What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a chronic condition which causes excessive flakiness and an underline greasy skin, these areas usually itch. This commonly effects the scalp which results in severe dandruff.

Seborrheic Dermatitis does not usually cause hair loss, however after excessive rubbing and scratching it can damage the hair follicle causing it to fall out.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Symptoms

Initially, seborrheic dermatitis may take the form of a red, itchy scalp and flakes of skin showing in your hair.

As it worsens you will start to see lots more flakes of skin appearing, inflammation on your scalp and patches of greasy white or even yellow skin. These patches of skin are not just focussed on your scalp, you may notice them on your face, nose, eyelids, chest or armpits.

Cradle cap, which is a common scalp disorder for babies, is known medically as seborrheic dermatitis.

symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis

What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

It is not quite clear what is the cause of seborrheic dermatitis but there may be a genetic or immune response issue; in addition, it may trigger an overgrowth in Malassezia which it a type of yeast. When this becomes extensive it can cause areas of inflammation and nearby hair may fall out.

Some medical conditions can affect your chances of getting seborrheic dermatitis, for example, epilepsy, acne, AIDS, Parkinson’s, Psoriasis, depressions, etc, as well as taking certain medications. If you already have seborrheic dermatitis and have one of the mentioned illnesses it may worsen. Likewise, seborrheic dermatitis can worsen if you become stressed but changes in the weather can affect the situation also. Cold, dry weather tends to encourage seborrheic dermatitis. You may also be at risk is you’ve had an organ transplant or are recovering from harsh medical situations such as a heart attack.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

The first step for someone who has mild seborrheic dermatitis would be to try over the counter products such as dandruff shampoos. These include certain ingredients (such as salicylic acid) to help nourish your scalp. If these everyday products don’t work, see a doctor who will prescribe medication such as steroid creams and anti-fungal shampoos such as ketoconazole or ciclopirox.

PRP treatment is another option and where we can help. If hair loss occurs due to this condition, either due to excessive scratching or overgrowth of Malassezia, it is only temporary, hair growth regrows usually when the inflammation resolves, this may be the basis of why PRP works. Find out more about our hair loss clinics.