Seborrheic Dermatitis

Soothe Itchy Red Patches and Dandruff for Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and the Main Line

Seborrheic dermatitis—also referred to as seborrheic eczema, cradle cap, and seborrhea—is a common, non-contagious dermatological condition that primarily affects the scalp, eyebrows, ears, and chest. Treatments for seborrheic dermatitis are available at Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute, helping patients in and around Newtown Square, Main Line, and the Philadelphia area manage their flaky, itchy skin.

While patients are often able to treat this problem on their own, they should see a dermatologist if seborrheic dermatitis persists despite attempts to resolve it, it disrupts daily life and sleep patterns, it has developed an infection, or it is causing undue emotional distress. This condition is often mistaken for other chronic skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, thus, it is best to have a dermatologist examine the skin to render the correct diagnosis.

Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute can help patients find ways to improve symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. To schedule an appointment, Please BOOK ONLINE, call 610.525.5028, or Contact Us.

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What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis has not been determined, but it is thought to be linked to an excess of a type of yeast called Malassezia, which naturally lives on the skin and doesn’t usually cause any harm. Possible causes or triggers for this skin condition include having a high level of androgens or skin lipids, an inflammatory reaction, being stressed, living in a cold and dry climate, using alcohol-based skin products, having a history of chronic skin disorders, and a family history of seborrheic dermatitis.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis typically presents with white flakes of skin in the scalp, eyebrows, ears, beard, chest, and groin. The involved skin may be itchy, red, and inflamed. It appears in areas where there is increased oil gland activity. Although seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis often look similar, there are some key differences between them, such as the fact that psoriasis scales tend to be thicker, more adherent to the skin with sharp borders, and have a silvery appearance.

What Are the Risk Factors for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Anyone can develop seborrheic dermatitis, but it is more likely to affect newborns or infants who are less than three months old and adults between the ages of 30 and 60. The following factors and conditions also predispose to it: being male, being Caucasian, recovering from a heart attack or stroke, having oily skin, acne, AIDS, a weakened immune system, alcoholism, psychiatric disorders like depression, eating disorders, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, rosacea, congenital disorders like Down’s Syndrome, and a family history of seborrheic dermatitis.

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Treatment Options for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a lifelong skin condition, and flares will continue to occur. Maintenance therapy will provide adequate control for this chronic condition. Over-the-counter topical products or prescription medications provide relief for the symptoms, and patients may find that a combination of treatments works most effectively.

Mild cases of seborrheic dermatitis are typically treated with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. A dermatologist may prescribe anti-fungal shampoos or other topical or oral medications for long-term maintenance in more severe cases. Topical antifungal products—such as foams, creams, and gels—can be applied directly to the face and body and are safe and effective for long-term use.

Find out what can be done to reduce signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis near Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia. To schedule an appointment at Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute, Please BOOK ONLINE, call 610.525.5028, or Contact Us.

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