Seborrheic eczema - Disease - Saglik Lokman

Glossary of diseases

Seborrheic eczema

Medical name (Seborrheic dermatitis)

Possible Symptoms

Crusting Flaking skin Dry skin Coarsening of the skin structure Itching of skin Skin redness Skin rash

Short description

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation occurring on the skin. Though seborrheic dermatitis can be a result from an infection based inflammation, it is neither dangerous nor contagious. People with seborrheic dermatitis may have itchy skin, feel uncomfortable and face cosmetic problems in the affected areas. It is usually treated by a dermatologist.


A seborrheic dermatitis is an episodic or chronic skin condition with red, inflamed, itchy and yellowish greasy flaking patches (eczema) of the skin. It usually affects the skin with active sebaceous glands such as the scalp, face, cleavage, axle and pubic area. The patient may scratch these skin patches and cause small injuries, which usually heal scarless.

Occurrence and Symptoms

The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown. However, the following conditions may be factors that can cause it: 1) genetic predisposition, 2) abnormal sebaceous glands, 3) infections caused by yeast fungus (pityrosporum ovale or malassezia furfur), 4) weak immune system 5) hormones and 6) nervous system problems. People with seborrheic dermatitis usually have slightly itchy lesions on the skin. Yellowish or white skin scales and redness are the two main signs of seborrheic dermatitis. The seborrheic dermatitis often affects the head of infants under 3 months of age (cradle cap). Seborrheic dermatitis in adults mostly occurs on the face, especially the creases around the nose and the forehead. Areas such as the ears, scalp or other “oily” areas (axle, cleavage, pubic area) are also affected commonly.

Consequences and Treatment

Generally speaking, people with seborrheic dermatitis may be treated with creams containing steroids, antifungal drugs or zinc. These drugs can relieve the inflammation and avoid the production of scales. For people with seborrheic dermatitis affecting the scalp, it is advised to use shampoos with anti-dandruff substances from time to time in agreement with their doctors. In general the patients should only use mild shampoos.

Where could I go?

Dermatology Pediatrics

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