Know more about Seborrheic Dermatitis

Know more about Seborrheic Dermatitis

To apprehend the concept of seborrheic dermatitis, we should primarily focus on the following points:

1. What is Seborrheic dermatitis?
2. What are its causes?
3. Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic dermatitis
4. What are the risk factors?
5. Diagnosis of Seborrhoeic dermatitis
6. Seborrheic dermatitis treatment
7. Home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis
8. Do's and Don'ts of seborrheic dermatitis
9. How long does seborrheic dermatitis last?
10. Is seborrheic dermatitis contagious?
11. Can seborrheic dermatitis cause baldness?
12. Is castor oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Let's discuss the above mentioned points quickly in the following short video:


Let discuss the above mentioned points briefly:

1. What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?


Seborrheic (seb-o-REE-ik) dermatitis is probably the most usual inflammatory skin condition that affects people apart from acne vulgaris.cIt causes redness on the light skin and scaly patches (which may be light patches on the darker skin). Seborrheic dermatitis among infants is also common and is known as cradle cap. This condition in neonates occurs within a few months of birth and gradually goes away with time.

2. What are its causes?


Seborrheic dermatitis is considered as a chronic form of eczema and is also called dandruff, seborrheic eczema and seborrheic psoriasis. The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. But studies suggest that two factors majorly contribute to this skin condition.

The two factors involved are excessive production of oil in the skin and microorganisms that naturally live on the skin surface can play a role in it.

Stress, unhealthy lifestyle choices and changes in the weather, hormonal changes or illness, harsh soaps and detergents, chemicals and medications such as lithium interferons and psoralen could also be related to triggering this condition.

3. Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic dermatitis:

Signs and symptoms include:


  • Redness on the skin (Red-colored patches, most prominent in people with dark skin)
  • Itchy scalp
  • Scaly skin
  • Swollen and greasy skin.
  • It also includes dandruff and Patches of scaly skin covered with flaky yellow or white scales on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or moustache, side of the nose, ears, armpits, chest, eyelids, groin area.

4. Risk factors:

Generally, it occurs more commonly in men as compared to women. Patients suffering from diseases that affect the nervous system like Parkinson’s disease, and the immune system such as HIV/AIDS and psoriasis, are at a higher risk of developing it. It can also affect people suffering from mental health issues such as depression and who have epilepsy, alcoholism and eating disorders.

Other risk factors include:

  • Environmental factors like pollution
  • Other skin condition like Acne
  • Poor skincare
  • Fatigue
  • Use of harsh skin and hair products.
  • Obesity

5. Diagnosis of Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis bears resemblance to other skin diseases like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. There is generally no test for diagnosing this skin condition. The doctor may examine the affected areas and he may ask about the symptoms you experience and the medical history. The doctor will perform a physical examination of your skin and he can also scrap your skin and look at it under a microscope after mixing with it a chemical for the determination of any kind of fungal infection.

Skin biopsy can also be done for the confirmation of seborrheic dermatitis.

6. Seborrheic dermatitis treatment

Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis generally focuses on three factors:

1. Reduction of inflammation and swelling

2. Suppressing the itch

3. Loosening scale.

For the treatment of areas bearing hair, like the scalp, anti-dandruff shampoos can be used and over-the-counter medicated shampoos containing one of the following ingredients:

  • Ketoconazole
  • Zinc pyrithione
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Coal tar
  • Salicylic acid

For non-hair-bearing areas, use of topical antifungal creams and moderately potent topical steroids are usually fruitful and can show wonderful results. One may also use ketoconazole containing creams for the areas having no hair.

Suggestions for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis include:

For the body:

One should wash the affected areas daily with a cleanser containing 2% of zinc pyrithione. To avoid the excess of dryness, hydrating moisturizer can be applied.

Topical creams containing tar or sulfur and salicylic acid may further be used to soften the scale.

For the hair:

Medicated shampoo should be used to alternate between the regular shampoo. The use of the medicated shampoo should be lowered according to improvement in the symptoms.

In severe cases, the doctor may prescribe mild corticosteroids for reducing the inflammation. Topical steroids can be used as only prescribed by the physician when the seborrheic dermatitis is actively flaring. Non-corticosteroid topical medication is also prescribed in the case when corticosteroids are used for a prolonged period.

Non-corticosteroid includes pimecrolimus or tacrolimus and is approved for the use by children two years of age or older and adults.

In acute cases of seborrheic dermatitis oral antifungal agents may be used.

7. Home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis can also be controlled with some home remedies and lifestyle changes.

Many of the products are available in over-the-count (non-prescription) forms. One should have to try a combination of products or single products as well for the suppression of symptoms.

The best approach depends upon the severity of the condition, type of skin, and whether the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis is affecting only the scalp or other areas of the body.

The following substances if used topically or taken orally can help in controlling seborrheic dermatitis.

1. Apple cider vinegar:


It has proven efficacy in reducing the inflammation and in loosening the scale that is present on the scalp.

Usage: Add 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of water.After washing the scalp with shampoo, apply directly to the scalp and leave it there for a few minutes before rinsing.

2. Olive oil:

Application of olive oil on the scalp helps to sweep away the flakes present on the scalp.

Usage: Gently massage the scalp with olive oil and leave it for an hour or more and rinse it off with a shampoo.

3. Tea tree oil:


The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of the tea tree oil helps in reducing the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.

Usage: One should add few drops to tea tree oil to the shampoo they are using before applying or it can be mixed with coconut oil for improved results.

8. Do's and Don'ts of seborrheic dermatitis


  • The scalp should be kept clean and dry all the time.
  • If there are signs of dandruff, one should anti-dandruff shampoo right away to prevent the condition from getting poor.


  • The scalp should not be left wet or sweaty.
  • Don't massage the scalp vigorously.
  • Don't take any medicine before consulting the doctor.

9. How long does seborrheic dermatitis last?

It may last for years and can also be chronic but at times, it may also clear up at its own. Proper medicaments and quality skincare regime can help to alleviate the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. The best method to prevent the development of seborrheic dermatitis is to keep your scalp healthy, clean and free from sweat.

10. Is seborrheic dermatitis contagious?

Contagious means spreading from one person to another. Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious as it can spread from person-to-person. But it can spread from one part of the body to another part of the body.

11. Can seborrheic dermatitis cause baldness?

Generally, it does not cause baldness or hair loss but excess of scratching may result in injury of the hair follicle, which can end up with hair loss and also hair loss arising from seborrheic dermatitis is reversible. 

12. Is castor oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Castor oil can reduce the inflammation and also can treat the dandruff that is caused by seborrheic dermatitis. Castor oil also moisturizes the dry and irritated skin which can reduce the flaking.

This is all about Seborrheic Dermatitis and if you are facing the same problem, you can try the above mentioned home remedies to treat it. 

If you have any query or concern, feel free to contact us @8847215039

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