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Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis (Seborrheic Eczema or Seborrhea) is a very widespread skin problem which affects almost all ages. It is a condition of the scalp and the skin causing flaky, scaly, itchy and red skin. Seborrheic Dermatitis mainly occurs on skin areas where sebum glands are high in numbers. It is commonly called as bad dandruff and seen more in males than in females.

Seborrhea occurs mainly due to over production of skin oil and irritation from a yeast called Malassezia. This condition is generally found to run in families. Some common causes which may lead to seborrhea are stress, irregular cleaning of the hair and skin, too much weather exposure and fatigue. Also, patients with spinal injuries, Parkinson's diseases, depression and other conditions are at high risk of developing this condition. Cradle cap is another type of seborrhea which is usually found in babies. It is not infectious or very itchy, but if it does itch, the skin may break which will result in infection and irritation of the skin.

Even though not proved completely, early studies show that genes have also a role with its presence. Thus, malassezia yeast on the skin is found responsible for its occurrence. These yeasts are actually natural skin commensals. Then how can they cause seborrhea? This is because a patient with sebborheic dermatitis has increased levels of malassezia yeast on their skin when compared to uninfected individuals. Thus its role in the spread of seborrheic dermatitis was confirmed.

Now, let us see what is scalp seborrheic dermatitis. Generally, people suffering from seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp often have flaky white particles, sores, itchy, and unwanted smell on the scalp. Though this type of condition is not dangerous, it might interfere with your self confidence negatively.

Also, the feeling of itchiness can be really disturbing. Treatments for this kind of dermatitis usually target to lessen or remove the yeast called malassezia that is associated with this. Some of the remedies to avoid and cure it are described below:

  • A common remedy for mild seborrheic dermatitis is to use an anti dandruff shampoo which has pyrithione zinc.
  • Anti fungal shampoos which contain selenium sulphide or ketoconazole will have to be used if the seborrhea is severe. Doctors often prescribe this.
  • Another option is to use corticosteroid gel which can be applied on the skin or scalp under medical supervision.
  • Zinc Pca based shampoo also helps to prevent and decrease the presence of seborrheic dermatitis.

Keep in mind that the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis always depends on the severity of infection a patient has. If the case is really severe administration of deeper medications and antibiotics will be required to treat them.



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