Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition characterized by redness, scaling, and sometimes itching, especially in areas with a high density of sebaceous glands. These areas include the scalp, face (particularly the nose, eyebrows, forehead, and ears), chest, and back. Seborrheic dermatitis can occur in people of any age, but is most common in infants (known as “head disease”) and adults between the ages of 30 and 60.

Causes and risk factors

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not fully understood, but several factors contribute to its development:

  • Excessive sebum production : An important role is played by the excessive production of skin oil (sebum), which creates ideal conditions for the growth of certain yeasts of the genus Malassezia.
  • Malassezia yeasts : These fungi are present on most people's skin but can cause inflammation in those with seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Genetic predisposition : There is evidence that there is a familial tendency to the disease.
  • Stress and general health : Stress, fatigue, and general health problems can worsen symptoms.
  • Climatic conditions : Cold and dry weather conditions can also worsen symptoms.
  • Certain medical conditions : Individuals with neurological diseases (such as Parkinson's disease) and certain immune disorders are more susceptible to developing seborrheic dermatitis.


  • Dandruff on the scalp : Often perceived as dandruff, it can range from mild to severe.
  • Red, scaly, greasy patches on the skin, especially on the face and scalp, but also in other areas rich in sebaceous glands.
  • Itching : May vary from mild to intense.
  • In infants, the condition occurs in the form of scalp gneiss, a mild form of dandruff and redness on the scalp.


Treatment aims to relieve symptoms and reduce the frequency of flare-ups:

  • Anti-dandruff shampoos : Contain active ingredients such as ketoconazole, tar, salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione or selenium , which work against yeast and reduce dandruff formation.
  • Topical steroids : May relieve inflammation and itching. However, they should only be used short-term and under medical supervision.
  • Antifungal creams : Used to treat affected areas of skin outside the scalp.
  • Mild Cleansers : Gentle cleansing can help prevent irritation.


Although there is no sure-fire way to completely prevent seborrheic dermatitis, regular skin care, stress management, and avoiding skin irritants can help reduce the severity and frequency of breakouts.

If symptoms persist or are severe, it is important to consult a dermatologist for appropriate treatment and advice.

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