Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that affects approximately 5% of the adults (especially between the ages of 30 and 60) and in infants. While it is not life threatening, it can certainly be unpleasant to live with. If you suffer from this condition, getting more information about it can be of tremendous help in fighting it.

What is seborrheic dermatitis?                  

Also known as seborrhea, this chronic skin affliction causes red patches of skin that can also be itchy and flaky to appear on your scalp (dandruff) or your face (especially around the nose). It can easily be mistaken for psoriasis, but they are definitely not the same thing. For most people, seborrheic dermatitis never goes away for good. But there’s no need to be worried – there are ways to keep it under control.

What causes seborrheic dermatitis?

While we don’t know for sure what causes it, it’s believed that the main causes are the overproduction of sebum combined with a naturally-occurring yeast that causes irritation. Family history, stress and weight are also contributing factors. Last, but not least, research has shown that people with rosacea or acne are more prone to developing seborrheic dermatitis, as well.

What are the available treatments for seborrheic dermatitis?

First of all, you need to know that there is no universal, magical cure. In fact, treating this condition or keeping it under control takes a lot of trial and error, as what works for some people may not work for others.

It is also very important to see a dermatologist if you suspect you suffer from seborrheic dermatitis – as previously mentioned, there are a number of other conditions that look very similar to this one, so it’s important to have a clear diagnosis before starting any treatment. Once you have this diagnosis, your dermatologist will probably suggest one of these options:

  • Antifungal agents – these are topical ones; ketoconazole is the most common and you can find it in over-the-counter shampoos like Nizoral.
  • Corticosteroids – you will need to use creams and lotions that contain corticosteroids as a means to reduce inflammation.
  • Immunomodulators: medication like pimecrolimus helps adjust the over-productive oil glands and thus regulate your sebum levels.

Aside from the actual treatment, you will also need to have a special skin care regimen: avoid alcohol-based products (and alcohol consumption) and use gentle creams, lotions and toners to clean your skin. Products with salicylic acid and zinc are always a good choice, as they help you keep the inflammation and the scaling under control.

What about you? Have you found the treatment that works for you?

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