Seborrheic Dermatitis On Scalp, Treatment, Crib Cap, and More

Seborrheic Dermatitis: On Scalp, Treatment, Crib Cap, and More

Seborrheic Dermatitis: On Scalp, Treatment, Crib Cap, and More

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The disorder known as seborrheic dermatitis (which might be pronounced “sebah-ree-ick der-muh-tie-tis”) affects a significant number of people and is characterized by redness, and scaly patches, and dandruff.

It is a persistent form of eczema that affects the scalp in the majority of cases. It is also possible for it to form on oily parts of the body, such as the back, the upper chest, and the face.

Cradle cap is the name that medical professionals give to this illness when it occurs in neonates. In most cases, this begins to manifest itself during the first few weeks after birth and gradually fades away over the course of several weeks or months.

In the following paragraphs, we will go more into the nature of seborrheic dermatitis, as well as its symptoms and treatment options.

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The factors that lead to seborrheic dermatitis

The specific reason for seborrheic dermatitis is unknown to medical professionals. But they believe that the illness is mostly caused by a combination of two different variables.

The first contributor is the excessive amount of oil that is produced. Your skin may get red and oily if it has too much oil on it, which can be caused by irritation caused by too much oil on the skin. This may have something to do with the creation of hormones.

Malassezia, a type of yeast that is found normally in the oils of the skin, is the second component that contributes to the condition. It is possible for it to multiply more rapidly than it normally would, which can result in an inflammatory response in the skin. This causes an increase in oil production, and if there is too much oil on the skin, it can cause seborrheic dermatitis.

Alterations in hormone levels that take place in a woman’s body when she is pregnant can pass on to her child, increasing the risk that the child will acquire the illness. The infant’s oil glands may be stimulated by fluctuating hormone levels, leading to an excess production of oil that may irritate the skin.

Who should be concerned about developing seborrheic dermatitis?

The reason that some persons have seborrheic dermatitis and others do not is not fully understood by medical professionals. However, it does appear that the likelihood of you having the illness is increased if a member of your immediate family already has it.

Additional factors that may contribute to an increased risk include the following:


bad skin care, the stress of environmental factors such as pollution, and the existence of additional skin problems such as acne all contribute to poor skin.

the utilization of specific skin care products, in particular, those that contain alcohol

a number of different medical diseases, such as HIV or Parkinson’s illness

Harsh chemicals, soaps, and detergents also need to be avoided.

drugs including psoralen, interferon, and lithium, together with hormonal shifts caused by the cold and dry weather

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dermatitis seborrheic localized to the scalp

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that can affect the scalp and hairline. The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can range from minor dandruff to thick, dense patches of dry skin.

Dandruff is a typical symptom of seborrheic dermatitis and might look like tiny, powdery bits of dead skin. Dandruff can also be itchy and flaky. There is a possibility that it will show up in your hair or in dark clothing.

If you have a severe case of seborrheic dermatitis, you could develop erythematous plaques on your skin. These are lumpy, raised areas of thickened, crusty skin that can be found on and around the scalp.

If it is not addressed, the plaque may become more viscous, turn yellow, and develop a greasy appearance. There is also the possibility of a subsequent infection.

What kinds of at-home treatments are available for seborrheic dermatitis?

Before seeking medical treatment, your physician will most likely suggest that you experiment with several at-home methods first.

Shampoos designed to cure dandruff are commonly used by patients who have seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. In order to achieve optimal outcomes, daily use is typically required. Be sure to give the directions that are written on the bottle your complete attention.

Additional home therapies for seborrheic dermatitis that can help you control the condition include the following:

utilizing antifungal and antiitch lotions that are available over-the-counter (OTC).

The use of hypoallergenic soap and detergent, followed by a thorough rinse to remove shampoo and soap from the scalp and skin

Shaving off a mustache or beard while wearing cotton clothes that are loose fitting is an effective way to prevent skin irritation.

What kind of treatment is there for seborrheic dermatitis?

The skin ailment known as seborrheic dermatitis is one that lasts for a long time and requires continual care. But you can properly manage the disease by doing the following:

developing a strong skincare routine while working with a medical professional

and learning to recognize and eliminate triggers

If the symptoms you are experiencing do not improve after using these home remedies, you should consult your primary care physician about the possibility of trying the therapies listed below.

Products for seborrheic dermatitides, such as shampoos and ointments, require a doctor’s prescription.

These contain hydrocortisone, fluocinolone, or desonide.

It is possible to apply these drugs topically to the area that is injured. When used for an extended period of time, there is a possibility that they will create adverse effects; nonetheless, they are quite successful in treating seborrheic dermatitis.

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Antifungal medicine

In unusual cases, your doctor may decide that an antifungal medicine is necessary for you to take. However, due to the potential for major adverse effects, such as allergic responses and liver problems, this medication is not typically recommended by medical professionals.

According to the National Eczema Association, antifungal medications may be made available in the form of a shampoo, topical solution, or cream that has fewer adverse effects than oral treatment. This would be advantageous for patients.


Another form of medication that can alleviate symptoms by combating germs and providing relief is metronidazole. It is available in the form of cream as well as gel. When applied to the skin once or twice a day, the drug should be used until your symptoms have improved.


