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Dermanyssus gallinae

(dĕr″mă-nis′ŭs gă-lī′nē″) [derma + G. nyssein, to prick + L. gallina, hen] A species of mite found in chickens. Its bite may cause an itchy rash, esp. on those who work with infested farm animals or pets.

dermatan sulfate

(dĕr′mă-tan″) A macromolecule found throughout the body that may have an important function in the formation of connective tissue by promoting cell growth. It helps fibroblasts to develop into cells, including cartilage and synovial tissue. It also promotes blood coagulation. SEE: proteoglycan.

dermatitis

(dăr″mă-tīt′ĭs, dĕr″mă-tit′ĭ-dēz″) pl. dermatitides, dermatitises [dermato- + -itis] An inflammatory rash marked by itching and redness. SEE: eczema.

 CAUSES: Dermatitis has many causes, including contact with skin irritants (such as the oil that causes poison ivy or poison oak); venous stasis, with edema and vesicle formation near the ankles; habitual scratching, as is found in neurodermatitis; dry skin, as in winter itch; and ultraviolet light, as in photosensitivity reactions.

 DIAGNOSIS: No laboratory testing is usually necessary; diagnosis is made by observation of the skin irritation (usually red, rough plaques) and the location on the body (face, neck and upper trunk).

 TREATMENT: When a source of dermatitis is identifiable (such as in contact dermatitis due to a detergent or topical cosmetic), the best treatment is to avoid the irritating substance and to cleanse the affected area immediately with mild soap and water. Once skin inflammation becomes established, topical corticosteroid ointments or systemic steroids (during extreme exacerbations), topical immunomodulating agents (in patients over 2), weak tar preparations and ultraviolet B light therapy (to increase the thickness of the stratum corneum), and antihistamines may be used, with antibiotics reserved for secondary infections. Dermatologists may prescribe occlusive dressings intermittently to help clear lichenified skin.

PATIENT CARE: The patient should avoid known skin irritants. Tepid baths, cool compresses, and astringents sometimes help relieve inflammation and itch. Moisturizing creams or lotions following bathing help to retain skin moisture, but perfumed products should be avoided. Drug therapy is administered and evaluated for desired effects and adverse reactions. The patient is taught to apply topical medications and is informed about their most common side effects. Scratching is discouraged and the fingernails kept short to limit excoriation. The patient should be made aware that drowsiness may occur with antihistamine use and that driving or operating mechanical equipment should be avoided until the extent of this effect is known. Health care professionals should be careful not to show any negative feelings when touching lesions during assessment or treatment but should follow standard precautions. Skin changes alter body image, and the patient will need assistance in accepting and coping with what he or she may view as disfigurement. Children and adolescents may require and benefit from counseling ...

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