    The Medical Dermatology program at Massachusetts General Hospital is a full-service dermatology practice that provides care for all skin, hair and nail conditions.
  • Contact Dermatitis & Occupational Dermatology Clinic
    The Massachusetts General Hospital Contact Dermatitis & Occupational Dermatology Clinic is a referral-based specialty clinic with over 30 years of experience diagnosing and treating allergic reactions of the skin.

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