If you’ve noticed scaly patches on your face or body, you could be experiencing seborrheic dermatitis. This is a common, inflammatory skin condition involving a rash, usually pink in color, and areas of scaling that are typically white or yellow. Although unrelated, seborrheic dermatitis has been known to occur at the same time as rosacea.
The rash may or may not be itchy, but mostly seborrheic dermatitis is disfiguring and just really annoying. If you can see symptoms on your scalp, this is referred to as dandruff.
The causes of seborrheic dermatitis are relatively unknown at this stage, but there are several working theories:
Many experts believe a tiny organism called Malassezia could be responsible, supported by the fact that seborrheic dermatitis improves with anti-fungal medications. Malassezia is a yeast that most people have on their skin, but those with seborrheic dermatitis are overly sensitive to this tiny organism and their body reacts to it by launching an inflammatory response. It’s this inflammatory response that leads to the scaly rash, itching and other symptoms.
Genetics and Hormones
These play a role when it comes to suffering with skin problems. The disease tends to run in families and is more common in men than women. It’s also more common in people with certain medical conditions such as immunodeficiency problems or central nervous system conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, although otherwise healthy people can also be affected.
The rash and scaling effects that can appear usually cluster in areas where there’s a high density of sebaceous glands. These areas can include the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, along the edges of the nose and the creases of the ears. Men with facial hair often experience symptoms in those regions. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, a sticky substance that lubricates the skin. People with seborrheic dermatitis produce excessive amounts of sebum, which provides the perfect environment for Malassezia to grow and thrive.
Certain factors can aggravate seborrheic dermatitis, for example stress, illness, weather changes, fatigue, certain foods and lack of sleep. It’s especially important for people who have this condition to practice a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Some products to help with Seborrheic dermatitis can be found below: