Are you, your friend, or a family member diagnosed with dermatitis and prescribed cetirizine? Keep reading this article to know more about the types, symptoms, causes of the disease. You’ll also get to know how cetirizine can help control the effect of dermatitis, precautions, and instructions while taking the medication and its side effects.

Dermatitis and its different types?

Dermatitis is an umbrella term used for different skin orders caused by inflammation. It may be caused by many factors and has many forms. In dermatitis, your skin may look swollen, dry, and discolored, or in some cases, it may cause blisters, oozing, or flaking off of the skin. The cause of the disease depends on the type of dermatitis. 

Dermatitis is not a contagious disease; however, it may make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. You should contact your physician for an appointment if your skin is infected, painful or if the disease is getting worse. 

Types of Dermatitis

There are various types of dermatitis. Some of the types are common in particular age groups. Some last longer, while others may show no symptoms at times, and at times it flare-ups. 

  • Seborrheic dermatitis: This type of dermatitis is more common on the scalp. It can also occur on the chest, face, and around the ears. It often causes skin discoloration, scaly patches, and dandruff. Lack of sleep or stress may worsen the symptoms. There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis; however, you can treat it. 
  • Atopic dermatitis: It is often referred to as eczema. It is believed to run in families and usually develops during infancy, but it can also develop during adulthood. There is no cure for atopic dermatitis. In Atopic dermatitis, you may experience symptoms in the cycle (symptoms may flare up and followed by a period of no or minor symptoms). 
  • Dyshidrotic dermatitis: It commonly occurs in hands and feet and may occur in people who sweat heavily in these areas. It may result in dry, itchy skin, often followed by small blisters. 
  • Contact dermatitis: It is a red, itchy rash, which occurs due to direct contact of the skin with a substance or an allergen. It may also cause an allergic reaction, developing into burning, sting, rash that burns, or blister. An allergic or irritant reaction may cause contact dermatitis. The outside substance may not directly damage the skin in allergic contact dermatitis. However, it will cause immune reactions to react in such a manner to cause damage to the skin. On the other hand, in irritant contact dermatitis, an outside substance directly damages the skin and causes a reaction. 
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Causes of different types of dermatitis: 

Seborrheic dermatitis

The exact causes of seborrheic dermatitis is not known yet. It may be related to:

  • Irregular response of the immune system 
  • A fungus called Malassezia

Atopic dermatitis

Eczema could be related to a gene mutation, which affects the skin’s ability (retain moisture) to provide protection and allows the skin to be affected by environmental factors, allergens, and irritants. In some cases (children), food allergies may also play a role in causing eczema. 

Dyshidrotic dermatitis

The exact cause of dyshidrotic dermatitis is unknown. People having dyshidrotic dermatitis have hypersensitivity to something like: 

  • Smoking tobacco
  • A skin infection 
  • Metals 
  • Certain medications 
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin infusion 
  • Specific ingredients in products like moisturizer or soap 

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is caused by a substance that you are exposed to that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction.

  • Irritant contact dermatitis: Causes of irritant contact dermatitis include: 
  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Plants 
  • Bleach 
  • Detergents 
  • Solvents 
  • Fertilizers 
  • Shampoos
  • Pesticides
  • Sawdust 
  • Wool dust 
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: Causes of allergic contact dermatitis include:
  • Nickels 
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Pollen 
  • Spray insecticides 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Oral medications 
  • Antibiotic creams 
  • Antihistaminics 
  • Deodorants 
  • Hair dyes 
  • Nail polish 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Body washes 
  • Perfumes 
  • Mouth rinses 
  • Plants 

In cases of children, the condition may occur due to exposure to Baby wipes, diapers, clothing with snaps or dyes, etc. 

Dermatitis Risk Factors

  1. Seborrheic dermatitis: The risk factors for Seborrheic dermatitis includes:
  • Some medications 
  • Recovery from medication conditions, such as heart attack 
  • Neurological and psychiatric conditions 
  • Weakened immune system
  • Some diseases
  1. Atopic dermatitis: The risk factors for Atopic dermatitis are: 
  • Family history of eczema, allergies, asthma, or hay fever
  1. Dyshidrotic dermatitis: The risk factors for contact dyshidrotic includes:
  • Asthma 
  • Seasonal allergies 
  • Working with cement 
  • Working as a mechanic or metalworker 
  • Already having another type of eczema
  1. Contact dermatitis: The risk factors for contact dermatitis include:
  • Construction workers
  • Hairdressers 
  • Cosmetologist 
  • Health care and dental professionals 
  • Cleaners 
  • Auto mechanics 
  • Agricultural workers 
  • Metalworkers
  • Swimmers 
  • Cooks 

Dermatitis Symptoms

The symptoms of the disease vary depending upon which part of the body is affected. However, the symptoms, in general, may include:

  • Swelling 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Rashes 
  • Dry skin 
  • Cracked skin 
  • Blisters 
  • Painful skin (burning or stinging)
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It may also cause skin discoloration in some people. 

How cetirizine helps to control the effect of dermatitis, use, and dosage

Cetirizine belongs to the antihistaminic class of medication. This class of drugs works by blocking the action of the natural chemical histamine, which is responsible for allergic dermatitis.  

Cetirizine can be prescribed alone or combined with other drugs of similar action to reduce allergies or atopic dermatitis. Cetirizine does not cure dermatitis. However, it is used to treat its symptoms. 

Cetirizine provides relief from allergy symptoms such as itching, redness, swelling, or rashes.

Cetirizine Use

Cetirizine is available as an extended-release tablet, a chewable tablet, and a syrup. It is usually prescribed once a day that can be taken with or without food. To help you remember, you should try and take medicine around the same time every day. 

You should follow the instructions on the prescription label. You can ask your health worker in case of any queries. Take cetirizine as directed by your pharmacist or physician. Do not take more or less than prescribed. 

If you miss a dose, take medicine as soon as you remember it. However, skip the missed dose and follow your regular dosing schedule if it is time for a second dose. You should not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose. 

Cetirizine Dosage For Dermatitis

Adults and children above six years of age can take cetirizine. The normal dose for adults or children above six years is 10 mg per day. You should not take more than 10 mg per day. If your allergies are mild, you may be prescribed a 5 mg dose twice daily.

Like all medications, cetirizine also has some side effects. It is possible that you may not experience any or some of the side effects. You should inform your physician if the below mentioned side effects are severe or do not away: 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive tiredness 
  • Stomach pain 

Some of the side effects can be serious. You should inform your physician immediately if you experience it: 

  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Difficulty in swallowing 

Cetirizine may cause other side effects. Call your health care professional if you experience any unusual or persistent effects while on treatment with the medication. 

If you are on cetirizine to treat hives and if you develop any of the following symptoms: 

  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Difficulty in speaking 
  • Difficulty in swallowing 
  • Swelling of the tongue 
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of consciousness 

These are symptoms of life-threatening allergic reactions. You should get emergency help immediately if you experience them. 

Other precautions

Please inform your doctor or pharmacist about being allergic to cetirizine or any of its ingredients. If you have any other allergies, do not forget to share the same with the health care professional. 

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Inform your health worker about other prescription, non-prescription medications, and nutritional supplements that you are taking. Also, inform about vitamins and herbal supplements you are taking or planning to take. 

Inform your doctor if you ever had kidney or liver disease. 

You should inform your physician if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while on treatment with Cetrizine, inform your doctor immediately. 

Cetirizine may make you feel drowsy. You should not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. 

You should not consume alcoholic beverages while taking cetirizine, as alcohol can make you feel drowsier while taking the medication. 

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