Q. How to treat spongiotic dermatitis?

Answered by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Nov 21, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have been dealing with spongiotic dermatitis for 17 months now, and I am at my wit's end. I will provide you with as many details as possible so that maybe you could provide some answers on the cause and cure. For 15 years, I have lived in a very dry region, so I have commonly had dry skin, but that is to be expected here. 17 months ago, I returned from a sailing trip to a case of red itchy bumps. Multiple doctors and dermatologists ran tests and determined it was spongiotic dermatitis. I have tried multiple topical steroids as well as oral steroids, not to mention countless over-the-counter treatments, but I had no relief. However, a 21 days prescription of oral steroids has come the closest to getting rid of it but never has completely cured it and it comes back right away. This has been used a couple of times, but it comes right back.

Just over a month ago, I went to a naturopathic doctor to see if they could provide answers. I had done an IgE test, but nothing was found. An IgG test showed that my body was reacting to dairy, almonds, and gluten. I went on a three-week elimination diet, along with a multitude of supplements which seemed to help, but it never went away. That time frame coincided with a warmer climate, but at the beginning of a snowstorm, there was a flare up. I am still trying this method, but it is difficult to live a normal life without any of these foods, but since the constant itching continues, I am not really sure if the diet or weather was responsible for the temporary relief. What might be the cause of dermatitis and how to get rid of it? Thank you for any insight.

Dr. Suvash Sahu

Cosmetology Dermatology Venereology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your concern.

There are two causes of dermatitis, one is exogenous and another one is endogenous.

You have tried to rule out maximum exogenous causes, but as you did not get any relief, there might be some endogenous factor causing you the trouble.

Some examples of endogenous dermatitis are atopic dermatitis, autosensitization dermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, prurigo nodularis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, etc.

It can be confirmed by skin biopsy, spongiotic dermatitis is a broader term, you must get repeat biopsy and rule out the cause and get treatment accordingly.

For further queries consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

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