Spongiotic dermatitis is generally considered as a form of acute eczema. It is a condition that makes the skin itchy and cracked. While this form of dermatitis is often painful, it is relatively easy to prevent and treat.
Some of the symptoms of spongiotic dermatitis include:
- Dry and scaly skin
- Severe itching
- Rashes on the hands, inner elbows, and behind the knees
- Red, inflamed skin from constant scratching
Atopic dermatitis is the most prevalent cause of spongiotic dermatitis. While there are not studies yet to prove the exact cause of this condition, some studies suggest that it may be related to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
According to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, people with spongiotic dermatitis may have a gene mutation that causes the production of the protein called filaggrin, which helps maintain the protective barrier of the skin. Without this protein, the skin would be prone to dryness, letting in allergens and bacteria into the body easily.
Possible triggers of this skin condition include:
- Allergens (it can be a specific food, plants, dyes, and medication)
- Hormone changes
- Dry climate
- Excessive sweating
Risk factors for spongiotic dermatitis include age, allergies, irritants, and family history. A person that is prone to allergies or someone who has a family history of atopic dermatitis, is at greater risk of developing spongiotic dermatitis.
Spongiotic dermatitis can be diagnosed by examining the person’s skin. Doctors would also ask about specific symptoms, diet, and family history. Aside from physical examination, the doctor may order or recommend a skin biopsy or a skin patch test.
Just like most allergies, there is no specific cure for spongiotic dermatitis. However, below is a list of possible remedies:
- Washing with clean water and soap
- Moisturizing after taking a bath
- Avoiding scented soaps, shower gels, and detergents
- Applying topical steroid creams to relieve itching
- Taking antihistamines or oral steroids
- Wearing bandages or dressings to prevent scratching
Important Note: It is important to consult your doctor first before taking any medication for your symptoms.
It is very easy to ease the discomfort of spongiotic dermatitis and reduce the likelihood of flare ups. You may consider doing the following:
- Follow a daily skin care routine which includes regular moisturizing of the skin
- Avoid potential triggers
- Wear non-rubber gloves while doing housework
- Refrain from touching or scratching the affected area
- Wear soft, breathable materials such as organic cotton
- Keep your skin cool
- Treat the symptoms as soon as they appear, as they will be more difficult to control once it becomes more severe