Dermatology A to Z
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, harmless, scaling rash that sometimes itches. Dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis may also occur on the eyebrows, eyelid edges, ears, the skin near the nose, and skin-fold area such as the armpits and groin. Sometimes seborrheic dermatitis produces round, scaling patches of the mid chest or scales on the back.
What Cause Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis results from skin not growing properly. The cause is not known. Seborrheic dermatitis is not related to diet and is not contagious. Nervous stress and any physical illness tends to worsen seborrheic dermatitis but doesn`t cause it.
Seborrheic dermatitis may appear at any age, either gradually or suddenly. It tends to run in families. Seborrheic dermatitis may last for many years and may disappear by itself. Often it gets better or worse without any apparent reason.
There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis. However, we can keep the condition under control. The treatment of seborrheic dermatitis depends on what part of the body is involved. Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp) can usually be controlled by washing your hair often with medicated shampoos (Selsun, Tgel or other tar shampoos). Sometimes it`s also necessary to use lotions or gels containing tar or corticosteroids. In areas of smooth skin such as the face and ears, corticosteroid containing creams, lotions, or ointments are effective. Corticosteroids applied to limited areas of skin do not affect your general health.
Once seborrheic dermatitis is under control, gradually use your medicines less often. It may even be possible to stop the medicines completely, but usually occasional treatment is needed. Seborrheic dermatitis has a way of returning. If it does, resume the original treatment. If your seborrheic dermatitis is not controlled by the treatment prescribed, please return for further evaluation.