A common skin condition that mainly affects scalp and face

Seborrheic dermatitis affects both adults and children. Very often, it’s linked to poor hygiene on the part of the individual - a concept that’s entirely unfounded. It’s therefore essential to know its true causes and symptoms to understand how to treat it appropriately.

What is seborrheic dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory disease whose symptoms display themselves with phases of remission and outbreaks related to specific periods (caused by seasonal change, strong stress, etc.).
It can be caused by abnormal cellular aging of the outermost layers of the skin and by the noxious yeast Malassezia furfur.

It can develop at any age, but the commonly affected age groups are:

  • Newborns during the first 3 months of life (in the form of cradle cap)
  • Adults between the ages of 30 and 50.

    In adults it often develops for a long period, and it can also develop during people’s entire lifespans.

    Causes and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis

    Various studies have investigated the causes of this disease.
    Its direct causes remain unknown, even today. But what we do know is that certain false myths are, well, false.
    Indeed, seborrheic dermatitis:

    • Doesn’t derive from poor hygiene
    • Isn’t an allergy

    The factors that can indirectly cause seborrheic dermatitis are:

    • Stress
    • Consumption of alcohol
    • An unhealthy diet

    This disease displays itself on the skin with red-to-yellowish patches covered in scales that can be easily detached and can appear at times alongside itchiness. Where, exactly? Primarily in the regions of the body that produce greater secretions of sebum:

    • Folds of the nose
    • Scalp
    • Eyebrows
    • Chest and back (above all in men)

    How to live with seborrheic dermatitis

    To live with seborrheic dermatitis, it’s important to trust the advice of dermatologists and pharmacists and avoid DIY mistakes.

    When seborrheic dermatitis develops in newborns in the form of cradle cap, you need:

    • To use an appropriate cleanser.
    • Gently brush the child’s head, removing crusts when they’re smoother.
    • To apply, if necessary, a specific treatment.

    When confronting this disease in adults, it’s essential:

    • To use creams and lotions- antifungals- that are active against harmful microbes while still soothing the skin.
    • Choose a specific prescribed cleanser over cleansers that may aggravate or irritate the skin.
    • To not overuse cosmetics that are occlusive and contain many lipids.
    • To avoid washing your hair each day, as excessive washing can aggravate the skin, creating a rebound effect with increases in desquamation and itchiness.
    • To not scratch yourself- very hard, but even more important.

    Diet is important too! It’s important to avoid foods full of saturated fats or sugars because they may worsen the problem.

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