Amelia Grant

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Author: AmeliaGrant

7 FAQs About Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that causes red and scaly skin patches. The scalp is commonly affected by this condition. But it can develop on other oily areas of your body like the face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, and eyelids. Because seborrheic dermatitis causes aesthetic concerns, it can lower your self-esteem and decrease your quality of life. Educating about this disease can help you deal with symptoms more effectively.

Below are 7 frequently asked questions about seborrheic dermatitis answered!

1. What are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?
The main symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include flaky, scaly areas of skin that are itchy and have a yellowish color. The skin behind these scaly areas is typically red and inflamed. Patches of seborrheic dermatitis primarily appear on areas with a high concentration of sebaceous glands like the face(ears, brows, and eyelids) and scalp. Other parts of the body that can be affected by seborrheic dermatitis include the upper chest and back, armpits, and groin.

In some cases, the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can disappear without treatment. Stress and cold weather can worsen the signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. 

2. What are the risk factors for seborrheic dermatitis?
There are several risk factors for seborrheic dermatitis that include:
- Mental health problems like depression or anxiety
- Neurologic conditions like Parkinson's disease, seizure disorder, or facial nerve injury
- Conditions that weaken the immune system(HIV/AIDS, alcoholic pancreatitis, and some cancers)
- Recovery from stressful health conditions like stroke
- Eating disorders
- Other skin conditions like psoriasis and acne
- Alcohol abuse
- Some medications 

3. What causes seborrheic dermatitis?
This isn’t always clear what caused seborrheic dermatitis. But in most cases, it caused by a combination of factors like:
- Heredity
- Chronic or severe stress
- Yeast skin infection
- An immune system response

4. What complications may cause seborrheic dermatitis?

Untreated seborrheic dermatitis can result in a secondary bacterial or fungal infection. This might cause increased redness, sensitivity, or weeping of the affected skin areas. Another potential complication of seborrheic dermatitis is treatment side effects. Seborrheic dermatitis is usually a chronic disease that requires periodic treatment to decrease inflammation and relieve the symptoms.

While low-dose topical corticosteroid remedies are an effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, using them for a long period might have adverse effects like skin thinning and blood vessel problems. 

Psychological distress, embarrassment, and lower self-esteem are also complications of seborrheic dermatitis.

5. How is seborrheic dermatitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms and the history of other health conditions, especially skin conditions. A simple skin examination is usually enough to determine if you have seborrheic dermatitis. Besides, the doctor can scrape off skin cells and order additional tests to rule out other conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, tinea versicolor, rosacea, and systemic lupus erythematosus. 

6. What are the treatment options for seborrheic dermatitis?
There are a wide variety of treatment options and medications for seborrheic dermatitis. The most popular treatments include special shampoos, creams, and lotions. In the beginning, your doctor may recommend you try over-the-counter remedies, before considering a prescription treatment. 

The creams, shampoos, and lotions may have different effects. Remedies with corticosteroids help reduce inflammation. But their frequent use can cause several adverse effects like skin thinning and skin lines. Antifungal remedies fight skin infection and help eliminate the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. If the condition doesn’t improve, you need to visit a dermatologist. The doctor may recommend taking antifungal medications. 

7. What home remedies can help control seborrheic dermatitis?
There are several tips and home remedies that can help you deal with seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. Many home remedies are available in non-prescription forms. You may try several different products or combine them to achieve the best results. If you have scalp seborrheic dermatitis, it is important to wash your scalp daily until the symptoms begin to subside. When the symptoms reduce, you can use shampoo 2-3 times a week. 

You can try applying mineral oil on the skin patches to soften and remove them. To prevent the symptoms from worsening, avoid using hair styling products like sprays and gels. They often contain aggressive chemicals that can only make your symptoms worse. If you have seborrheic dermatitis on your arms or back, be sure to wear smooth-textured cotton clothing that ensures air circulation and reduces irritation. 

Some people with seborrheic dermatitis can benefit from using alternative therapies like tea tree oil, omega-3 food supplements, and aloe vera gel. 


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