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Hair diseases, seborrheic dermatitis causes, symptoms, and treatment

Definition of seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis or seborrheic eczema is one of the common chronic skin diseases, which mostly affects the scalp, and may also spread to some other places on the body, especially places rich in sebaceous glands.

Hair diseases, seborrheic dermatitis causes, symptoms, and treatment

Seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of some red spots on light-colored skin, while light spots appear on dark-colored skin. Its severity ranges from just a slight crust on the affected area to severe reddening and peeling of the skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis can affect the face, especially the cheeks, eyelids, nose, as well as scalp, and it should be noted that dandruff is one of the simple forms of seborrheic dermatitis, but it is a non-inflammatory form of seborrheic dermatitis. 

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Dandruff. causes, signs, and treatment


Until now, it is not known precisely what is the main cause responsible for the development of seborrheic dermatitis. Still, it is likely that seborrheic dermatitis is associated with the following reasons:

Skin flora, which is found on the skin, especially a certain type known as Malassezia, sometimes may grow on the skin abnormally, which leads to the skin secreting fat in large quantities more than usual.

Genes and hereditary factors.

Nervous stress.

Sensitivity to dry or cold weather.

Some medicines.

Some factors may also contribute to the aggravation of the symptoms of seborrheic eczema, including:

The weather and seasons change throughout the year.

Stress and fatigue.

Causes of seborrheic dermatitis risk factors

Some categories of individuals can be more susceptible to seborrheic dermatitis, such as people with low immunity or people with diseases that cause immunodeficiency, such as:

1-AIDS patients, where there is a strong relationship between the incidence of seborrheic dermatitis and AIDS, as seborrheic dermatitis affects about 85% to 95% of HIV-infected people.

2-patients with Down syndrome.

3-people with psoriasis, or having a family history of psoriasis.

4-people who have undergone organ transplantation before, where their immunity is often low.

5. people with some neurological or psychiatric diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and depression.

In addition to the above, people who suffer from acne may suffer from seborrheic dermatitis of the face, or who take some types of medications, such as lithium, and chlorpromazine are more susceptible to seborrheic dermatitis.

There are also some habits or practices that can be a risk factor for seborrheic eczemas, such as:

Excessive weight gain or obesity.

It is not taking care of the skin properly, as it may lead to infection or worsen the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis on the face.


Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis in adults may vary from person to person, but it was found that the vast majority have the following symptoms:

Skin rashes.

Itching and redness.

Hair loss.

Blepharitis and inflammation of the hair follicles.

Redness of skin folds in sensitive areas, including genitals, underarms, and breasts.

Dandruff, which mixes with the hair and falls on the neck and shoulder.

As for the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis in children, they are often characterized by the appearance of some yellow or brown crusts on the scalp or on the cheeks, and these crusts usually disappear a year before puberty. Symptoms of seborrheic eczema may sometimes be confused with symptoms of diaper dermatitis in infants.

In addition to seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis may appear on the following body areas:

The face.

Inside and around the ear.



Around the nose.

The upper part of the back area.

The middle part of the chest area.

Around the navel area.

Seborrheic dermatitis and hair loss

Some may wonder Do you see seborrheic dermatitis causes hair loss The answer is no, but it can be considered as a symptom, as excessive itching may lead to inflammation of the hair follicles, which will lead to temporary hair loss, and the hair will grow back as soon as the seborrheic dermatitis is gone and cured.

Diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis

The doctor bases the diagnosis on reviewing the patient's medical history, asking the patient what symptoms he has, when they appeared, and how often they recur.

The doctor also carefully examines the skin and can scrape off a few affected skin cells and send them to the laboratory so that they are examined well to exclude the possibility of other skin diseases, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis known as eczema, and rashes.

What is the difference between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis?

Both psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis have some symptoms in common, such as reddish spots on the skin, scales on the scalp, and itching. But psoriasis scales are silvery in color and thicker than seborrheic inflammatory skin scales, which are usually white or yellowish and have a greasy appearance.

As for the spots, in the case of psoriasis, the spots may be slightly painful, while in the case of seborrheic dermatitis, there is no pain.


Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis may vary depending on the symptoms and severity, and the patient's age may also be an influencing factor in choosing the right treatment.

Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis with medications

The treatment prescribed by a dermatologist varies depending on the age and place of appearance of inflammation on the skin. Drug therapy contributes to reducing the incidence rate and preventing the occurrence of any complications.

For infants, the disappearance of seborrheic dermatitis is observed without treatment, and if the infant needs treatment, the doctor may advise washing the baby's scalp with a special children's shampoo daily, and then gently applying a moisturizer to the head.

As for adults, most often seborrheic dermatitis does not go away without treatment, so the doctor advises using certain medications according to the patient's condition, these include:

Antifungal medications, such as terbinafine, but terbinafine may cause allergies and liver problems, so the doctor's instructions regarding the dosage of terbinafine should be followed well to avoid serious side effects.

Medical shampoo for dandruff, contains coal tar, ketoconazole, ciclopirox, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, or salicylic acid.

Topical creams and ointments, such as those containing hydrocortisone, Fluocinolone, desonide, or mometasone Furat, are corticosteroids used topically.

Metronidazole is effective in relieving symptoms as well as in eliminating bacteria.

Products, containing sulfur, sulfonamide, and propylene glycol.

Photodynamic therapy, may be resorted to in severe cases.

How to treat seborrheic dermatitis at home?

A daily skin care regimen may help control symptoms, by washing the affected areas daily with a zinc-containing antiseptic (2% zinc pyrithione), then applying a moisturizer to the skin. 

Healthy lifestyle habits can also contribute to the treatment and relief of symptoms, such as: managing stress while getting enough sleep, as well as exposure to the sun and outdoors, but adhering to the application of sunscreen.

Most doctors prefer to start with home and natural remedies before treatment with medicines, especially for infants and children, home remedies include:

Apple cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar is effective in relieving the itching and irritation caused by dandruff while also loosening those scales.

Tea tree oil, tea tree oil is an antibacterial and antifungal, effective in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.

Aloe vera extract has anti-inflammatory properties.

Probiotics are very effective in the treatment of various skin infections in children.

Some foods that help boost the body's immunity and prevent infections, such as olive oil, tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, grapes, sweet peppers, almonds, sweet potatoes, and avocados.


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