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Highlighting Seborrheic Dermatitis - Treatments and Causes

Many skin disorders are very common and easy to resolve with proper treatment and time. While others skin aliments are rare, and may take longer to treat and resolve. The crucial thing to remember is the faster you seek a doctor the quicker a diagnosis can be made and treatment started.


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Sehorrheic Dermatitis is a common skin disorder. If affects areas of the skin where there are large oil glands. The condition appears as a red, scaly rash and swollen patches. The skin can also appear to be flaking, and it can be very itchy. A person’s general outward appearance can be affected. This is not a contagious skin aliment.

Who can get them?

Sehorrheic Dermatitis is very common in infants and can occur after puberty and into adulthood up to the age of forty. In infants this condition is usually referred to as cradle cap. All races can be inflicted with this skin disorder. It does slightly occur more frequently in males than in females.

What can cause for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

The exact cause of Sehorrheic Dermatitis is unknown. The cause seems to be slightly different in both infants and adults. Sehorrheic Dermatitis may be related to hormones, as it is a condition that affects areas of the skin that have abundance in the sebaceous glands and sebum. A fungus called malassezia might also cause it.

How does it happen?

Seborrheic Dermatitis may result from a reaction to yeast (malassezia), especially in areas of the skin rich in sebum. Individuals with Seborrheic Dermatitis seem to be very sensitive to yeast. It can also be a reaction to changes in an individuals hormone levels.

Where do they appear?

Sehorrheic Dermatitis appears on the scalp, face, eyebrows, nose, ears, neck, chest, and armpits. The flaking of the scalp can look like dandruff falling. In infants it usually appears on the scalp as thick, crusty, scales. The area appears to be red, and sometimes slightly swollen.

What are the symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

The symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis include flaky skin that appears as reddish patches. It can be itchy, if a person scratches excessively it can become inflamed and might even begin to bleed and develop into an infection. Outbreaks can last weeks, months or even sometimes years. Stress, weather, oily skin, and infrequent shampooing can make this disorder worse.

How can it be diagnosed?

A doctor or dermatologists can easily diagnosis Seborrheic Dermatitis. The flaky scaly skin is easy to recognize. In some rare cases, the doctor may do a biopsy of the area to confirm this skin disorder and rule out any other skin aliment.

What treatments are available for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis may get better on its own, but with treatment it can improve more rapidly. A combination of treatments can be used to control this skin disorder. Treatments may take several weeks or months before an individual sees improvement and may need to be continued if this skin aliment recurs.

First, an individual should use a shampoo daily that contains zinc pyrithione or shampoo with ones containing ketoconazole. Topical and oral corticosteroids are used to reduce the inflamed area and should be applied daily to the affected area. These should only be used for a short period of time, since they do have some side effects, especially if the individual has very sensitive skin. Topical and oral anti-fungal are used if it is determined that this is a reaction due to malassezia yeast. When washing the inflicted area, the skin should be air dried or patted with a towel; you do not want to rub hard on the area as this could lead to further irritation. You may also want to apply a moisturizer, but refrain from using any that are high in fragrance or chemicals as that can also irritate the skin. Try ones that have a high level of water as a base.

While Seborrheic Dermatitis is a common skin disorder it is one that can be embarrassing for individuals when in public setting. This is why controlling this skin disorder is so important, working closely with your doctor or dermatologist you should be able to find the combination of treatments that will work best for you.


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