What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common yet discomforting chronic, inflammatory skin condition that is characterized by flaky, white to yellowish scales that develop on oily skin areas such as the face, scalp, or inside the ears. Also, redness of the skin may be present.

Cradle cap is one of the examples of seborrheic dermatitis which affects the scalp of infants.

Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis:

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. and multiple causes are involved. Find some of the common causes of the skin condition below.

  • Oil gland activity
  • Yeasts, which live on the skin, mainly in the areas with more oil glands
  • Changes in the skin barrier function
  • Family history of seborrhea or other skin diseases.
  • Weather extremes, particularly in the cold and dry weather.
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes or illness
  • Harsh detergents, solvents, chemicals, and soaps
  • Certain medications

Risk Factors of Seborrheic Dermatitis:

There are a few diseases that pose the risk of the development of seborrheic dermatitis.

  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Heart attack
  • Nervous system disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, or stroke.
  • Epilepsy
  • Psoriasis
  • Oily skin, or certain skin issues such as acne
  • Heavy alcohol use or the use of lotions that contain alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Immune-compromised patients, for instance, AIDS patients

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Men are at high risk of developing Seborrheic dermatitis than in female


Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Seborrheic dermatitis often appears on the scalp and also on other oily areas of the body, such as the face, particularly around the nose, upper chest, and back.

  • Redness of the affected skin
  • Greasy, swollen skin
  • White or yellowish crusty flakes
  • Itching and burning
  • Pink-colored patches


Diagnosis of Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Diagnosis is made by a qualified doctor based of signs and symptoms itself, and no other test is needed. But, to rule out any other risk, such as fungal infection, the tissue is studied under the microscope, and accordingly, the treatment is given. Also, the skin tissue can be taken for a skin biopsy.

Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis focuses on loosening the scale, curbing the discomforting itch, and reducing the inflammation and swelling.

In mild cases of this skin condition, a topical antifungal cream or a good medicated shampoo (such as ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, coal tar, and selenium sulfide,) can help regulate symptoms.

The conventional treatment which includes Antifungal and topical corticosteroids.

Diet and Lifestyle Modifications That Can Help:

  • Do exercise regularly and breakdown the carbohydrate diet to decrease the weight, as it is one of the triggering factors for it.
  • For relieving stress, do Yoga and meditation regularly.
  • Maintain the hygiene of your skin and scalp
  • Drink plenty of food in any form, such as soups and fruit juices.
  • Drink green and herbal teas, as they act as antioxidants.
  • An apple cider vinegar soaks will loosen the scales on your scalp. It may also lessen the inflammation in the area of your flare-up. Before you begin with this process, wash your hair by using a shampoo. Then apply a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar to the area. Let the vinegar and water sit on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Olive oil: Another option for home treatment is to coat your scalp with olive oil. Leave the oil on for about an hour. Then, use a brush to remove the scales from your scalp. Brush your scalp thoroughly, wash, and shampoo your hair as usual.
  • Fish oil: Fish oil supplements can help suppress flare-ups of dermatitis that are triggered by allergies. Fish oil has other nutritional qualities as well. It’s recommended for overall immune and cardiovascular health because of its omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a plant with anti-inflammatory properties. Supplements containing aloe vera gel or its extracts can help suppress flare-ups of the disease. They can also lessen the severity of flare-ups.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics are at times recommended to treat various kinds of dermatitis, particularly in kids. Probiotics help promote a healthier digestive system. This helps in reducing inflammatory issues throughout the body.
  • Plenty of green, leafy vegetables
  • Fruits that contain antioxidants, such as cherries, strawberries, and blueberries
  • Foods that are high in vitamin C, such as citrus and bell peppers
  • Almonds
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Foods with plenty of vitamin E, such as wheat germ and avocados

Self-Help Tips

  • Wash your skin regularly. Make sure that you rinse the soap off your scalp and body completely. Do not use harsh soaps. Prefer to use a moisturizer.
  • Avoid products that comprise alcohol as the use of alcohol-based products can cause a flare-up of the disease.
  • Wear cotton clothing having smooth texture. This helps in keeping the air circulating your skin and reduces irritation.
  • Avoid scratching. Scratching can increase the irritation and your risk of the infection.


Role of Homeopathy in Seborrheic Dermatitis:

A significant reduction in the severity of seborrheic dermatitis occurs once the patient starts the homeopathic medicines. The patients can reduce and gradually stop conventional medicines.

Homeopathic medicines are natural medicines that help to reduce the itch, dandruff, intensity, frequency, and duration of the complaints by the natural and harmless way of healing.

Homeopathy has a holistic approach in treating this skin condition hence it helps to reduce the undue anxiety which causes or triggers the disease.

Homeopathy helps in treating the associated complaints and corrects the underlying diseases, such as thyroid disease. Homeopathy is the mode of treatment that addresses the root cause of psoriasis and treats it from within as well as addresses its external manifestation, rather than treating just the superficial symptoms. It is superior to conventional treatment in the following ways.

  • Homeopathy stimulates the natural healing ability of the body.
  • It finds out the root cause, helps in restoring the disturbed immune system of the body, and normalize it.
  • Psoriasis homeopathic treatment is also effective in addressing the patient’s genetic predispositions.
  • It has no side-effects.
  • In addition to treating the root cause, it also addresses the external manifestations.
  • It helps to improve confidence and improve the quality of life.

Furthermore, the results with homeopathic treatment are long-lasting, safe, and with minimal risk of recurrence.

The cases of seborrheic dermatitis, particularly those treated in the early stages, show much better results. However, people in advanced stages of the disorder also respond very well to the homeopathic treatment, even if it requires time.

So, choose Homeopathy for seborrheic dermatitis and obtain relief.

  • Written by Dr. Akanksha K., Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah


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