Seborrheic dermatitis

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Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition affecting the scalp and causes scalp patches, reddened skin and dandruff. It can also affect the oily parts of the body such as the upper chest, face and the back. This is a long-term condition and also called dandruff. If it develops among babies, it is called cradle cap.

Symptoms

  • Red skin
  • Patches of skin that are greasy and covered with flaky white or yellow scales or crust on the scalp, face, ears, scrotum, armpits and other parts of the body.
  • Skin flakes or dandruff can be found in the scalp, hair, eyebrows, mustache or beard
  • Itching and stinging
    Seborrheic dermatitis
    Patches of skin that are greasy and covered with flaky white or yellow scales or crust on the scalp, face, ears, scrotum, armpits and other parts of the body.
  • Redness or crusting of the eyelid also known as blepharitis

Causes

  • A yeast that normally lives on the skin
  • Genes
  • Cold and dry weather
  • Stress
  • Underlying medical condition and certain medications

Newborns and adults ages 30-60 years old are susceptible to develop seborrheic dermatitis and it is more common in men than women as well as people with oily skin. Conditions that can put an individual at high risk for developing seborrheic dermatitis include alcoholism, acne, AIDS, depression, heart attack, eating disorders, psoriasis, rosacea and Parkinson’s disease.

Treatment

  • Soften and eliminate scales found in the hair by applying mineral oil or olive oil on the scalp for at least one hour or more and then comb or brush the hair and wash it.
  • Wash the skin regularly, rinse the soap from the body and scalp thoroughly and avoid using harsh soaps. Do not forget to use a moisturizer.
  • Apply a mild corticosteroid cream. If not effective, apply an antifungal cream such as ketoconazole.
  • Avoid products that contain alcohol in order to prevent the condition from getting worse.
  • Wear smooth-textured clothing since these will allow the air to circulate in the skin and minimizes irritation.
  • If the affected person has beard or mustache, it should be shaved off in order to minimize the symptoms.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to lessen the irritation and itchiness.
  • If there is redness or scaling of the eyelids, wash them gently using baby shampoo and wipe the scales using a cotton swab.
  • Apply a warm compress on the affected area.
  • If the infant has cradle cap, cleanse the scalp using a non-medicated baby shampoo at least once every day. Softly loosen the scales using a brush with soft bristles before rinsing off the shampoo.

Other treatment options

  • Mix 4 parts of honey and 1 part boiled water. Mix well and apply the mixture on the affected areas and leave it on for at least three hours and then wash off the mixture.
  • Apply coconut oil on the affected area at least for 2-3 hours to loosen the scales caused by seborrheic dermatitis and fungus.

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