What causes seborrheic dermatitis ?
While the condition continues to affect a great number of people, experts in dermatology have yet to discover the definitive seborrheic dermatitis causes. This condition is usually manifested as chronic skin problems, with most patients exhibiting flaking and scaling in areas that are rich in the sebum glands that produce oil. The scalp, face, chest, and head are the most common areas that are affected by causes of seborrheic dermatitis. Most patients experience the previously mentioned scaling and flaking of the skin as well as having red skin that can appear greasy or feel sensitive. The most common manifestation of seborrheic dermatitis is flaking of the skin found on the scalp, commonly known as dandruff. Recent estimates state that perhaps three to five percent of the world’s population has this condition and research is currently being done to isolate the various organisms, genetic factors, and environmental stimuli that may be the causes of seborrheic dermatitis.
One of the leading theories is that the cause of seborrheic dermatitis has to do with levels of a yeast, Malassezia furfur. Humans naturally have low levels of this common yeast, but those with seborrheic dermatitis often have higher than normal amounts of the yeast present on the skin and in the glands. The thought is that what causes seborrheic dermatitis is the body’s own response to the yeast, resulting in inflammation and irritation. Another school of thought states that some people are more predisposed to the condition than others. In these cases, the condition is passed through the genetic material to offspring. Other experts argue that it is caused by environmental factors and is unrelated to the yeast levels or DNA.
Regardless of the specific cause, a person who has seborrheic dermatitis will need to understand that it is most commonly a condition for the duration of a person’s life. There are certain steps, such as using specialized shampoo that can reduce the occurrence of outbreaks, but the condition is not currently curable. In infants, seborrheic dermatitis is known as cradle cap and should be treated by careful daily washing and avoid excessive brushing of the hair. For adults, simply using the special shampoos is often enough to gain control of an outbreak, but severe or persistent cases should be referred to a local physician for advice. The doctor will usually prescribe a topical ointment to be applied that contains either corticosteroids or higher dose levels of the same medication found in the shampoo. In addition, the class of drugs known as immunomodulators have been proven to help with severe cases. They are effective by reducing the body’s response that causes the inflammation. In this manner, they do not treat the condition, but only the symptoms. Seborrheic dermatitis causes may not yet have been discovered, but there are a number of products to help deal with the symptoms of the condition.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Scalp Treatment Shampoo
When it comes to seborrheic dermatitis treatments, there are two main varieties: the natural and the not. Seborrheic dermatitis is usually contracted in the form of dandruff which is a flaky excess of dry skin that comes from the scalp. Although it comes in other forms as well, the vast majority of sufferers will only experience the seborrheic dermatitis on their scalps. As a result, most of the treatments are also hair related. There are a number of shampoos on the market that are intended for treatment for seborrheic dermatitis as well as many natural methods, which will be discussed further below. Regardless though, sufferers of this particular ailment are fortunate that there are a number of treatments to assist them.
Seborrheic dermatitis remains a disease with undetermined causes but most doctors can point to an intolerance of a yeast, mallesizia, as the main cause. This yeast produces a fungus that causes the skin cells in the scalp to go into overproduction of new skin cells. As the new skin cells continue to be rapidly duplicated, the dead cells accumulate in the form of the dandruff flakes.
The most common anti-dandruff shampoos tend to include one of the following chemicals pyrithione zinc (Head and Shoulders), selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue), or salicylic acid (Neutrogena T/Sal). Most of these active chemicals work equally effectively on dandruff. The only one to be careful of is the salicylic acid type of dandruff shampoo as these tend to break down the flakes, which helps to remove them from your scalp, but they do not really treat the root cause of the problem. While using an anti-dandruff shampoo as treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, one should also be careful not to use it as their regular shampoo. Although it is acceptable to use it every day at first, while one is suffering the worst part of their dandruff, one should reduce their use to 2 to 3 times a week after the first couple of weeks. Otherwise, the effectiveness of the shampoo will be significantly reduced as the body grows a tolerance to it. Generally, one should use a regular shampoo first and then apply the anti-dandruff shampoo. Allow the anti-dandruff shampoo to sit in the hair for a few minutes to ensure that it is getting to the areas it needs to treat in the scalp and then rinse.
A more popular natural treatment of seborrheic dermatitis is lime juice. Lime juice can be applied to the scalp after shampoo and allowed to sit in the hair for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly. The nice thing about lime juice is that it is also known to increase the health of one’s hair. Apple cider vinegar mixed with hydrogen peroxide and water is also known to be effective.
As far as physical ailments go, dandruff is a good one in that there are so many seborrheic dermatitis treatments to choose from to help.