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“Generic” dermatitis and oncological dermatitis: what are the differences


The generic term dermatitis refers to several conditions that cause erythematous-itchy eruptions. Eczema is a synonym but is often used to refer to atopic dermatitis. Skin infections, such as fungal infections, are not classified as dermatitis.
Some types affect only specific areas of the body such as:

  • contact dermatitis nummular dermatitis, stasis dermatitis or dyshidrosis.

Others, however, can occur anywhere such as atopic dermatitis or exfoliative dermatitis.

Some types of dermatitis have a known cause (such as allergic contact dermatitis), while for others the cause is unknown (such as nummular dermatitis).

Instead, the expression cancer dermatitis ( or chemotherapy dermatitis or chemo dermatitis) refers more specifically to one of the unpleasant skin side effects that affect cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

New chemotherapeutic agents and new protocols in oncology have led to increased survival rates in cancer patients. However, this increase in use has been accompanied by an increase in the incidence of skin side effects and a worsening of patients’ quality of life. Therefore, appropriate management of skin toxicity associated with chemotherapeutic agents is necessary for appropriate drug delivery and to improve quality of life and clinical outcomes.


Dermatitis: remedies for general one and natural remedies for dermatitis from drugs and chemotherapy treatments.

Cancer therapies have become more selective and have low systemic toxicity. This is because of their high specificity. Skin side effects are still common and can worsen patients’ quality of life. Even, they can, over time, cause a desire to discontinue antineoplastic therapy.

There are, however, whether chemotherapy dermatitis or the common types of generic one, some remedies that can provide relief to the skin during cancer therapies. Particularly to keep the skin soft and reduce the discomfort caused by cancer, it is advisable:

  • Use products without alcohol or fragrance, which are less aggressive to the skin
  • Wash the skin to remove makeup, impurities and dead skin with products formulated with neutral pH
  • Prefer quick, lukewarm showers to hot baths that may rekindle itching.
  • Gently dry the skin by blotting with a towel without rubbing
  • Moisturize the skin regularly, even 2 or 3 times a day, with soothing and anti-inflammatory moisturizers
  • Moisturize the lips by applying cocoa butter
  • Wear clothes that do not tighten, avoiding synthetic fibers and wool that may cause irritation, preferring cotton.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated