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4 Things You Need To Know About Seborrheic Dermatitis

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Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. Here are four things you need to know about it.

What are the signs of seborrheic dermatitis?

In mild cases, sufferers develop skin flakes on their scalps, eyebrows, and other hair-covered regions of the head. The affected area may be itchy and uncomfortable. This very mild form of seborrheic dermatitis is also known as dandruff.

In more serious cases, widespread lesions appear on the skin. These lesions present as areas of red, swollen skin with a covering of greasy, bumpy scales. These widespread lesions are often found on the chest, though any hair-bearing part of your body can be affected. Lesions may also develop in very sensitive areas such as along the lash line. 

What causes it?

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown. Since episodes of this condition tend to be worse in the winter, cold and dry weather conditions may trigger the condition.

The condition may also be triggered by Malassezia, a type of fungus that's naturally present on human skin. This fungus is opportunistic and is believed to cause dandruff when it grows too rapidly and interferes with the normal function of the skin.

What problems can this condition cause?

The affected skin may be itchy or sore, and sufferers may find the appearance of the lesions distressing, especially if they're in a highly visible part of the body, like the face.

Secondary bacterial infections can also affect the lesions; this occurs when the skin's surface is broken by scratching and then contaminated with bacteria. Remember to wash your hands before scratching your lesions to avoid this complication.

Can seborrheic dermatitis be cured?

There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis, but your dermatologist can help you manage the condition. Treatments are available to reduce your itching, remove your scales, and prevent secondary infections.

If your scalp is affected, your dermatologist may recommend using dandruff shampoos. These shampoos are available over-the-counter, but if you need something stronger, prescription shampoos are also available. If other parts of your skin are affected, your dermatologist may tell you to wash these areas with the shampoo, as well.

Barrier-repair creams can also be helpful. This creams are applied to your affected skin to help repair and protect the skin. These creams may be used in conjunction with other medicated creams, such as corticosteroid creams.

If you have greasy, flaky skin, you may have seborrheic dermatitis and should see a dermatologist. To learn more, visit a website like