Seborrheic Dermatitis or Dandruff
Another name for dandruff is Seborrheic Dermatitis and it generally affects the scalp.
There is a flaking of the skin and is a common ailment affecting adolescents and adults.
Even babies are prone to this ailment, and it is known as "cradle cap".
Sometimes Seborrheic Dermatitis can also occur on other parts of the body like the face, chest, the creases of the arms and legs and the groin.
The skin is not only flaky, but also a little greasy and scaly.
It is very common especially among men between the ages of thirty and sixty.
Often babies below the age of three months are prone to this disease too.
The causes for Seborrheic Dermatitis are still not known, but the causes for infants and adults are different. The ailment could be related to hormones, because infants are affected by it, but it disappears before puberty. A fungus called malassezia may also be a cause of the disorder.
This organism is already present on the skin, but in small numbers. When the numbers increase, skin problems may arise.
There is also a link between Seborrheic Dermatitis and neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. Researchers have established a link between them, but they still don't know the reasons for it.
The treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis depends on its location on the body. Also, the age of the person plays an important role. The treatment of the common dandruff is done with shampoo which contains salicylic acid. The shampoos should be used at least twice a week.
Shampoos containing coal tar can be used more frequently, like three times a week. Actually, if you have dandruff, start by using any of the shampoos daily and then reducing the use to two or three times a week, once the dandruff is under control.
If the Seborrheic Dermatitis symptoms do not respond to self-care like shampoos and massages, consult a medical professional. If the skin develops patches of Seborrheic Dermatitis and drains fluid or pus, or becomes very red or painful, it is time to call a doctor.
Steroid lotions can also be used by adolescents and adults, but only if the doctor prescribes them for you. For babies, Seborrheic Dermatitis can be treated with a mild and non-medicated baby shampoo.
Gentle brushing and massaging of the scalp with a soft brush also helps. For severe cases, doctors recommend gentle steroid lotions and creams.
Seborrheic Dermatitis can be a chronic condition and the treatment can definitely control it. Sometimes it is inactive, and at other times it can flare up, but it continues to stay life long.
There may be some possible complications associated with it like psychological distress, low esteem and embarrassment.
Sometimes Seborrheic Dermatitis may even lead to secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
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