der·ma·ti·tis | \ˌdər-mə-ˈtī-təs \
plural dermatitides\-ˈti-tə-ˌdēz \ or dermatitises

Definition of dermatitis 

: inflammation of the skin

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Did You Know?

Dermatitis usually appears as a rash, and may cause itching, blisters, swelling, and often scabbing and scaling. It often marks an allergic reaction of some kind. Contact dermatitis is caused by something (often a chemical) touching the skin. Atopic dermatitis usually affects the insides of the elbows, the backs of the knees, and the face; generally resulting from an inherited sensitivity, it's often triggered by inhaling something. Eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff are all forms of dermatitis. Even in the worst cases, dermatitis isn't infectious and doesn't produce serious health consequences.

Examples of dermatitis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Sometimes stronger treatments are required to treat seborrheic dermatitis. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "Eyebrow Dandruff Is a Thing—Here’s How to Treat It," 28 June 2018 Really the only good news here is that having atopic dermatitis doesn’t usually translate into a 24/7 battle with dry, itchy, irritated skin. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Causes Eczema, Anyway?," 13 July 2018 This spring, researchers from the University of Naples Federico II and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche published the first conclusive evidence supporting the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol in experimental allergic contact dermatitis. Jon Cooper, STAT, "New drug approval should force the DEA to rethink cannabis-derived medicines," 26 June 2018 According to the Florida Department of Health, sea lice, also called thimble jellyfish, can cause dermatitis, or small red bumps on a person's skin. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Sea lice reported on Florida beach," 27 June 2018 There have been a few reports that a bite from one could cause dermatitis, although bites seem uncommon. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Tiny mites leave red stains," 15 June 2018 This gene carries three possible conditions — allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies), atopic dermatitis and asthma. Maureen Langley, Post-Tribune, "Experts: Indiana's allergy season worse than usual this year," 3 July 2018 Treatment for dermatitis caused by sea lice can include an antihistamine, such diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or an oatmeal bath. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Sea lice reported on Florida beach," 27 June 2018 Those with a history of dermatitis, immune disorders (including autoimmune disease), even if in remission, should think twice before getting a tattoo and have a conversation with their healthcare provider. Judy Schaechter, M.d., miamiherald, "Body art to be even more popular in future as kids emulate their tattooed parents," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dermatitis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dermatitis

1876, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for dermatitis

The first known use of dermatitis was in 1876

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English Language Learners Definition of dermatitis

medical : a disease in which the skin becomes red, swollen, and sore


der·ma·ti·tis | \ˌdər-mə-ˈtīt-əs \
plural dermatitises or dermatitides\-ˈtit-ə-ˌdēz \

Medical Definition of dermatitis 

: inflammation of the skin

called also dermitis

Other Words from dermatitis

dermatitic \-ˈtit-ik \ adjective

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Comments on dermatitis

What made you want to look up dermatitis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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