Psoralen therapy in conjunction with light therapy

Your symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can be better managed with the help of psoralen and light treatment, both of which can be prescribed by your doctor.

Psoralen may be taken orally or applied to the skin topically. Both methods are equally effective. After the patient has taken psoralen orally or had it applied topically, the affected area of skin is next subjected to ultraviolet radiation for a brief length of time.

Managing cases of cradle cap

normally don’t require medical treatment. It typically clears up within a period of six months.

You can try the following daily regimen in the meanwhile to assist you in managing the symptoms that your child is experiencing:

You can loosen crusty areas on your baby’s scalp by rubbing his or her scalp or by using a brush with soft bristles.

Use a shampoo that isn’t too harsh on your child’s hair when you wash it.

Perform a thorough washing of the hair and scalp.

Use a clean brush with gentle bristles to comb through your child’s hair.

Before you shampoo your child’s hair, give their scalp a massage with olive oil to help loosen any scales that may be difficult to remove.

A word of caution regarding the use of skin cream on babies

Before applying any over-the-counter corticosteroid or antifungal creams to your child, you should make an appointment with their primary care physician. Absorption through the skin of several of these substances can cause toxicity in newborns. Shampoos designed to treat dandruff and containing salicylic acid are not necessarily suitable for use on newborns.

What signs and symptoms do you typically see with seborrheic dermatitis?

In many cases, the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are made worse by a variety of circumstances, including the following:

The stress of the changing seasons and the frequent usage of alcohol

The specific symptoms that manifest themselves can differ from one individual to the next. It’s also possible that different sections of the body could be affected by the symptoms being experienced.

areas that were impacted

As was previously said, seborrheic dermatitis most commonly manifests itself in oily regions of the body. It affects the scalp the vast majority of the time, although it can also happen in the following areas:

within and immediately surrounding the ear canals on the brows the bridge of the nose on the upper part of the back, and the center of the chest


Seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by a unique clinical presentation and group of symptoms, including:

The skin produces patchy areas of scaliness that eventually fall off. The spots could be colorless or have a yellowish cast to them. This condition is most generally referred to as dandruff. It is possible for it to take place in the scalp, the hair, the eyebrows, or the beard.

Erythematous plaques begin to appear on the skin. Plaques are raised, solid patches of thickly crusted skin that can become yellow and greasy if the condition is severe and arise as a result of the condition.

The affected region typically has skin that has a greasy and oily appearance.

There is a possibility that the affected area will have red skin.

Itching of the skin may occur in the affected area.

In the affected area, you can have hair loss.

Seborrheic dermatitis vs. other conditions

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are similar to those of other skin conditions, including rosacea and psoriasis.

Condition Symptoms
dandruff white, oily, itchy flakes on the scalp that worsen during fall and winter months when air is dry
psoriasis thick patches of dry, red, inflamed skin covered in silvery-white scales. Patches are often itchy
atopic dermatitis (eczema) dry, itchy skin that turns into a red rash
rosacea small, red, pus-filled bumps on the skin appearing in cycles of flare-ups
tinea versicolor small, discolored, flaky patches of skin ranging in color from white to tan to brown to pink

Seborrheic dermatitis Diagnosis

Your physician will do a physical examination and carefully evaluate the regions that have been impacted in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. In addition, they will inquire about your symptoms, such as when you first noticed them and how frequently you are affected by them.

Before settling on a diagnosis, your medical professional may also wish to carry out a biopsy. Your doctor will remove dead skin cells from the afflicted region using a scraping technique during this operation.

After that, these samples will be delivered to a laboratory so that they may be analyzed. The findings will assist in eliminating other potential illnesses that could be the root of your symptoms.

When should you make an appointment with your primary care physician?

It is not possible to treat seborrheic dermatitis using over-the-counter dandruff shampoos on their own for all patients of the condition. For more severe cases and symptoms, oral drugs, shampoos available only by prescription, and medical lotions or gels that can be applied to the scalp as well as other parts of the body may be recommended.

In general, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician if you:

don’t find that using a conventional dandruff shampoo helps relieve their symptoms

have areas that are highly red, places that are very painful, locations that are generating pus, draining fluid, or crusting, are feeling substantial discomfort, and believe that medical intervention may be required;

If your child’s cradle cap symptoms are severe or persistent, you should also make an appointment with their pediatrician. They might suggest a particular shampoo or lotion that contains the medication.

What kind of prognosis may we expect for those who have been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis?

Because seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic condition, it is possible that you may have to maintain some level of control over it for the rest of your life. There may be extended periods for you in which you experience very few symptoms if any at all. It is also very likely that you may suffer flare-ups, which are periods in which your symptoms will become significantly worse.

You can, with time and experimentation, establish a skin care program that is effective for you and reduces the symptoms of the illness. You can also improve your ability to manage seborrheic dermatitis by becoming more familiar with the condition’s triggers and figuring out how to avoid them. It does not result in any significant medical issues or difficulties of any kind.

The cradle cap will normally go away on its own within the first six months after birth.

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