A Brief Overview:

Many people suffer from skin problems at some point in their life including, acne, itchy, flaky and dry skin. Mostly it is sporadic and mild but there are some chronic conditions that have a major impact on a person’s wellbeing because of the persistent and irritating symptoms. Seborrheic dermatitis is one such condition.

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema but a different condition to the most common form, atopic eczema. It affects both sexes but is more common in men and also in babies during the first four months of their life (usually called cradle cap).

Signs of Seborrheic Dermatitis are dandruff (scalp, eyebrows, moustache), redness, and patches of greasy skin overlaid with flaky scales on the body in areas where there is a concentration of sebaceous (oil-producing) glands such as the upper back, face, armpits, groin, under the breasts and scalp.

How is Seborrheic Dermatitis Treated?

Seborrheic Dermatitis responds to the correct type of medication. The most severe cases might be prescribed medication in pill form but generally, body emollients are the most common treatment. Emollients are medicated creams and ointments designed to protect, moisturize and lubricate the skin, mimicking the effect of sebum in healthy skin. Emollients formulated to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis often contain steroids but there are also steroid-free anti-inflammatory preparations available. Steroids are used sparingly in skincare because they can inhibit the immune function of the skin which is contradictory to the purpose of the treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Reduced skin immunity can lead to infection. As well as topical treatments, some dermatologists offer light treatment, also known as phototherapy which has proven to be effective in some cases of Seborrheic Dermatitis.

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