Do you have dandruff? You may be suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis.
You are not alone. Many people suffer from this condition and have to manage it on a daily basis. The good news is that it can be controlled with consistent care and we are here to help.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis is an extremely common skin problem. It can affect anyone at any age. It is benign so there is no need to worry.
Seborrheic dermatitis afflicts men more often than women. This can be attributed to the sebaceous gland activity that is beneath androgen control. The first outbreak of seborrhea typically starts in your teenage years or twenties. A patient usually experiences flares sporadically throughout adulthood.
This condition causes red, flaky, greasy, and itchy skin. It presents on the scalp as dandruff. Seborrhoeic dermatitis can also affect other parts of the body like your back, chest, face, ears, and groin.
As mentioned above, seborrhoeic dermatitis often causes scalp dandruff. It can also impact areas of your body that house your oil glands. The most commonly affected areas are your cheeks, on both sides of your nose, eyebrows, ear canals, back, and chest. The skin in these areas usually takes on a pink, scaly appearance. If you touch the area you will find that it feels greasy. This condition does not affect your health in any significant way. However, it is annoying and persistent even after treatment measures are administered.
There is a bit of mystery surrounding this condition. Its cause is still not fully understood. It predominantly affects people with oily skin and hair. It is generally believed that the Malassezia yeast reproduces rapidly in the oil glands. This in turn leads to inflammation which accounts for the itching and redness that is usually experienced by seborrhoeic dermatitis sufferers. Overproduction of skin cells (scaling) also occurs.
Most cases appear with no identifiable cause. However, people who suffer from immune system disorders like HIV; neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, stroke, or who are under stress may be more susceptible. They may also have more grave symptoms. Stress and climate change may also bring on a flare.
Of course, the only way to get a clinical diagnosis is to visit your doctor. However, the condition does have some telltale signs. You may only have dandruff, or you may see greyish scales in and around your ears.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you can make an appointment with your doctor to find out for sure.
This condition can be mistaken for other ailments that also present with red scaly skin. Some of the similar skin conditions are eczema, psoriasis, skin fungal infections, ringworm, lupus, rosacea, and drug rashes.
If your condition persists a biopsy and skin scraping be done. Blood tests may also be required if your symptoms are extensive and are not responding positively to treatment.
Although seborrhoeic dermatitis has no cure or any prevention treatment, the condition can be managed, and your symptoms can improve.
Medications include anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, or keratolytic (scale removal) measures. Scalp seborrhoeic dermatitis is usually treated by anti-dandruff shampoo. The shampoo treatment is usually administered two or three times a week.
There are ointment that can help remove thick scales. You can apply it one or two hours before your shampoo your hair or leave it in overnight.
Using a gentle soap twice a day on your face and body can help ease seborrhoeic dermatitis in these areas. Antifungal or mild steroidal cream can help soothe skin rashes. However, we must caution that steroid creams should be used sparingly since they can thin your skin.
If you think you may have seborrhoeic dermatitis or you are struggling with your symptoms, feel free to reach out to us. Let us help you get your symptoms under control.