Know the causes of seborrheic dermatitis and the symptoms, notice them on time and seek medical treatment right away before it’s too late.

Seborrheic dermatitis can affect both adults and infants. It usually appears in stages of life in which there is increased sebaceous activity.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a frequent skin condition. It is a type of eczema that is not triggered by external factors. It mainly affects the scalp, although it can also affect other areas such as the face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids and chest.

Seborrheic dermatitis can occur in both adults and infants. It usually appears in life stages in which there is a greater sebaceous activity linked to a greater hormonal stimulus.

Causes of seborrheic dermatitis

The exact causes of seborrheic dermatitis are currently not familiar. Although its appearance may be due to the fungus malassezia in the sebaceous secretion in the skin. Among the other causes of seborrheic dermatitis may be an irregular response of the immune system.

There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of seborrheic dermatitis, such as neurological and psychiatric disorders. It also increases the risk of having a weak immune system, such as that of recipients of an organ transplant and people with HIV.

Seborrheic dermatitis usually occurs in the scalp and some parts of the face. Although it may be caused by the malasezia fungus, there are other factors that can trigger it.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include: dandruff, skin lesions, itching and mild erythema. Generally the scalp is always affected, so it usually has small scales.

It is also frequent desquamation in eyebrows, eyelashes, beard hair and mustache, as well as a redness and peeling of the nasogenian groove and the back of the ears.

In some patients, the eyelids swell and small scabs form on the edge of them. At the level of the trunk, seborrheic dermatitis usually manifests as rounded erythematomarronous plaques. Sometimes the plaques are covered by very adherent scales, resembling psoriasis lesions.


The diagnosis is based on the clinic, by the appearance and location of the skin lesions. Patches with oily scales on the scalp are characteristic.

In addition, there are usually erythematous-desquamative lesions in the areas of scalp insertion, retroauricular folds, nasogenial grooves or eyebrows. In infants, the characteristic lesion is the “milk crust”.

The doctor needs to make a differential diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis with other diseases that have similar symptoms such as:

Psoriasis: also causes dandruff and redness of the skin with the presence of flakes and scales. In psoriasis there are more scales and they are silvery white.

Atopic dermatitis: This skin condition causes itching and inflammation in the skin of the folds of the elbows, the back of the knees and the front of the neck.

Pityriasis versicolor: This rash appears on the trunk, but is not usually red like seborrheic dermatitis spots.

Rosacea: usually occurs on the face and generates very few scales.


There are a number of general hygienic measures, such as avoiding showers with very hot water, heated or air conditioned environments or situations of greater emotional stress. For daily hygiene, neutral moisturizing soaps and non-fat moisturizing creams or lotions should be used.

Cream for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis

Topical products with anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties can help in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.


Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone, fluocinolone and clobetasol, which you need to the scalp or other area. You will use them in the form of creams, shampoos or ointments.

They are effective and easy to use, but should be used wisely. If used for a long time without rest can cause side effects, such as thinning of the skin or appearance of spots.

Creams or lotions that contain calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus may be effective and have fewer side effects than corticosteroids. However, they are not treatments of first choice.


You can use them in the form of gels, creams or shampoos alternating with other medications. You can use them at 1 or 2% as ketoconazole, depending on the intensity and area that needs treatment.

In more severe cases, you will need to use oral treatments with tetracyclines, which decrease sebaceous secretion. In general, the response to the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis is good.

But you should know that maintenance treatment will be necessary, since the disease persists for months to years. However, it will present buds that will improve in the warmer seasons. However, they will get worse in the cold months and in situations of fatigue and emotional stress.

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