seborrheic dermatitisHave you ever noticed scale like formations on your head or body, it could be Seborrheic dermatitis?

You may have heard the term seborrhea mentioned!

It’s almost like you were part of the reptile family. You may have contracted a condition referred to as Seborrheic dermatitis or seborrheic eczema. This disease normally is related to the sebaceous glands and is chronic problem.

Many people with scalp seborrhea will experience mild to severe dandruff to very dense scaling. The facial and body seborrhea (trunk seborrhea) manifests itself as a greasy scale or powdery substance located in the hair follicles and margins or around skin folds.

Seborrheic dermatitis causes?

While the seborrheic dermatitis symptoms (seborrhoeic eczema) are similar, what causes eczema of this type disease remains a mystery, there are some characteristics which are present in many cases. These can include the following:

  • Hormonal problems.
  • Neonatal period: seborrheic dermatitis is thought to be a response to maternal hormone stimulation as usually disappears between 6-12 months of age.
  • Pityrosporum ovale (P. ovale), a lipophilic yeast of the Malassezia genus, has identified as a prominent component in the manifestation of this condition. We all contain the Pityrosporum ovale (P.ovale).

Although unproven, many experts agree that yeast is a major player in the development of seborrheic dermatitis. It has been suggested that seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory response to this organism, but this remains to be proved. This is because of the success anti-fungal medications have in its treatment.

  • Individuals with Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy have also exhibited traits of Seborrheic dermatitis. However, the exact neurologic link to these disorders in unknown.

What age groups are affected?

If you’ve heard the term “cradle cap” that refers to Seborrheic dermatitis is newborns under 3 months of age. This problem can also be found in adults between 30 years and 60 years of age with women more affected than men.

Seborrheic dermatitis treatment options:

Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp (dandruff) in adults and adolescents.

Dandruff is usually treated with a seborrheci dermatitis shampoo that contains salicylic acid. Some seborrhea shampoo brand names include:

Scalpicin, X-Seb, selenium sulfide (brand names: Exsel, Selsun Blue) or zinc pyrithione (some brand names: DHS Zinc, Head & Shoulders). These shampoos can be used 2 times a week.

Shampoos that contain coal tar (some brand names: DHS Tar, Neutrogena T/Gel, Polytar) may be used 3 times a week.

Those individuals with dandruff, should use these shampoos daily until your dandruff is controlled, and then use it 2 or 3 times a week.

Instructions for using a dandruff shampoo include; massage the seborrhea shampoo into your scalp thoroughly; let it remain on the scalp and hair for five minutes; rinse with tepid water.

Should your seborrhea shampoo not provide any relief then contact your physician. The next options would be a prescription steroid lotion once or twice daily on top of the shampoo routine.

The skin folds and creases can also be a fertile area for seborrheic dermatitis. Steroid lotions can also be prescribed by your physician for both adolescents and adults to attack this problem area.

Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp (cradle cap) in babies.

Seborrhea treatment options for newborns.

Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in babies is treated with products that are not as strong as those used in adults.

  • You might start with a mild, non-medicated baby shampoo.
  • Brushing your baby’s scalp with a soft brush, like a toothbrush, can help loosen scales or flakes.
  • But be gentle when massaging or brushing your baby’s scalp–a break in the skin makes it vulnerable to infection.
  • If a nonmedicated shampoo doesn’t work, talk to your doctor about switching to a shampoo that contains tar. Or your doctor may recommend a prescription shampoo that contains 2% ketoconazole (brand name: Nizoral).
  • Seborrheic dermatitis of the skin creases in babies. Gentle steroid lotions or creams may be used to treat seborrheic dermatitis in the skin creases of babies.



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