Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition of the skin. It mainly affects the scalp and can easily be confused with dandruff. In fact, stubborn dandruff generally is seborrheic dermatitis. Many very young babies have it, and parents refer to it as cradle cap. You can also have seborrheic dermatitis nose, face, the chest, the back and any other part of your body that has sebaceous (oil) glands. It is mainly a very uncomfortable condition and not something that affects over health. However, because of the embarrassment, it is not unheard of for people to suffer from depression if they have seborrheic dermatitis. Many people also experience flare ups, making the condition chronic. This can cause some people to become reclusive because they worry about the condition returning all the time.
Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis has a number of symptoms. It is most commonly found on the scalp, but you can also have seborrheic dermatitis of the face, the nose or any other oily part of your body. However, symptoms are usually the same. The most common signs and symptoms include:
• Inflammation and redness of the skin.
• Patchy scales on the scalp or thick crusts, mainly with seborrheic dermatitis scalp.
• White or yellow flakes (like dandruff) on hairy parts of your head and face (eyebrows, moustache, hair, beard). This is mainly the case with seborrheic dermatitis of the face.
• Skin that is turning greasy and red and is covered in yellow or white flaky scales. These can also appear on the armpits, chest, groin, male scrotum.
• The condition is also very often itchy and sore, particularly with seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.
The condition, as stated, can appear anywhere on the body where oil glands are found. Unfortunately, seborrheic eczema is chronic, meaning it will come back again and again. The only exception in this is with babies, who are often born with cradle cap, which generally clears up after the first year.
Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis in itself does not have any negative effect on your health. However, there are a number of situations in which you need to see your doctor. Some of these situations include:
• If you are uncomfortable to the point that you are unable to sleep or keep up with your daily routines.
• If you feel embarrassed, anxious or depressed.
• If you suspect some of the scales are infected, perhaps because you have scratched them.
• If self care is no longer effective.
So what sort of seborrheic dermatitis treatment is available? There are a number of drugs available over the counter and some stronger versions that you are able to receive through a medical prescription. Antifungal agents are often used to treat seborrheic dermatitis. Anti inflammatory agents such as corticosteroids are also commonly used, but these do come with significant side effects. Calcineurin inhibitors are creams that have to be prescribed, but they lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to other infections. They are also believed to be linked to cancer with prolonged use. Lastly, you could opt for a seborrheic dermatitis shampoo, which has selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, coal tar or salicylic acid within it. Seborrheic dermatitis home remedies do exist, particularly in terms of anti inflammatory natural remedies and coal, but their effectiveness is questionable.
Seborrheic Dermatitis and Diet
Evidence suggests that diet and seborrheic dermatitis go hand in hand, so you may want to consider a seborrheic dermatitis diet. Evidence suggests that seborrheic dermatitis is caused by internal yeast, including candida (which is also a main cause of thrush). It is therefore recommended to eliminate all sugars from a diet and to increase the consumption of vegetables. This will, at the very least, cause you to lead a healthy lifestyle, even if your seborrheic dermatitis may not clear up completely. Anything is worth a shot, however, and doctors would always recommend to try more than one treatment on alternate days.