Seborrheic dermatitis is a highly prevalent skin condition that presents itself with a rash. The rash caused by seborrheic dermatitis is typically characterized by redness, greasy inflammation, itching, and off-white scales.
In babies, seborrheic dermatitis is referred to as cradle cap, appearing as flaky, oily plaques on the scalp. In most cases, cradle cap tends to improve on its own over the course of a few months. In adults, seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic condition, meaning the symptoms appear and disappear periodically throughout a patient’s lifetime. Outbreaks are most common during cold and dry seasons, and seborrheic dermatitis tends to be triggered by too much stress.
Fortunately, there are many treatments and self-care remedies that prevent the frequency and intensity of flares.
Understanding the Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
The primary symptoms of the condition in teens and adults include reddish, oily, and scaly plaques that can become flaky. The affected areas can also become stingy and itchy. The areas of the body that seborrheic dermatitis most typically affects are the oil-secreting parts of the skin, including the scalp, the face (eyebrows, eyelids, around the nose), ears, chest, armpits, back, and genitals.
What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Scientists are still working to unearth the root cause of seborrheic dermatitis with their findings to-date painting a complicated picture. There appears to be a cauldron of factors involved in the development of seborrheic dermatitis, including a fungus that the skin naturally produces, a genetic variation, exposure to dry, cold weather, and too much stress, and general health.
A few aspects of the skin condition have been ascertained, however. For one, personal hygiene has nothing to do with the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis. Secondly, seborrheic dermatitis is not triggered by an allergic reaction. Finally, the condition ultimately does not cause permanent harm to the body.
What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Seborrheic Dermatitis?
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that individuals of all ages and ethnic backgrounds are at a risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis. That being said, certain demographics run a higher risk of being affected by this prevalent skin condition. These are:
– Babies younger than 3 months old
– Individuals between the ages of 30-60
– Those with conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, HIV, mood disorders like depression, alcoholism, cardiovascular disease or stroke recovery, and eating disorders.
– Individuals who are on medications such as lithium, psoralen, and interferon.
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