What is seborrheic dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation that occurs in the scalp or other areas of the body, such as the face, eyebrows, underarms or chest.
It is characterized by the appearance of white or yellow scales of oily or dry nature. Its principal manifestations are known as dandruff or seborrhea. If it occurs in infants, it is known as cradle cap (infantile or neonatal seborrheic dermatitis, crusta lactea or milk crust)
Seborrheic dermatitis is a recurrent disease, which usually appears and disappears on people who have it. However, proper care of the skin helps delay it and decreases its aggressiveness.
Causes of seborrheic dermatitis
The main cause of seborrheic dermatitis is an excess of production of fat, which is developed because of the Malessiizia fungi that cause inflammation on the skin of the scalp and other parts of the body.
There seems to be a genetic predisposition in some people to produce more sebum than normal, however, this overproduction has been linked to factors such as:
– Poor diet: It is believed that many cases of seborrheic dermatitis are caused by food allergies. A diet especially deficient in Vitamin B, especially biotin. may trigger or exacerbate seborrheic dermatitis. A deficiency of inositol may produce similar results. (More information about diet for seborrheic dermatitis in the listing above)
– Chemical or physical aggression: The use of very strong body soaps, very aggressive shampoos, full of detergents, the frequent use of hair lacquers or hair dyes can be triggers. Similarly, a too hard body or hair washing or inappropriate hair brushing can encourage peeling.
– Adverse environmental conditions: Extreme temperatures, both heat and cold, worsen the symptoms.
– Psychological causes: stress, situations of personal distress or unpleasant emotional states often favor the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis.
– Body diseases: Some diseases such as obesity, acne, diabetes or allergy to metals (especially gold allergy) have been mentioned as potential triggers of seborrheic dermatitis. There is evidence that people with certain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or AIDS are more likely to develop it.
Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis:
Possible symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are:
– Itchiness: It is quite common, though it does not always occur. If so, it often leads to scratching by the person suffering it which can cause skin wounds that can become infected.
– Flushing: It does not necessarily takes place in all cases.
– Skin scales: That can be either clear and dry or more oily and yellow. When these manifestations occur in the scalp originate what is usually referred to as dandruff and seborrhea.
– Areas of skin with plenty of fat: It is produced mainly in the scalp, inside and behind the ears and other parts of the body like the armpits, face, eyebrows, eyelids, creases of the mouth and the nose or skin folds of the trunk.
– Hair loss: When seborrheic dermatitis occurs on the scalp, it causes dandruff or seborrhea. Both of those are two of the most important factors for baldness or hair loss.
Diagnosis and treatment of seborrheic dermatitis
The diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis is conducted through a review by the physician of the affected skin areas and by considering the patient’s medical history or his / her family’s medical history to check whether any of them presents a history of allergies.
The official treatment of seborrheic dermatitis involves the use of shampoos suitable for specific hair or body lotions. Most anti-seborrheic shampoos contain ingredients such as selenium, zinc, salicylic acid or ketoconazole.
The natural treatment of seborrheic dermatitis involves the use of a range of natural resources that can help prevent or ameliorate the symptoms of this disease.
More information about seborrheic dermatitis and its natural treatment.