Dermatitis is not actually a single condition, but rather a term used in describing multiple separate skin conditions. Dermatitis itself generally refers to a skin disease. Eczema is also a general term used to refer to a set of skin conditions.

Two common forms of dermatitis include Irritant and Allergic:

Irritant Contact Dermatitis – a condition caused by a direct reaction from an outside chemical that has come in contact with the skin. Hands are a frequent location for contact dermatitis because they frequently come in contact with chemicals. Dry air causes the hand to be more prone to becoming irritated. Perhaps surprisingly, almost any substance or change in condition can actually irritate the skin with enough exposure, including water and sudden temperature changes.

Common causes of Irritant Contact Dermatitis include alcohol, metalworking fluids and mineral spirits, frequent handwashing, scratches from plants, fiberglass insulation, soap, and strong acids.

Allergic Contact Dermatisis – This is actually a different condition than Irritant induced contact dermatitis. While symptoms may be similar, this type of dermatitis is sometimes accompanied with swelling. Allergen induced contact dermatitis happens when you skin comes in contact with a substance is recognized as foreign by your immune system. Your immune system actually produces an immune response. Immune reactions can take several days to manifest in full. A typical example of this type of reaction is poison ivy.

Substances to which some people may be allergic include the rubber in gloves, the metal nickel (added to steel and other metal alloys), poison ivy, skin product preservatives, airborne substances, formaldehyde, or fragrances. These may cause can allergic skin reaction, allergic contact dermatitis.

Atopic Dermatitis – Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition, which means that it continues to reoccur over a long period of time. As with other skin diseases, atopic dermatitis is best diagnosed through consultations with your dermatologist. The causes for atopic dermatitis are complex and based multiple factors. It has a wide range of manifestations from mild to severe.


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Serving Patients in and around Palm Beach County

Palm Beach Dermatology has been serving patients in and around Palm Beach County for over twenty years, we are a full-service dermatology and dermatological surgery practice with special emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. All physicians in our group are Board Certified by The American Board of Dermatology and are Fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology. We invite you to visit us at Palm Beach Dermatology to find out why you can trust our skin care team.

  • "To My Wonderful Doctor! I just couldn’t wait 6 months to tell you what I think of you! You are friendly, kind, gentle, soft spoken and you don’t want to hurt me! You’re Special and …. YOU REALLY CARE!! Thank You For You!"
    Marilyn T.
  • "Dr. Muhart is truly a very caring and professional doctor. I have referred many friends, family members and co-workers to her office knowing they will get great care."
    Karen C.
  • "Dr. Lifshitz has an incredibly gentle bedside manner. He diagnoses issues with ease and offers possible ways to address them so the patient can make the best decision for him or herself. I know I am in great hands with Dr. Lifshitz."
    Ami S.
  • "The office team is very personable and friendly. When you walk in you feel like family. Brian is the best. I have been going to Brian for over 5 years and would never change. It is great to see him again and the staff. Absolutely wonderful!!"
  • "Dr. Kowalczyk and his staff are awesome! The office staff is both efficient and friendly. His exam is thorough. I will definitely be back!"
    Jenna J.
  • "As a longtime skin cancer patient I’m impressed with Dr. Kelley’s professionalism and follow-ups. She and her staff are all about results and patient satisfaction. Quite different from the other “Mohs Mills”!"
    Woody B.
  • "Dr. Fayne saw my daughter for her acne. He was great with her and explained everything so she could understand. We love the office staff too!"
    Kristen B.
  • "I have been seeing Dr. DiBacco going on 10 years. Truly, a great dermatologist. He cares and is very personable. He is detailed with his assessments and treatments. What more could you ask for except a great personality? Oh, and he has that too!"
    Alex M.
  • "Dr. Cohen makes you feel like part of his family. He is very thorough in his exams and keeps you informed during your dermatological office visits and any telephone follow-ups."
    Steven D.