Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by white-to-yellow greasy scales on the scalp, face and ears. The condition can cause different parts of the skin to flake or trigger itchiness.
The condition typically affects the scalp but can also affect other parts of the body. The usual sites include the eyebrows, sides of the nose, eyelids, ears and the chest. In addition, it can also develop in the navel and in the creases of the legs, arms or groin.
What are the indications?
Once it develops in the scalp, it causes dandruff which appears as white, loose flakes of skin that can be itchy. If it forms in other parts of the body, it produces patches of skin that are reddened and scaly.
Who are at risk?
Seborrheic dermatitis typically occurs among infants younger than 3 months old and adults between ages 30-60. It is quite common among men than women.
Seborrheic dermatitis has various causes. The hormones in the body might play a role as well. The Malassezia yeast which is normally present in the skin might excessively grow and trigger skin issues.
Other factors that can lead to the development of the condition include:
- Family history
- Having oily skin
- Extremes in weather
- Using alcohol-based lotions
- Infrequent shampooing or cleaning of the skin
- Having other skin disorders
The treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is based on the age and part of the body that is affected.
Among adults and teenagers, the condition settles on its own. The dandruff can be treated using an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo that contains salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione. The hair and scalp must be washed at least every other day. In addition, steroid lotions can be used on other skin areas.