There are many different types of dermatitis but generally it can be broken up into 2 sub-groups:

1. Endogenous Eczema or Dermatitis

The endogenous type of eczema or dermatitis would include Atopic Eczema and Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.
Atopic Eczema, a genetic type of eczema, is generally the most troublesome but most children do eventually outgrow it. It is usually passed down from a parent and there can be an atopic tendency within the family with other members of the family suffering from related conditions such as asthma and hay fever.

2. Exogenous Eczema or Dermatitis

This is usually where the patient develops an allergic reaction to some external substance, for example, an Allergic Contact Dermatitis due to nickel in cheaper costume jewellery. The treatment of this type of dermatitis is to identify the offending allergen and to avoid it. It is sometimes necessary to do patch tests to identify the offending allergen.

Other types of exogenous eczema would include a Photoallergic Dermatitis, in other words, a patient may be taking a drug that would make a patient more sensitive to the sun and one would develop a dermatitis in the sun-exposed areas. An example of this would include thiazide diuretics.


Treatment of eczema or dermatitis is dependent on the type and severity of the eczema and this can only be decided upon once the doctor has seen the patient.