Spongiotic dermatitis is a generic term for a category of dermatological disorders commonly known as "eczema," according to thefreedictionary.com. The precise cause of eczema is unknown, but is suspected to be an overreaction of the immune system to an irritant, cites WebMD.com.
Eczema is common among those in families with a history of allergies or asthma, suggesting a possible genetic component or predisposition. Some individuals experience eczema outbreaks in response to certain substances or conditions, such as contact with coarse materials, extreme temperatures, household products like soap or detergent or animal dander. Upper respiratory infections and stress are also possible triggers, according to WebMD.com.