Dermatitis simply means skin inflammation but it includes many ailments. Most symptoms include dry, reddish, itchy skin or skin inflammation. Other signs include scaly, encrusted skin, greasy, yellowish scales, or even ulcerated skin.

Many things can irritate the skin which leaves the doctor in a difficult situation. He must first identify and eliminate the cause. He will try to narrow the diagnosis to a specific category of dermatitis, even though treatment is similar for most types. It can be diagnosed by observation and its location on the body. Sometimes a skin scraping will be taken for microscopic analysis and other times a doctor may try patch tests. These are when suspected irritants are applied to the skin on the back. If no inflammation develops in two to four days, the doctor will apply of potential irritants until the cause is clear.

Prevention of dermatitis can be fairly easy. In most cases with people who have sensitive skin, the best way to prevent skin irritation is to avoid the irritant. When rashes develop because of contact with a toxic plant, you should always wash the exposed skin as soon as possible. If you feel you are at risk, preventive steps include using a humidifier at home, wear loose‑fitting clothing, avoid plating jewelry, lubricate skin after bathing, and supplement your diet with vitamins A, B complex, E, and zinc.