How do medications treat dermatitis?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Medications treat certain types of dermatitis by relieving itching. This helps the person to stop scratching the affected area. In other cases, medications are used to clear up bacterial infections. The medication used, and how it works, depends on the type of dermatitis the person has. Ask your doctor about medications used to relieve dermatitis. 

Several different medications treat dermatitis with different mechanisms and side effects.

Corticosteroids:
  • used to lessen swelling and allergic reactions
  • side effects: thin skin, infections, and slowed growth in children
  • side effects of oral corticosteroids: skin damage, bones that thin or are weak, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and infections

Immunomodulators:

  • used to help inflammation by reducing the immune system's reaction
  • side effects: burning and itching during shortly after first use

Antibiotics:

  • used to treat bacterial infections in the skin

Antihistamines:

  • used to lessen itchiness

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.