Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Seborrheic dermatitis is a  common inflammatory skin condition that affects areas of the body with a high concentration of oil-producing  glands, such as the scalp, face, chest, and back. It is characterized by red, scaly patches and dandruff-like flakes. While seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff both cause a dry, itchy scalp, they have other symptoms that allow us to tell them apart. Dandruff is always found only on the scalp, while seborrheic dermatitis can spread to other seborrheic areas like the face, ears, and upper chest.

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not known, but it is thought to be related to an overgrowth of yeast on the skin, as well as genetic and environmental factors. Certain factors can also trigger or exacerbate this condition, including stress, cold weather, and hormonal changes.

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can vary from person to person, but commonly include

  1. Redness and inflammation
  2. Greasy or oily patches of skin
  3. Flaky or scaly skin
  4. Itching and burning

 Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment typically involves the use of medicated shampoos, creams, and ointments. These can help to reduce inflammation, soothe the skin, and control the growth of yeast on the skin. In more severe cases, oral medications may be prescribed.

In addition to medication, there are several self-care measures that can help  including:

  1. Gently washing the affected areas with a mild cleanser. 
  2. Avoid very hot showers. 
  3. Avoiding harsh soaps and detergents. 
  4. Reducing stress

If you think you have seborrheic dermatitis, it is important to see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. A dermatologist can help you develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific symptoms and triggers.

It is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, including an overgrowth of the yeast called Malassezia on the skin, excessive oil production, and an abnormal response of the immune system. Other factors that may contribute to its development include hormonal changes, stress, certain medical conditions, and genetics.

The symptoms can vary but typically include redness, itching, and flaking of the skin. The affected areas are often oily and can occur on the scalp, face (particularly in the areas around the nose, eyebrows, and ears), chest, and other areas with a high density of oil glands. In infants, it is commonly known as "cradle cap."

It is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination and a review of the symptoms. In some cases, a healthcare professional may perform a skin scraping or biopsy to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. If the condition is severe or not responding to treatment, further tests may be conducted to evaluate for underlying medical conditions.

Treatment focuses on controlling the symptoms and managing flare-ups. It may include using medicated shampoos, creams, or ointments containing antifungal agents, corticosteroids, or other ingredients that help reduce inflammation and control the growth of yeast.

It tends to be a chronic condition that may have periods of improvement and flare-ups. While it cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment and self-care measures. Consistency in following a treatment plan and avoiding triggers, such as stress and harsh skincare products, can help reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

seborrheic dermatitis treatment

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.