der·​ma·​ti·​tis | \ ˌdər-mə-ˈtī-təs How to pronounce dermatitis (audio) \
plural dermatitides\ -​ˈti-​tə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce dermatitides (audio) \ 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

Contact dermatitis can be either irritant or allergic. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here's What It Means If You Got a Skin Reaction From Your Makeup," 1 Mar. 2019 In fact, those types of inflammatory exfoliants can exacerbate perioral dermatitis. Lexi Novak, Allure, "Here’s What’s Really Causing That Breakout on Your Chin," 25 Mar. 2018 This unnerving reaction is called contact dermatitis. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here's What It Means If You Got a Skin Reaction From Your Makeup," 1 Mar. 2019 However, tea tree oil’s effect on severe dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis is unclear. Krissy Brady, SELF, "What Tea Tree Oil Can and Can’t Do for Your Skin," 4 Oct. 2018 Instead, there are over-the-counter and prescription treatments for seborrheic dermatitis. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "Dandruff Scraping Videos Are the New Pimple Popping Videos," 19 July 2018 Those ingredients can lead to continuously chapped lips or even contact dermatitis on your lips, Hu explains. Talia Abbas, SELF, "We Asked Derms How to Keep Dry Lips Moisturized During Winter and Here’s What They Told Us," 11 Dec. 2018 This is a major way to distinguish phytophotodermatitis from contact dermatitis, an allergic skin reaction that can happen in response to the more usual suspects such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Beware of Phytophotodermatitis, The Weird Sun Reaction That Could Definitely Ruin Your Summer," 18 Aug. 2018 First of all, the dandruff in these videos is probably seborrheic dermatitis. Jessica Cruel, Teen Vogue, "Dandruff Scraping Videos Might Be the New Pimple Popping Videos," 23 July 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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Statistics for dermatitis

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce dermatitis (audio) \
plural dermatitises or dermatitides\ -​ˈtit-​ə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce dermatitides (audio) \

Medical Definition of dermatitis

: inflammation of the skin

called also dermitis

Other Words from dermatitis

dermatitic \ -​ˈtit-​ik How to pronounce dermatitic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on dermatitis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dermatitis

Nglish: Translation of dermatitis for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about dermatitis

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).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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