Seborrheic Dermatitis: Causes and Treatments
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that can affect people young and old. This article will explain what seborrheic dermatitis is as well as what causes it, who it affects the most, and how to treat it.
What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema. More specifically, seborrheic dermatitis is a form of chronic eczema that usually appears in the form of inflamed skin or a rash. Most people who experience seborrheic dermatitis usually see breakouts occur across the scalp, but it’s possible to experience a breakout anywhere.
When the condition appears on children most people usually call it cradle-cap. Most children outgrow seborrheic dermatitis but adults who don’t usually have to fight against a relatively persistent disease.
What Does Seborrheic Dermatitis Look Like?
Seborrheic dermatitis looks like eczema. Its symptoms are pretty easily identifiable and include:
- Scaly, inflamed patches of skin
- Oily or greasy skin
- Swollen areas
- Crusty white or yellow flakes
These are the most common symptoms associated with seborrheic dermatitis and they usually appear on the scalp. That being said, seborrheic dermatitis has also developed across the eyelashes of children as well as the chests, navels of others. Seborrheic dermatitis also sometimes develops in the skin folds under the arms and legs as well as below the breast.
What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?
It is important to remember that seborrheic dermatitis is a genetic condition. You either have it already, or you don’t. That being said, seborrheic dermatitis can be triggered by a variety of different factors.
If you have seborrheic dermatitis, here are some reasons why you might develop symptoms.
Hormones - A hormonal imbalance can sometimes cause seborrheic dermatitis. This could happen for a variety of reasons. Your doctor can help you discover if your hormones are causing the condition, as well as help explain the best way to go about fixing it if that’s the case.
Microorganisms - Molds and bacteria like yeast can affect your skin and trigger your seborrheic dermatitis. Any microorganisms that can mess with your skin’s natural ecosystem can cause a variety of problems. This usually requires a more serious cleaning to fix beyond that of simple soap and water.
Stress - Stress can also be a trigger for seborrheic dermatitis. Using practices such as meditation and mindfulness can possibly help in these cases.
Immune system - If you’re immunocompromised in some way, any one of the aforementioned conditions can affect your skin more easily. Having a weakened immune system also means that your body is more susceptible to getting triggered and developing seborrheic dermatitis on its own. Seborrheic dermatitis can not only affect those who are immunocompromised, but it can also affect those with epilepsy or Parkinson's.
Seborrheic Dermatitis in Children and Adults
As discussed before, seborrheic dermatitis is usually experienced by children, but some adults still have it.
For children, it’s usually a short-term disease that specifically affects babies. Most babies who have seborrheic dermatitis usually develop it around their lower body specifically where the body is covered by a diaper. For these kids, seborrheic dermatitis is usually quite itchy. Luckily it also usually resolves itself within a year.
For adults, seborrheic dermatitis is a long-term disease with no real endpoint where it gets totally resolved. Adult seborrheic dermatitis is usually more common in men than it is in women and it can be itchy sometimes but not usually.
Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis
For children, diagnosis is usually unnecessary. The easiest way to help children with this condition is to find some sort of topical cream and apply it to their affected skin and use sensitive skin shampoos when bathing your child. Also, try and avoid products that either have fragrances or dyes in them because these specific chemical combinations can help aggravate seborrheic dermatitis in children.
For adults, it’s more important to get a real, medical diagnosis from a physician or doctor because seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic problem in adulthood which you likely will not get rid of over time. Seborrheic dermatitis can also look like a variety of other skin conditions which may have different treatments which makes it extra important to diagnose just to make sure you’re treating for the right disease in the first place.
Once diagnosed, your doctor will likely treat your diagnosis with a combination of the following treatments:
Topical antifungal creams - Antifungal creams are great to fight against outside factors like yeast and other microorganisms which will help prevent your immune system from getting triggered. Products like Emuaid are great at keeping your skin microbe free and it can help to soothe irritated or inflamed skin as well.
Medical shampoos - If your seborrheic dermatitis is located on your scalp, it’s likely your doctor will require that you use a special shampoo to clean your head and scalp. There are a variety of shampoo options out there and your doctor will know which one is best for your specific case.
Avoid certain products - You’ll want to avoid perfumes, colognes, and scented lotions. These types of products can also have a negative effect on your skin much like they would the skin of a baby.
Hopefully, now you feel more able to recognize and possibly treat your seborrheic dermatitis if that’s what your doctor determines you have. It may not be a curable disease but it is manageable. Ask your doctor is Emuaid can help soothe your irritated and inflamed skin and get the relief you need today.