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Definition of Dermatitis

By Karen McKoy, MD, MPH, Lahey Clinic Medical Center

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Patient Education

Dermatitis is superficial inflammation of the skin characterized by

  • Redness

  • Edema

  • Oozing

  • Crusting

  • Scaling

  • Vesicles (sometimes)

Pruritus is common. Eczema is a term often used interchangeably with dermatitis but is sometimes used synonymously with atopic dermatitis (see Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)).

* This is the Professional Version. *