Eczema/ Dermatitis

Dermatitis affects about one in every five people at some time in their lives. The terms dermatitis and eczema are often used interchangeably. In some cases the term eczematous dermatitis is used.  Dermatitis can be acute or chronic or both.

Acute eczema (or dermatitis) refers to a rapidly evolving red rash which may cause blisters and swelling. Chronic eczema (or dermatitis) refers to a long standing irritable area. It is often darker than the surrounding skin, thickened (lichenified) and much scratched. An in-between state is known as subacute eczema.

Some types of Eczema

  • Atopic eczema is particularly prevalent in children; inherited factors seem important, as there is nearly always a family history of dermatitis or asthma.
  • Irritant contact eczema is provoked by handling water, detergents, solvents or harsh chemicals, and by friction.
  • Allergic contact eczema is due to skin contact with substances that most people don’t react to: most commonly nickel, perfume, rubber, hair dye or preservatives.
  • Dry skin: especially on the lower legs, may cause asteatotic eczema.
  • Nummular eczema (also called ‘discoid eczema’) presents as scattered coin-shaped excoriated patches which can persist for a few months.
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff presents as scaly rash on the scalp and face and may be due to Malassezia yeasts that live in these areas.


Treatment of Dermatitis

An important aspect of treatment is to identify and tackle any contributing factors

  • Bathing
    Do not take longer than 15 minutes to bathe. Use a gentle cleanser
  • Irritants
    Protect your skin from dust, water, solvents, detergents, injury
  • Topical steroids
    Apply a topical steroid cream or ointment to the itchy areas. Steroids should usually be applied once or twice daily only to affected areas
  • Antihistamines
    Antihistamine tablets may help reduce the itch, and are particularly useful at night
  • Clothing
    Wear loose clothing made of soft and smooth material
  • Moisturizer
    Ask your doctor to recommend a good moisturizer and avoid perfumed products when possible
  • Topical calcineurin-inhibitors
    Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus are new anti-inflammatory cream shown to be very effective for atopic dermatitis, with fewer side effects than topical steroids
  • Other treatments
    Systemic steroids, azathioprine, cyclosporine, phototherapy, and other complicated treatments may also be used for severe cases.


Skin allergy tests we offer:

1. Skin prick test
2. Patch tests
3. Blood Allergy tests

For more information, contact us for appointment.

Dr Lynn Chiam…

Dr Lynn Chiam graduated from the National University of Singapore and subsequently received her Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (Internal Medicine) United Kingdom. She completed her specialist training in dermatology...

More about Dr. Lynn...

Why choose Children & Adult Skin Clinic?

No two individuals are the same. Our treatments are customized to each individual’s unique skin type & needs.

Through consultation with our doctor, a thorough analysis will be undertaken to determine the ideal treatment methods for the best possible results.

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