An introduction to Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema. A skin disease that causes inflammation, drying, and itching of the skin. Red and dark patches on the skin is characteristic of Seborrheic Dermatitis. As well as swelling, crusting, scaling, and flaking. The symptoms of this condition typically appear in areas of the body where there are oil-producing glands or folds. For example, the upper back, nose, the brows, armpits, groin, and scalp. Although manageable with the right medication, this skin condition tends to have a debilitating effect on quality of life. Especially in severe cases that require persistent treating.

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

As previously mentioned, Seborrheic Dermatitis is a skin condition whereby the sufferer experiences occasional itchy skin in oily parts of the body. This form of dermatitis can develop in individuals of any age. Especially infants (infantile Seborrhoeic Dermatitis), when the condition affects the scalp. In these cases, the condition is referred to as “cradle cap.” Those infected with HIV and Aids and other immune-related diseases are also at heightened risk. As well as individuals with compromised nervous systems, like those affected by Parkinson’s disease.

What causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

The underlying cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis remains unknown. Although there are many known triggers that seem to exacerbate or trigger the condition. These triggers include environmental stimuli, such as harsh detergents and extreme hot and cold weather. As well as emotional stimuli, such as stress and depression. Interestingly, allergies have been completely ruled out at a potential cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis. And medical professionals suspect it may be a genetic predisposition that causes the condition, with the actual gene code and hormonal fluctuations playing a role. Another proposed underlying cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis is the microorganisms present on the skin’s surface, including yeast. 

What treatments are available for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is not yet curable. So, managing symptoms can be a difficult, ongoing process. And for some, dealing with Seborrheic Dermatitis is a life-long struggle, affecting their day-to-day well being. But with a proper diagnosis and prescription from a medical doctor, results should be visibly noticeable with treatment. Making the ongoing experience more tolerable.

Body treatments:

Antifungals and topical, over-the-counter medications for reducing inflammation and itch can be effective for treating milder cases of Seborrheic Dermatitis. However, for severe cases, dr Khoza may prescribe creams for periods when the Seborrheic Dermatitis is in flare. And a steroid ointment to be used sparingly for remission phases as a preventative measure.  

Scalp treatments:

Dr Khoza may prescribe a medicated dandruff shampoo to treat symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis. Shampoos of this nature are typically used on every alternate day. With the affected individual using regular shampoo on the days in between. Medicated shampoos for Seborrheic Dermatitis may include ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, coal tar, and zinc pyrithione as active ingredients.

Oral medications

In severe cases of Seborrheic Dermatitis, a Dr Khoza may prescribe an oral antifungal medication. The patient will take it to help combat infection in the skin. 

Suspect Seborrheic Dermatitis? Book a consultation 

Suffering from itchy skin? Make an appointment at Durban Skin Doctor so you can get an assessment and possible diagnosis. If Dr Khoza identifies Seborrheic Dermatitis or another form of eczema, she will advise you on prognosis. And follow up with a proposed treatment plan for your specific condition.