Seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, seborrheic eczema, or cradle cap is a skin disorder that affects areas of oil concentration such as the scalp, eyebrows, nose, ears or chest. It causes inflammation, red skin, not to be confused with rosacea, and peeling or dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis is common in babies (cradle cap) in the first three months of life, and in adults between 30 and 70 years old.
The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, but it is known that 'Malassezia', a normal skin yeast, plays some role. Seborrheic dermatitis also frequently affects patients with HIV or certain neurological disorders. Cold, dry periods exacerbate this type of dermatitis.
The following are indicated as factors that could favor the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis:
- Physical or emotional stress.
- Climatic factors.
- Association with psoriasis: seborriasis.
Signs of seborrheic dermatitis are:
- Greasy dandruff (dry scales) on the scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache. Dandruff may become yellowish/reddish in the hairline, nasal bridge, nasolabial folds, and eyebrows.
- Itching (pruritus) of variable intensity.
The physical examination and samples of the scales that come off the skin will confirm a diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis and rule out: psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis or ringworm.
In adults, with compromised scalp, it is recommended to use, within therapy, topical products with:
- Five pyrithione.
- Selenium sulfide.
- Salicylic acid.
- Sulfuric acid.
- Ketoconazole (2 and 1%)
- Shampoo with coal tar.
- Corticosteroid lotion to rub on the scalp or hairy areas to reduce redness and peeling.
Good hygiene is essential to avoid the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. When there is an outbreak of dandruff, it is recommended to use the product recommended by the dermatologist daily or, in mild cases, the over-the-counter product that shows good results in each personal case. As soon as the dandruff subsides, you can start using it, in the case of shampoos, between one and three times a week, alternating it with other shampoos. It is important to let the shampoo act following the manufacturer's instructions for it to have its effect.
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