Everything You Need to Know About Seborrheic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema, but many people tend to be more familiar with its layman term- dandruff. But what may come as a surprise is that these flakes are not exclusive to your scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that causes skin inflammation. Properly diagnosing this condition can be challenging as it can mimic similar forms of dermatitis that leave skin red, itching, scaling, and cracking. Fortunately, the dermatologists at Short Hills Dermatology can explain everything you need to know about this irritating skin condition.

Who Does Seborrheic Dermatitis Effect?

Did you know this form of dermatitis is very prevalent with more than 3 million new cases in America each year? This proves problematic as newborns and infants are particularly prone to this skin condition. Adults between ages 30-60 should consult their doctor regarding a seborrheic dermatitis breakout. This condition is also more common in men than women, and in people who have oily skin. There are a number of medical conditions that can increase the risk of developing this skin conditions such as acne, AIDS, alcoholism, and rosacea.

What Are Common Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Causes of Seborrheic dermatitis often result in the skin on your scalp flaking off revealing a red, itchy, rash on the top of your head. Among the leading causes of these side effects are yeast, abundant overgrowth and rapid shedding of cells. Other factors include stress, genetic disposition, and the weather; this condition is not caused by allergies or poor hygiene.

Expected Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Parents may mistake seborrheic dermatitis on babies for a diaper rash. For newborns, however, this form of dermatitis often appears as crusty yellow or brown colored scales onto the scalp, commonly referred to as cradle cap. This normally disappears within a couple months.

In adults, seborrheic dermatitis often causes itching, burning, and a pink or red colored appearance. The scales of skin that flake off may be white or yellowish, and appear moist or oily. Seborrheic dermatitis causes spots on the face, especially around eyebrows, sides of the nose, behind the ears, and on eyelids in most adult cases. However, skin symptoms can also surface on the body such as the middle part of the chest, around the navel, the buttocks, and in skin folds under arms, behind kneecaps, legs, within the groin, and below the breasts.

Daily Treatment Methods To Combat Seborrheic Dermatitis

While seborrheic dermatitis has the possibility to clear up on its own accord, it tends to appear in cycles of skin flare-ups. If you experience an outbreak of seborrheic dermatitis on your face or body, keep the effected areas clean by washing with soap and water daily. Sunlight is another preventative, which can slow the growth of the yeast organisms living in the effected areas of the body. Thus, being outdoors and outdoor exercise could help make your rash disappear. But be sure to wear sunscreen when spending an extended period of time outside to reduce the chance of sunburn.

Medicated dandruff shampoos containing ingredients such as coal tar, ketoconazole, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or zinc pyrithione can help to reduce symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. Experts recommend avoiding medicated shampoo on babies before consulting your pediatrician as it can easily irritate the baby’s scalp.

Other possible treatments for seborrheic dermatitis include antifungal products, corticosteroid lotions, prescription strength medicated shampoos, and sulfur products. The best results to treat this skin condition often come from a combination of treatments: both medication, and lifestyle modification.

Your Dermatologist Can Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Whenever you have any type of rash, redness, or scaling on your skin, it’s in your best interest contact your dermatologist to diagnose the skin condition, and start a treatment process. If your seborrheic dermatitis does not improve, or if the area becomes painful, red, swollen, or starts to drain pus, immediately consult a doctor. Contact a top New Jersey dermatologist to best evaluate your skin condition and begin an effective treatment plan today!

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