Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin disorder where in people experience red, inflamed, scaly and flaky patches on skin. This mainly affects skin where there are lot of oil producing i.e. sebaceous glands like scalp, mid face, ears, back, chest, eye lashes and eyebrows. This condition is also referred as dandruff and it looks similar to other skin disorders like Eczema, Psoriasis and skin allergies.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory and recurrent condition which affects people of all age groups. Starting from infants to elders, all age groups can get affected. In children, it mainly affects scalp (cradle cap) and diaper area.
It mostly affects people with oily skin and is more common in men than in women. The exact reason for this condition is not known, but it is believed that several factors like excess oil secretion, yeast problems due to malessizia, hormonal imbalance, low immunity, weather changes and genetics play key role. Risk factors of seborrheic dermatitis include acne, psoriasis, obesity, depression, eating disorders, smoking, alcoholism, stress and parkinson’s disease.
Seborrheic dermatitis is not a contagious issue. In few cases seborrheic dermatitis clears up by its own, whereas in most of the cases treatment is required as it flares up again. One can control it with few home remedies and proper skin care like washing your skin with mild soaps, using anti fungal and so on.
Symptoms of Seborrheic dermatitis
The symptoms and severity of seborrheic dermatitis differs from children and elders. Few common seborrheic dermatitis symptoms include
- Presence of dandruff on different areas like scalp, hair, eyebrows and so on.
- Thick red and inflamed patchy scales on scalp and body
- Itching sensation
- Hair loss is seen in affected area
- The affected area or patches looks greasy and oily.
Symptoms of Seborrheic dermatitis in infants include formation of yellow, thick and oily crust along the hair line and scalp. These patches are usually not itchy. In infants the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis resolves by itself within few days and does not require any treatment, whereas in elders the symptoms may last for years and may need treatment.
Seborrheic scalp eczema
Seborrheic scalp eczema is a type of eczema that particularly affects the scalp. People with this condition experience red, itchy, flaky, scaly and oily patches on their scalp. Factors like genetics, low immunity, stress, weather changes, fungus called malassezia and several others lead to scalp eczema. People with diseases like AIDS / HIV are more prone to this type of disorder as they have low immunity. In severe cases scalp eczema may also spread to other areas of the body like eyebrows, elbows, back and so on. Even though both scalp eczema and dandruff look alike, there is a huge difference between them. People with scalp eczema face greasy and yellowish flakes along with inflammation, whereas dandruff is non inflammatory in nature. Hair loss is the most common symptom seen in people with seborrheic scalp eczema.