What is Seborrhoeic Dermatitis?

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common non-contagious skin condition affecting millions of people. It's a papulosquamous disorder that affects the sebum-rich areas of the scalp, face and trunk.

Its exact cause is unknown, though cases are often attributed to the overproduction of sebum in the sebaceous glands, the presence of topical organisms such as Malassezia yeasts (formerly known as pityrosporum ovale) and inflammatory or immunologic abnormalities.

Patients with a compromised immune system (such as sufferers of HIV/AIDS) are typically susceptible to more frequent and severe cases of seborrhoeic dermatitis, while neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease are also understood to induce a higher prevalence. Other factors which may trigger outbreaks include physical trauma (eg scratching), seasonality or emotional stress.

Symptoms of Seborrhoeic dermatitis

Manifestations of seborrhoeic dermatitis skin lesions include:

  • Patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp
  • Yellow or white scales that attach to the hair shaft
  • Red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
  • Itching or soreness
  • Skin flakes or dandruff
  • Hypopigmentation may occur in black patients.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis occurs on the more oily areas or where there is a certain amount of hair, such as the scalp, forehead, eyebrows, eyelash line, nasolabial folds, beard and postauricular skin. It may also be present on the skin under the chin.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is characterised by intermittent periods of remission followed by periods of exacerbation, when patients experience the burning, scaling and itching symptoms associated with the condition. Flare-ups tend to be more common in winter and early spring, with periods of remission usually occurring in summer.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis may affect people of all races and ethnic groups and is slightly more prevalent in men than in women.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis usually occurs with puberty. It peaks at around age 40 and is less severe but present among older people. In infants, it occurs as cradle cap or less frequently as a flexural eruption or erythroderma.

Treating Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Sebclair® is a non-steroidal range of clinically proven products specifically designed to manage the signs and symptoms of seborrhoeic dermatitis (SD), which has demonstrated both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

The NeoStrata PHA skincare product range can be used alongside Sebclair and provides moisture, antioxidant benefits and exfoliation:

Visit our advice post for help with treating Seborrhoeic Dermatitis