Seborrheic dermatitis is purely a disorder of skin. It may vary in nature from person to person. Sometimes it looks to be very similar to other skin diseases like Atopic dermatitis which is commonly known as eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Tinea versicolor etc. Advice of an expert dermatologist or a skin specialist must be taken to diagnose the actual cause of inflammation. The scalp is mainly affected due to this infection. The skin may also become red in colour with patches of scaly nature and dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis generally affects those areas of the body, which are oily in nature.
Seborrheic dermatitis generally occurs on the oily hairs, scalp, face, eyebrows, eyelids, beard, armpits, chest, groin area etc. Also patches or crust may be observed on the skin which is greasy in nature, being covered with scales of white or yellow colour. Red skin and itching are also the signs of seborrheic dermatitis. These inflammations increase during the dry and cold climate.
In case of mild symptoms, one can apply the home solutions by using the shampoos made for removing the dandruff. But if the acuteness is high one should consult the doctor. Doctors generally prescribe creams, ointments or shampoos which contain corticosteroids. Fluocinolone, desonide, hydrocortisone, clobetasol are all corticosteroids which are used to be applied on the affected areas. They can be used easily and are quite effective. But they are to be used with periodical breaks as continuous usage may cause thinning of skin or the skin may develop lines or streak.
Lotions or creams which has calcineurin ingredients like pimecrolimus and tacrolimus will be effective and may have lesser side effects in comparison to corticosteroids. But the doctors do not consider them as their priority choice of treatment, as the administration of drug has a deep concern over its possible linkage with cancer. Moreover pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are more costly than the medications with mild corticosteroid.
Doctor may prescribe any of the products from creams, antifungal gels, shampoos, lotions which contain 1% of ciclopirox or 2% of ketoconazole or both, to be applied alternately, depending on acuteness of the symptoms. If there is no improvement in this medication, doctor may apply antifungal pills. But there remains every possibility of side effects and interactions of these type of drugs.
It is required to wash the scalp and the face regularly with a normal shampoo or soap. But if the dandruff is too strong and the regular shampoo does not work, the medicated dandruff shampoos are to be applied. Those shampoos have classifications as per their ingredients:
- Pyrithione zinc which is meant for head and shoulder.
- Salicylic acid
- Selenium sulphide
The product to be used daily till the symptoms start to recede. Then it is needed to be used either on alternate days or once or twice a week as per decreasing rate of the symptom. The shampoos containing tar, may discolour the hairs. In such case, other products to be tried.
Common home remedies:
Some self-care tips may be followed to avoid scaling or dandruff:-
- Olive oil or other mineral oil can be applied on the scalp and keep it as it is for some time. Then the hair to be combed to be followed by washing.
- If oily in nature, face should be washed by normal soap regularly and the soap to be rinsed off completely from the scalp and the skin by cold water.
- Use of hair gels, spray and products meant for styling, especially containing alcohol, should be avoided.
- If scaling or redness is visible on the eyelids, they need to be washed with baby shampoo every night and the scales are to be wiped off by a swab made of cotton.
- To help air circulation around the body all the time, smooth cotton clothing to be used.
- Aloe vera may be applied on the affected area.
- In case of infants, the scalp to be washed every day with baby shampoo which is absolutely non-medicated. The scales to be loosened by a brush with soft bristles prior to wash off the shampoo. If scaling continues, olive oil or mineral oil to be applied on the scalp for one or two hours.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a disease which cause pain and irritation both. Precautions may always be adopted to avoid this dermatitis. Prevention is always better than cure. Everyone should always be alert with home preventive measures so that it can be avoided.