Dermatitis, sometimes also called eczema, can create a vicious cycle. Your skin itches, so you scratch it. It becomes red and swollen, and then tiny, red, oozing bumps appear that eventually crust over. You keep scratching because the itching is unbearable, so the rash gets even more irritated and perhaps even infected.

All too often, you don't even know what's causing the itching. It could be an allergy to the soap you use in the shower each morning. It could be irritation from a chemical you're exposed to at work. It could even be atopic dermatitis, which is a mysterious, chronic skin condition that usually begins in childhood and most often strikes people with a personal or family history of allergic conditions.

Dermatitis is sometimes used as a catch-all term for any inflammation or swelling of the skin. The term eczema is used interchangeably with dermatitis by some experts, while others use "eczema" only to refer to the specific condition known medically as atopic dermatitis. Regardless of the kind of dermatitis you're suffering from, some general rules apply when you're seeking relief.

In this article, we will review the various types of dermatitis and how to tell them apart, then we'll give you specific home remedies to protect your skin from the most common types of dermatitis.

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This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.