Skin Specialists Online

The Online Skin Clinic

Dermatitis Artefacta

Dear Doctor

Hi, I’m curious what this is, it’s been happening for about 3 years now, I’m 27. I keep my face very clean and it seems its just getting worse. Is this adult acne or what? Is there anything over the counter that might help?

Dermatitis Artefacta

Dear Patient

Your symptoms are suggestive of dermatitis artefacta which is also known as factitial dermatitis.

Dermatitis Artefacta Symptoms

Symptoms of dermatitis artefacta include skin lesions which develop in geometric shapes like straight lines and even right angles as seen in the picture.

There is also often a very clear demarcation between the affected areas and those which are not affected.

I therefore suggest that you consult your nearest doctor for a comprehensive work up which should include a psychiatric evaluation.

This is due to the fact that lesions of dermatitis artefacta are usually caused by the patient either for emotional release and other reasons.

I also suggest that you only wash your face twice a day  – morning and evening – because overwashing it can lead to drying which can cause the oil glands to produce an excessive amount oil that can lead to breakouts.

You can also use an over-the-counter face wash and face moisturizer labelled “non-comedogenic” which means that it  will not clog your pores.

However, your main  treatment is the lengthy discussion you will have with your nearest doctor to see if there is anything you might be doing to cause or aggravate the lesions on your face either wittingly or unwittingly.

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