Home Skin Care Seborrheic dermatitis: symptoms, causes and treatment

Seborrheic dermatitis: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The seborrheic dermatitis , also known as seborrheic eczema is a skin condition of chronic causing the formation of scales white or yellowish in those skin areas that are oily or fat. It is common for it to affect the scalp, the face, the inner part of the ear, among others, and a dermatological treatment is required based on the use of certain hygiene products with specific formulas that help repair damaged skin and heal the peeling suffered by the skin. In addition to this, the hygiene measures that the patient carries out in their day to day are very important, as these will help prevent the appearance or aggravation of outbreaks. At FastlyHealwe detail what they aresymptoms, causes and treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis

The seborrheic dermatitis affects mainly those areas where there is a most sebaceous glands and the skin is oily, such as the scalp, often being in this case the underlying cause of dandruff, or in other areas such as inside or behind the ears, eyelids, eyebrows, nose, nasolabial folds, lips, or mid-chest.

Generally, the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis that are commonly experienced by affected people are as follows:

  • Lesions on the skin.
  • Appearance of scales on the skin, which can be white, yellowish, greasy and sticky.
  • Patches or plaques that cover a large area of ​​skin.
  • Areas where the skin is oily or oily.
  • Redness of the skin.
  • Itching or itching, which can become very intense if the skin becomes infected. As a result of continuous and rough scratching, slight bleeding may appear.
  • Possible hair loss.

It is a skin ailment that can affect people of all ages and is common in infants , known in this specific case as cradle cap. In babies it usually manifests itself through the formation of yellowish, thick and crusty scales on the scalp, and less frequently in other areas such as the eyebrows, the frown, behind the ears or in certain folds of the body. Normally, the scales disappear on their own as the months go by and seborrheic dermatitis definitively subsides around 3 years of age. If the cradle cap affects a very extensive part of the skin or there is inflammation or infection, it is important to consult with your pediatrician to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Causes of seborrheic dermatitis

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown , but it appears when the cell renewal process is shortened, causing a rapid and accelerated shedding of the so-called corneocytes, which are the upper cells that form the protective barrier of the epidermis. These cells adhere to each other and give rise to the formation of these visible scales in the affected area.

According to specialists, there are certain factors that can contribute to the above process and increase the chances of having seborrheic dermatitis. These are the following:

  • Physical or emotional stress.
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Hormonal alterations
  • Having oily skin or suffering from skin conditions such as acne.
  • Use skin cleansing shampoos or lotions infrequently.
  • Using lotions that contain alcohol.
  • Climates with extreme temperatures.
  • Obesity.
  • Neurological processes such as Parkinson’s disease , head injuries, and strokes.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An increase in cases of seborrheic dermatitis has been observed in patients with HIV.
  • Genetic components: people who have direct relatives with seborrheic dermatitis are more likely to develop it.
  • Malassezia fungus: fungus that affects the skin of those oilier areas and causes inflammation, irritation, itching and flaking.

Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis

The treatment of seborrheic dermatitis focuses, especially, on the care of the skin and the scalp to prevent and treat the skin lesions and flaking typical of this condition.

To treat lesions that appear on the scalp, the use of shampoos with a specific formula designed to promote the disappearance of scales and prevent the formation of new ones is normally recommended . These types of lotions usually incorporate active ingredients such as climbazole, pyroctone, olamine, polidocanol, minerals such as zinc or selenium, anti-inflammatory components such as salicylic acid or antifungal agents such as ketoconazole. It is important to use the shampoo carefully following the instructions on the package and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions that may arise during treatment.

In cases of seborrheic dermatitis that affect other areas of the body, such as the face, washing with a daily antifungal soap or gel , or the application of gels or creams that include components such as alpha-hydroxy acids, ichthyol, keluamide, proctone olamine or urea. To treat inflammation and irritation, a lotion that has an immunodulator, a drug that works by suppressing the immune system, may also be prescribed.

In addition to these treatments, it is important that patients take into account some hygiene and daily personal care measures to prevent the lesions from appearing frequently or intensifying:

  • Wash the skin with mild cleansers that do not contain alcohol or fragrances and are not aggressive.
  • Moisturize the skin with specific creams that contain active agents that soothe seborrheic dermatitis. Other lotions could be irritating to the skin.
  • Wash your hands well before touching the skin or areas where skin lesions are found.
  • Avoid the use of dyes, colorations and chemical products on the scalp, in the event that this is the affected part.
  • Always dry the skin with a clean, soft and dry towel.
  • Treat acne on the skin properly and with the appropriate products.
  • Avoid stressful situations and combat it on a day-to-day basis, whether through sports, relaxation techniques, meditation, etc.

When to see a doctor for seborrheic dermatitis

If the procedures mentioned above do not respond well and hygiene and personal care measures do not help to improve seborrheic dermatitis, it is essential to see a doctor to find out what the cause is and receive the appropriate treatment.

Likewise, it is advisable to consult with the doctor urgently if the skin lesions drain fluid or pus, derive in scabs, become very reddish or cause continuous and intense pain.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Seborrheic dermatitis: symptoms, causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

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