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Eczema or dermatitis?

Hi, I've had what I believe to be dermatitis for around 10 years now only on my face. I get it on my chin, top of my mouth, either side of my nose, forehead and around temples and in my eyebrows.

It's not itchy at all it just goes very red and sore, it's not flaky or scaly more like dandruff.

I've tried various over the counter treatments, e-45, aveeno, lasinoh, and recently stinky stuff skin stuff, all of which make my skin super greasy but don't actually help.

The only thing that works is hydrocortisone cream 1%. I put it on before I go to bed and within 3-4 days it has gone back to normal, I can then go 3-4 days without applying it before the redness and soreness comes back.

I would like to know if it is in fact dermatitis I have or eczema and if anyone has any treatments that actually work for them.

I have heard that you are not suppose to use hydrocortisone cream on your face so I'm worried about long term effects but it's the only thing that works for me. I have attached a picture of my nose/mouth for reference. Sorry if that isn't allowed.

Thank you in advance.

  1. Hi, eczema is often interchangable with Atopic Dermatitis, BUT dermatitis is simply relating to the skin and there are tonsssss of different types of dermatitis. Eczema is a universal word for all types of dermatitis for many people whether that's medically correct or not. Hope that helps clear up the Eczema OR Dermatitis. I've had eczema (or atopic dermatitis) since I was born and it wasn't until 3 years ago that I fully was aware of the differences similarities.
    You having these symptoms on your face periodically and always coming back is potentially a sign that steroids do not work for you regardless of the temporary relief you get since it comes back. The condition is officially chronic eczema since it comes back. Unfortunately the use of steroids on your face especially can cause long term effects that many write about here called Topical Steroid Withdrawal or Addiction. If you can speak with a dermatologist that would be ideal!
    I saw contact dermatitis and patch testing suggested. I break futon my face mostly due to have contact with allergens. Thankfully with epsom or sea salt baths, or light exfoliation with coffee grounds helps my dryness or problem areas and lots of water and a little detoxing, my face is smooth again in a week or two. It is a process with out a quick fix since it keeps coming back, that I hope you find the best solution for you!

    1. I read that the conditions are interchangeable...ive been diagnosed with eczema on eyelids by an opthamologist possibly caused by watering eyes + other things.
      . This area being 3xtra thin &sensitive its diffucult to find a suitable treatment.
      Now being referred for patch testing as one doctor thinks its contac dermatitis!

      1. Yes, , the names do seem to be used interchangeably. The patch testing was very helpful for me, including some surprises. I wrote about it here if you’re interested: Please come back and let us know if you find anything helpful. We’re always interested in what happens. I can’t imagine it on my eyelids! Wishing you well, Cora Lyn, Team Member

    2. Hi, my son has ezeama since the age of 2, he's 21 now. He has had it on most parts of his body over the years. He had it on face and behind ears and was prescribed hydrocortisone, which helped, but as you say comes back. Thankfully as he's got older it's mainly arms, groin and legs but still occasionally face.

      1. As with a lot of stories on here, I can totally relate to your son's hardship. I was diagnosed at two. In my twenties it actually cleared up on my face but it came back with full vengeance in my mid-30s. We all react differently to our environments and depending how we cope with the stresses of life, it can sometimes determine how good or bad our eczema can be. I wish him all the best. Thanks for sharing!! Pete ( Site Moderator)

    3. Also it's important to know that one's diets could also help with inflammation. In addition not all medical brands are good for the skin but actually be drying if use repeatedly without some form of natural based oil or moisturizer as a backup. Sweet almond oil is another calming oil to dermatitis. You can also try adding lavender oil or sweet almond drops to products such as aveeno (though that it already has oats in it, I can't feel the need to stress how much doing as simple as that increases the efficiency). Sea salt is another good thing for the inflammation of skin for dermatitis especially dead sea products.

      1. I remember using Dead Sea products as a teenager. Personally speaking, I never found them to be that effective although now when I think about it it might be because we lived in an area where the water was extremely hard. Think I will have another go with them now that I have a water softener installed. Pete (AtopicDermatitis-Site Moderator)

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