SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder that develops on the oil-rich areas of the scalp, face and trunk. Patients with this condition have scaly, flaky and itchy skin and/or white to yellowish scales that form in oily areas. It can occur with or without reddened skin.
In infants it is called a cradle cap when it affects the scalp. In adolescents and adults, seborrhoeic dermatitis usually presents as scalp scaling similar to dandruff or as mild to marked erythema of the nasolabial folds (the lines that run from either sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth).

Causes
In addition to sebum (the natural oil produced by your skin), this dermatitis is linked to the fungus Malasseziaand immunologic abnormalities.

What You Can Do

The flaking and dryness associated with seborrhoeic dermatitis can be treated with over-the-counter dandruff or medicated shampoos.

For an infant with cradle cap, give the baby his or her daily bath using mild and gentle shampoo.  Massage the baby’s scalp gently by hand or with a soft brush to loosen the scales, then rinse off thoroughly. If the scales do not loosen, it is best to apply some mineral oil to the baby’s scalp and wrap it with a warm, wet cloth for an hour before shampooing.

What We Can Do For You

The diagnosis of seborrhoeic dermatitis is usually made on clinical grounds, based on a history of severity and by physical examination. A skin biopsy may be needed in persons with exfoliative erythroderma, and a swab may be taken for the laboratory to rule out tinea capitis (though the condition is rare in adults).

For severe cases our dermatologist may prescribe topical medication that contains selenium, ketoconazole or cortecosteroids.  Summertime is good for the condition; outdoor activities when it’s not too hot can improve the skin’s condition.

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