Seborrheic Dermatitis commonly called seborrhea is a type or skin condition affecting the epidermal layer of skin. It is found in areas that are rich in oil glands, mostly seen on the face, scalp and chest area. A person with Seborrhea will have inflamed skin, redness, scaly, itchy and yet at the same time greasy skin. It’s a chronic skin condition, which means its a life-long skin condition.(1)

Since Seborrhea looks similar to other skin conditions such as eczema, and psoriasis, it’s difficult to differentiate it. Although the key factor being that in the other two conditions the skin is dry, it is in no way greasy or oily at all. Whereas Seborrhea occurs mainly in areas rich on oil glands.

That also explains why the first signs of this condition are seen during adolescence when there is a lot of hormonal activity that leads to oily skin. Dandruff is one of the signs of Seborrhea, although not always. In case of excessive dandruff, and an itchy scalp it’s better to get it checked to confirm it.

There is very little known about what causes Seborrhea. Most doctors say that there could be a genetic factor that plays a role, in the sense that if one or more members of your family have it then it could pass down to you.  (2)

Hormonal imbalances that cause excess oil secretion could also be another reason that causes this skin condition. That being one of the causes why its seen in adolescents although people of any age can develop this condition including babies, it’s termed as cradle cap when it’s seen in babies.

The environment is another factor that plays a big role if in case you do have slightly oily skin but live in an extremely humid country it could elevate the condition.

All of that being said the main reason that most professionals look at is that there might be an excess of a particular fungus that is found in the skin, this fungus might produce a toxic substance that could irritate and inflame the skin. It’s seen that most people with Seborrhea have a low tolerance towards it as well. (3)

The treatment for Seborrhea mainly includes :

Anti-fungal – There are anti-fungal ointments given to topically apply on the areas that have been affected by Seborrhea

Antihistamines – These are usually given to ease the irritation of the skin and reduce itching.

Antiandrogens – In case Seborrhea in a person is seen to be caused due to a hormonal imbalance then the doctor will probably prescribe some antiandrogens that help in suppressing the hormones and creating a balance.

Other kinds of treatments given are probably an anti-dandruff shampoo for your hair, which can reduce flakes and help keep it in control.

What to do about seborrheic dermatitis on scalp?

You could use a mild anti-dandruff shampoo, but don’t use shampoos that contain alcohol.

What causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

It’s unclear as to what causes it, the most common can be a type of fungi in your skin, hormonal imbalance, genetic factors.

How to control Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrhea occurs more in oily areas, so the one thing you could do is make sure your skin isn’t greasy, at the same time don’t over wash your skin because this could lead your skin to produce more oil than usual.

Can Seborrheic Dermatitis cause hair loss?

No, Seborrheic Dermatitis does not cause hair loss, it is not a contagious skin condition.

Does Seborrheic Dermatitis cause Acne?

Seborrheic Dermatitis itself doesn’t cause Acne, although since it is found in oily areas, so is Acne. Dandruff that’s a sign of Seborrhea, however, might cause Acne.



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