Dr Ian Webster
Dr Ian Webster

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis is a common, chronic, or relapsing form of eczema/dermatitis and commonly affects areas of the skin with high sebum production:

  • Scalp
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Eyebrows
  • Beard
  • Ears
  • Other skin folds

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Adults:

  • This form usually comes on at puberty. It is more common in males. It usually occurs in otherwise completely healthy individuals.
  • More severe forms can occur in persons who are HIV positive and in persons who have Parkinson’s disease. 
  • It is a chronic, relapsing skin condition that is often worse at times of stress.

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Infants:

  • The cause of this dermatitis is not clear but it may be related to genetic factors and over activity of sebaceous glands due to residual maternal hormones.
  • It may look alarming to the mother but fortunately, it is not itchy and does not affect the infants’ general well-being. 
  • This form of dermatitis almost always resolves spontaneously by 12 months of age.

Typical features include:

  • Not usually itchy
  • Generalised greasy scaly dermatitis on the scalp and often in the folds on the trunk and limbs

Treatment Tips for Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Adults

Scalp Treatment:

  • Frequent washing of the hair with a shampoo that contains ingredients that have keratolytic as well as anti-yeast properties.
  • For more severe forms of seborrhoeic dermatitis, a shampoo containing Salicylic Acid and Shale Oil is recommended two to three times per week.

Face Treatment:

  • A prescription ointment containing tacrolimus (Protopic ointment) at night and a gel containing Zinc PCA and Piroctone Olamine can be used in the morning until the dermatitis settles.
  • As seborrhoeic dermatitis is a chronic, relapsing condition, the use of topical corticosteroid creams on the face is not recommended as this can cause thinning of the skin and ‘broken’ red veins. 

Treatment Tips for Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Infants 

Scalp Treatment:

A gentle emollient cream can be massaged into the infant’s scalp overnight and washed out with a specially formulated shampoo in the morning.

Face and Body Treatment:

  • Using a suitable cleansing gel that is tear-free for both hair and body that gently cleanses without stripping away the natural oils.
  • Using a specially formulated repairing cream will help to calm and soothe irritated skin leaving it soft and comfortable.

Skincare ingredients that can help with Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

  • Zinc Pyrithione
  • Piroctone Olamine
  • Purslane Extract
  • Salicylic Acid 
  • Shale Oils
  • Panthenol
  • Avocado Perseose
  • Allantoin
  • Climbazole

Skincare products that can help with Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Adults

Scalp Treatment:

Use a shampoo that is a gentle creamy treatment shampoo that improves the itching and scaling of the scalp. Dr Webster recommends:

Face Treatment:

Use an ultra-gentle, fragrance-free foaming gel for the face and body, targeting the unique needs of sensitive skin prone to redness and scaling. Dr Webster recommends:

Use a non-greasy cream that can be applied to all infected areas including the hairline, behind the ears, and between the eyebrows. Dr Webster recommends:

Skincare products that can help with Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Infants 

Scalp Treatment:

Use a newborn-safe, effective and gentle foaming shampoo that has been specifically formulated to reduce flaking skin on the scalp and to prevent it from developing into cradle cap. Dr Webster recommends: 

Use a cream that is safe, light, effective and gentle cream specifically formulated to reduce flaking skin on the scalp and the appearance of cradle cap. Dr Webster recommends: 

Face and Body Treatment:

Use a soap-free cleanser that has been specially formulated for the delicate skin of babies and children from birth. Dr Webster recommends:

Use a lipid-replenishing cream that has been specially formulated to help alleviate itching and soothe irritated skin. Dr Webster recommends:

Posted in LEARN / SKIN CONDITIONS on October 11th, 2022.

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