What Causes Facial Dermatitis?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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There are many things that may cause facial dermatitis, which is a condition marked by swollen, irritated, itchy skin. One of the most common causes of facial dermatitis is contact with a substance that produces an allergic reaction. In some cases, however, there is no foreign substance involved with producing the irritation common with dermatitis. Instead, a person may develop it because of dry skin or an abnormal function of the immune system. Interestingly, there is even a possibility that a person will develop dermatitis because of stress.

In many cases, the cause of facial dermatitis is contact with a substance that irritates the affected person’s skin. For example, a person may develop it after washing his face with a new soap or using a new type of skin lotion or sunscreen. An individual may also develop dermatitis if his face touches a towel or other cloth that has been washed in a detergent that irritates his skin. A person may even develop it after cleaning with an irritating chemical and touching his face with a hand that has traces of the chemical on it.


Many cases of facial dermatitis develop because of an irritating chemical, but there are other potential causes as well. For example, a person may develop facial dermatitis because his skin is extremely dry. Some people are unusually prone to dry skin and may develop frequent irritation because of it. Others, however, may develop it because of drinking too few fluids or as a reaction to the dry heat inside their homes during the winter months. Some people even find time spent outdoors in cold whether drying enough to cause or contribute to dermatitis.

Some people may develop facial dermatitis because of issues that develop within their bodies. For example, a person may develop this condition as a symptom of a malfunctioning immune system. Some may also develop it as a reaction to emotional stress.

Interestingly, scratching may cause a person to suffer from facial dermatitis as well. For example, if a person has itchy skin on the face, he may scratch it and unwittingly damage the skin. This may lead to the swelling, redness, and itching common with dermatitis.

The treatment for facial dermatitis typically depends on what has caused it. If the cause is contact with a particular substance, discontinuing its use is likely to help. For dermatitis that persists or has other causes, doctors may recommend the use of topical creams like hydrocortisone or ointments that contain steroids. Oral medications that act on the immune system or suppress allergy medicines may be used as well. In some cases, doctors may even prescribe anti-anxiety medicines to help treat dermatitis.


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