What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a skin disease that usually affects the scalp and oily areas of the body, such as the back, forehead, face, armpits, groin and upper chest. On the scalp, this disease causes skin to become red, dandruff, and scaly. Seborrheic dermatitis is not an infectious disease, but it can affect the patient's confidence. In addition to dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis is also often called seborrheic psoriasis and seborrheic eczema. Whereas seborrheic dermatitis that infects the baby is called a cradle cap .

Seborrheic dermatitis can affect people of all ages, where at least 1-3% of young adults have had this disease. However, people with problems with the immune system (people with HIV / AIDS , Parkinson's disease ) are more prone to experience it. Stress conditions also have the potential to worsen existing symptoms.

Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis does not affect overall body health. In general, seborrheic dermatitis has the following symptoms:
  • The skin feels itchy or burning.
  • The scalp is red and dandruff.
  • Skin fatigue or dandruff also occurs in mustache, beard or eyebrows.
  • The eyelids will crust or become reddish ( blefaritis ).
  • White or yellow scaly skin occurs in the area of ​​oily skin besides the scalp, such as the face, armpits, ears, and chest.
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Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis
The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown, but it may be related to the malassezia fungus found in the release of oil on the skin surface. In addition, inflammation associated with psoriasis can also be a cause of seborrheic dermatitis.

In addition to the two possibilities mentioned above, there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of developing this disease, namely:
  • Heart failure.
  • Certain drugs.
  • Psychiatric diseases and nervous disorders (eg depression and Parkinson's disease).
  • The habit of scratching facial skin.
  • Diseases that cause weakening of the immune system, such as HIV / AIDS, cancer, recipients of organ transplants, and alcoholic pancreatitis.
  • Endocrine diseases that can cause obesity, such as diabetes.
  • Cold and dry weather.
  • Stress and genetic factors.
People who have oily skin, newborns, and adults aged between 30-60 years (especially women) are more at risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis.

Diagnosis of Seborrheic Dermatitis
After a physical examination, a diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis can be made through a biopsy or examination of skin cell discharge. This aims to ascertain whether the illness is seborrheic dermatitis or other similar disease, such as eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis.

Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated using special creams, lotions or shampoos. In general, these products are sold freely. But if this step still does not help and the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis never subside or heal, consult your doctor to get further treatment as below:
  • Metronidazole cream or gel which functions to fight bacteria. Apply this cream 1-2 times a day, depending on the type of cream used. Adjust to the instructions printed on the packaging.
  • Antifungal shampoo containing ketoconazole Use this shampoo 2-3 times a week. The rest, use regular shampoo.
  • Shampoo, cream, or ointment containing corticosteroids, such as fluocinolone or hydrocortisone , which are useful for reducing but side effects such as thinning of the skin can occur if using it too long.
  • Light therapy is combined with the use of psoralen or called photochemotherapy . But people who have thick hair may not be suitable for this therapy.
  • Lotion or cream containing calcineurin inhibitors , such as pimecrolimus, and tacrolimus for treatment that suppresses the immune system. But this drug has the potential to increase the risk of cancer.
  • Terbinafine antifungal pills . But this drug can cause serious side effects, such as liver disorders and allergic reactions. Consult a doctor for the appropriate consumption dose.
For babies with seborrheic dermatitis ( cradle cap ), clean the baby's head every day using baby shampoo, then clean up the remnants of the skin using a soft brush. If this method doesn't work or the symptoms are getting worse, get your baby checked by a doctor immediately to get further treatment.

The following are some things that can be done to help overcome and control seborrheic dermatitis:
  • Do not scratch the part of the body affected by seborrheic dermatitis because it can increase the risk of infection and worsen irritation.
  • Bathe and shampoo regularly, and wash thoroughly the soap or shampoo used. Use moisturizer if needed.
  • Use baby shampoo to clean your eyelids if they are reddish and there is a breakdown of the skin. In addition, you can compress it with warm water to help reduce it.
  • Apply a cream containing corticosteroids or antifungals such as ketoconazole .
  • Shave the mustache or beard to help relieve symptoms.
  • Avoid products that contain alcohol so that the disease does not get worse.
  • Use clothing that is smooth textured and made from cotton so that the skin gets air circulation and can reduce irritation.
Sometimes seborrheic dermatitis can disappear by itself, but there are also those that persist for years. Good skin care and maintaining clean skin can help control seborrheic dermatitis.

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