Definition of dermatitis in English:



  • A condition of the skin in which it becomes red, swollen, and sore, sometimes with small blisters, resulting from direct irritation of the skin by an external agent or an allergic reaction to it.

    Compare with eczema
    • ‘Deficiency leads to pellagra, a condition characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea and certain mental health problems.’
    • ‘Irritant contact dermatitis is a skin reaction caused by the direct effect of an irritant substance on the skin.’
    • ‘Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms include heat rash, dermatitis or thrush.’
    • ‘Eczema, also known as dermatitis, describes skin conditions where there is irritation or inflammation of the skin.’
    • ‘Allergic contact dermatitis improves with removal of the sensitizing agent.’


Late 19th century: from Greek derma, dermat- ‘skin’ + -itis.