Seborrheic dermatitis: Why it causes red flaky skin?

15 July 2016
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15 July 2016, Comments: 0

Seborrheic dermatitis is usually indicated by reddened, peeling skin around the nose or in the eyebrows as well as in the ears or forehead.

What are the possible causes of seborrheic dermatitis?

Always bear in mind the seborrheic dermatitis is a long-lasting, inflammatory skin condition that affects the head and trunk which have sebaceous glands. A certain form of yeast that has an attraction for these glands specifically Pityrosporum ovale might be the cause, but this is not yet proven.

It is also believed that the accumulation of yeast in these glands can lead to irritation of the skin that results to redness and flaking.

Who are at risk?

Seborrheic dermatitis is quite common among men than women and usually affects about 3% of the population. The skin condition occurs frequently among the elderly who have been bedridden or have neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, it also affects approximately 85% of individuals with AIDS.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Always bear in mind the seborrheic dermatitis is a long-lasting, inflammatory skin condition that affects the head and trunk which have sebaceous glands.


Adults who have seborrheic dermatitis typically end up with a waxing and waning course. It simply means that the condition could not be cured. It is good to note that with proper care, seborrhea can be controlled. Additionally, most of the treatments are available over-the-counter.

Good hygiene has a vital role in treatment. Regular hand washing using soaps can eliminate the oil in the affected areas and helps improve the symptoms. Take note that sunlight prevents the growth of yeast thus exposure of the affected areas to the sun is beneficial although care must be observed to avoid sun damage. The main medical care includes anti-fungal shampoos and topical steroids.

Seborrhea shampoos

There are a number of ideal anti-fungal shampoos in the market that can be bought without a prescription. The ideal shampoos include those that contain selenium sulfide as well as coal tar and ketoconazole.

Take note that all of these shampoos usually have a medicinal scent. The ideal way to use them is to shampoo and leave on for at least 10 minutes and then rinse off. The shampoo can be used on the face and other parts of the body as a lotion using the same instructions as long as care is observed when used around the eyes. This must be done on a daily basis until the redness and flaking is controlled and then utilize 2-3 times as needed to prevent the symptoms from recurring.

Topical steroids

The topical steroids work by minimizing the inflammatory response and alleviate the itchiness. Hydrocortisone cream that is over-the-counter can be safely used on the face. It must be applied 2 times a day on the affected area until the redness subsides. For maintenance, an anti-fungal shampoo can be used while hydrocortisone is used for the flare-ups. Remember that long-term use of steroids can lead to side effects such as skin thinning and acne.

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