The Itchy, Flaky, Red Skin Disease - Seborrhoeic Dermatitis!

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

The Seborrhoeic Dermatitis is a dermal problem often seen in infants, adults. The disease affects the scalp, torso as well as the face. Dandruff is a type of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis where inflammation is absent. The skin disorder is characterized by the presence of scaly, itchy, flaky, red skin.

Signs And Symptoms

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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  • The dermal disorder starts slowly and the initial signs include flaky scalp and skin.
  • The symptoms associated with the disease can appear anywhere on the skin. It can be on the face, behind the ears and so on.
  • The flakes can be grayish, yellow or white in color.
  • Redness of skin can appear on the forehead, near the eyelashes, near the nose, on the chest.
  • Serious cases of  Seborrhoeic Dermatitis involve the appearance of reddish pimples behind the ear, along with the hairline, in the eyebrows, ear canal and so on.
  • Acute dermal problems, especially on the scalp lead to hair loss. These type of dermal disorder are common not just with adults but also with kids.
  • Whenever Seborrhoeic Dermatitis occurs in children scalp rashes start appearing. Depending on the severity of the disease it lasts from a few weeks to years or so.
  • However, there are situations when home treatment may prove to be insufficient and then seeking the expert advice of a medical professional is sought.

What Causes Seborrhoeic Dermatitis?

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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The exact causes of  Seborrhoeic Dermatitis are still not known but it is believed that a weak immune system is responsible for the occurrence of the disease. Other reasons which can trigger the occurrence of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis include problems with the nervous system, low nutrient content like zinc in the blood.

It is also common among babies (cradle caps), but, seborrheic dermatitis treatment in infants differ to the treatment among adults.

Fungal Infections

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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The skin condition is characterized by the occurrence of fungal infections. The toxic substances released in the process causes irritation and inflammation in the skin. Patients suffering from the disorder exhibit little resistance to different fungal infections. The onslaught of fungus renders the skin vulnerable. Certain specific fungus releases fatty acids (saturated, unsaturated). The saturated fatty acids are absorbed by the fungus.

Besides fungus, there are other reasons, due to which such dermal conditions take place and they include genetics, environment, immune system, hormonal factors. The skin condition gets aggravated due to illness, fatigue, excessive stress, sleep deprivation, season change, and poor health.

Prevention of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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The skin condition mainly appears on the scalp of an individual. To prevent the disease from occurring or proliferating, it is all the more essential to use anti-fungal shampoo from time to time. Moreover, natural as well as artificial UV radiation helps in curbing the occurrence of the disease.



Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
Image: Harvard Health Publications

Medications like antifungals, antiandrogens, antihistamines, and corticosteroids are effective in controlling Seborrhoeic Dermatitis. Observations reveal that the topical antifungal medications like ciclopirox are very effective in countering the dermal condition.

The skin condition is known to be sensitive towards androgen and is more pronounced if the levels of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (androgen sex hormones) are high in the blood. It can be said that the skin condition is a result of hyperandrogenism.

Therefore, medicines like flutamide, spironolactone, cyproterone acetate are effective in curing the condition. Hypersexuality is a cause for the dermal condition which can be relieved using appropriate doses anti-androgen drugs.

Sometimes, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis is treated by administering appropriate doses of hormonal contraceptives.

Side Effects of Anti-Androgen Drugs

1. Feminization

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

The anti-androgen drugs used to treat Seborrhoeic Dermatitis have numerous side effects. In males, the drugs can cause demasculinization, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), physical feminization, sexual dysfunction, erectile issues, reversible infertility, impaired spermatogenesis.

The long-term intake of the medicine can lead to the development of osteoporosis in males or females. In this context, it is important to mention that the drugs have the potential to feminize male fetuses in pregnant ladies. Although, the drug should be used along with contraceptive drugs in women who are sexually active.

2. Antihistamines

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The prime purpose of using antihistamines is to reduce itching. The skin condition can result in inflammation.

3. Phototherapy

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Those suffering from Seborrhoeic Dermatitis often use photodynamic therapy for treatment purposes. Such treatment incorporates the use of UV-A or UV-B to slow fungal growth and thereby reduce inflammation caused due to Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.


Eczema and Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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Many confuse Eczema with  Seborrhoeic Dermatitis but the two are different conditions. Eczema is a chronic dermal condition that leads to the formation of skin rashes and blisters, redness in the skin. In Eczema, the skin becomes rough and itchy. The condition is due to a number of factors. Genetic deficiencies, an infection caused due to bacteria, nutritional deficiencies cause the skin condition to occur.

When Eczema occurs then the skin’s protective barrier is broken and this causes bacterial or fungal infection to spread across the skin.

Like Eczema, the Seborrhoeic Dermatitis is the result of factors like fungus, bacteria, low nutritional content in food. However, Eczema treatment has a set of strategies along with medicine which is different from that used in Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Steps to Cure Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

The dermal condition has a set of symptoms which an individual can comprehend if he or she is aware of the disease. Firstly, it is important on the part of the patients to take the necessary dosage of medicine in a timely manner to prevent the occurrence of the disease.

1. Visit A Skin Specialist

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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Skin specialists can promptly identify the cause of the problem. It is important on the part of the patients to take the necessary dosage of medicine in a timely manner to prevent the occurrence of the disease.

2. Beware of Side Effects

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The skin condition in context can get aggravated if proper treatment is not rendered in time. However, the medicines, used in the treatment of  Seborrhoeic Dermatitis can have severe side effects on the humans. It is for this reason that the medicines require being administered only after thorough consultation with the physician.

How To Prevent It From Spreading

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
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With respect to skin diseases, prevention is the best form of cure. Although, to prevent dermal conditions from occurring at the first place it is all the more important to maintain a clean and hygienic environment.

Using hair shampoo, body soap helps to maintain cleanliness. Besides, it is important to make lifestyle changes wherever necessary.  It is vital on the part of the individuals to address these issues to prevent the occurrence of skin ailments.

There are instances when physicians failed to read skin symptoms correctly and that leads to complications of skin problems. Therefore, for skin specialists, it is of paramount importance to diagnose a disease properly, administer drugs on the basis of correct diagnosis. This can help in curing dermal ailments.