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Seborrheic Dermatitis: Oily, Irritated Skin

Seborrheic Dermatitis: Oily, Irritated Skin
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Seborrheic Dermatitis

skin disorders


Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disorder characterized by oily, irritated patches of skin. It typically affects the face, scalp and chest. Seborrheic dermatitis is very common, with more than 3 million people affected in the US alone. It is found most often in adolescents.

What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Most cases of seborrheic dermatitis are of unknown origin and resolve on their own with time. Many cases of seborrheic dermatitis can be caused by the following conditions or factors:

  • Excessive oil production from skin
  • Poor hygiene
  • Infection with the Malassezia fungus
  • Pollution Exposure
  • Abnormal immune response
  • Certain Neurological conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cold or dry season
  • Weakened immune system post organ transplant
  • HIV
  • Cancer treatment
  • Heart attack
  • Certain medications

Types of Seborrheic Dermatitis

There is only one type of seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Symptoms

  • Scaly, irritated patches
  • Burning and itching skin
  • Oozing skin
  • Greasy, oily skin

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Diagnosing Seborrheic Dermatitis

Your primary care physician can diagnose seborrheic dermatitis, but they will likely refer you to a dermatologist for treatment of the condition. A dermatologist can confirm the diagnosis by examining a skin sample under a microscope.

Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis

Most cases of seborrheic dermatitis resolve on their own with time. Cases that are caused by an underlying condition typically resolve once the underlying condition is treated. Medicated face washes that contain corticosteroids can help reduce the severity of the condition if it does not resolve on its own.

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