Seborrheic dermatitisDescription, Causes and Risk Factors:
Alternative Names: Unna disease, seborrheic eczema.A common scaly macular eruption that occurs primarily on the face, scalp (dandruff), and other areas of increased sebaceous gland secretion, especially during infancy and after puberty; the lesions are covered with a slightly adherent oily scale.Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition and is also commonly referred to as dandruff or dermatitis. This condition occurs when the sebaceous glands are overactive, and produce too much oil on the skin. The skin looks dry, inflamed and turns red.It usually affects the scalp and this is called dandruff. Other areas of the body such as the face including the forehead, eyebrows, eyelids, folds of the nose and the nose may be affected.The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not known but factors such as hormone and stress can be a contributing factor. The real culprit may be a fat-eating, yeast-like fungus called malassezia (A genus of fungi (family Cryptococcaceae) of low pathogenicity that lack the ability to synthesize medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids and require an exogenous supply of these lipids for growth as can be found in the skin). Malassezia lives on the scalps of most healthy adults without causing problems. But sometimes it grows out of control, feeding on the oils secreted by your hair follicles and causing irritation that leads to increased cell turnover.All skin cells die and are replaced by new cells. Normally, it takes about a month for new cells to move from the lowest layer of your skin, where they form, to the outermost layer, where they die and scale off in flakes. Because cells renew themselves slowly, this process usually is not noticeable.But on scalps where malassezia thrives, the whole process can take as little as 11 days. The result is a large number of dead skin cells. As the cells fall off, they tend to clump together with oil from your hair and scalp, making them appear white, flaky and all too visible.Scientists used to think that a type of malassezia fittingly called M. furfur was responsible for dandruff. But new studies show that two other forms of the fungus — M. restricta and M. globosa — are to blame. Exactly what causes an overgrowth of these organisms is not known, although increased oil production, hormonal fluctuations, stress, illness, neurologic disorders such as Parkinson's disease, a suppressed immune system, infrequent shampooing, extra sensitivity to the malassezia fungus and even heredity may contribute to the development of dandruff.There is no clear genetic predisposition.It is especially common in infants and when this condition affects them, it is known as cradle cap. Seborrheic dermatitis also tends to occur in adults who suffer from Parkinson's disease, stress, psoriasis, and immune system disorders.Symptoms:
The disorder is characterized byscaling and poorly defined erythematous patches, with large variations in extentand morphologic characteristics depending on the area of skin involved. In the acute phase, the scales cover a slightly moist surface. The scalp isalmost invariably affected. Other common sites are the face,chest, and intertriginous areas.
- Blepharoconjunctivitis may occur in isolation or itmay be associated with skin lesions.
- Infrequently, marginated lesions occur on themale external genitalia.
- Itching is moderate and usually limited to the scalp and theexternal auditory meatus.
In general, symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include:Skin lesions.
- Plaques over large area.
- Greasy, oily areas of skin.
- Skin scales -- white and flaking, or yellowish, oily, and adherent -- "dandruff."
- Itching -- may become more itchy if infected.
- Mild redness.
- Hair loss.
Differential Diagnosis May Include: Atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and tinea capitis.Your doctor may diagnose seborrheic dermatitis by:Physical examination — talking to you about your symptoms and examining your skin and scalp.
- Skin biopsy or other tests — which are sometimes necessary to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other types of dermatitis.
There is no treatment that is guaranteed to stop seborrheic dermatitis forever, but treatments can control its signs and symptoms. Treatment depends on your skin type, the severity of your condition and where it appears on your body.Topical antifungal agents are the mainstay of treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Well-studied agents include ketoconazole, bifonazole, and ciclopiroxolamine (ciclopirox), which are available in different formulations such as creams, gels, foams, and shampoos.To reduce the symptoms of dandruff, shampoos containing selenium sulfide or tea tree oil such as Selsun, Tegrin, T-Gel or Ionil T are recommended. Seborrheic dermatitis that develops on the face and body should be washed with soap and water daily. Other treatments that may be prescribed by your doctor or dermatologist may include medicated shampoos, antifungal drugs, topical corticosteroids and sulfur products.Herbal Treatment: Herbs such as Galium aperine (Cleavers) and Trifolium pratense (red clover) have a wide range of therapeutic effects that acts as a cleansing tonic, blood purifier and lymphatic cleanser. Tissue salts such as Natrium muriaticum, Kalium muriaticum and Kalium sulphate help to maintain skin health and promote well-hydrated skin.Home Cure & Remedy of Dandruff:Make a shampoo by mixing 100g each of amla (Indian goose berry), reetha (Sapindus Mukorossi), and shikakai (Acacia concinna), and boil in two liter of water until the liquid reduces to half. Use this shampoo for one month. Dandruff will vanish and your hair will become thick.
- Massage the scalp with almond oil. Dip a towel in boiling water and wrap it around the hair. Repeat it thrice or four times when the towel gets cold.
- Mix 1 teaspoons lemon juice with 2 teaspoons vinegar and massage on the scalp. Wash your hair with an egg shampoo.
- Fenugreek seeds are also useful in the removal of dandruff. Grind fenugreek (methi) seeds soaked in water overnight. Massage this paste on scalp and hair and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.
- Take 2 cup water, add 4-5 tablespoons dried thyme and boil for 10 minutes. Cool, strain, and use the mixture to massage scalp. Keep for half an hour.
: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.