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Seborrhoeic dermatitis

Definition

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, chronic, superficial skin disorder causing scaly, itchy, red skin on the scalp, face, upper chest, back and other oily areas in the body. It is one of the causes of stubborn dandruff and occurs in all age groups. The sebaceous glands are present nearly everywhere in our skin except on the palms and soles. These glands secrete an oily substance (sebum) which consists of fat, and dead fat-producing cells.

People with this condition seem to have increased production of sebum.

Symptoms of Seborrhoeic dermatitis

The following are some of the symptoms of Seborrhoeic dermatitis:

Common symptoms of this disorder are:

• Patchy scaling and thick crusts on scalp
• Plaques may include the scalp, eyebrows, nose, forehead, or ears.
• Sometimes it may affect your breastbone, your groin area, and your armpits.
• Scales may be white or yellowish and attach themselves to the body of the hair
• Greasy, red skin with white or yellowish, flaky scales
• Skin flakes or dandruff
• Small red-brown bumps on skin
• Itch or soreness
• Hair loss: this occurs in very long-standing cases having repeated inflammations of the sebaceous gland.

• Dandruff is thought to be closely related to seborrheic dermatitis, but is less severe.
In infants, the condition commonly affects the scalp and is called ‘cradle cap’.
Children are less severely affected than adults as sebum secretion maximally starts after puberty (testosterone gives secondary sexual characters and influence these sebaceous glands to secrete sebum.)

Causes of Seborrhoeic dermatitis:

Seborrheic dermatitis is thought to be due to a combination of an over production of skin oil and irritation from malessizia.

Recent studies have shown malessizia furfur, a naturally-occurring yeast on the surface of the skin is maximally responsible for seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Certain factors increase the risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis:

• Affection of a close family member
• Obesity
• Oily skin
• Stress
• Fatigue
• Infrequent shampooing and use of hair-care products containing alcohol
• Skin disorders like acne.
• HIV infections

Diagnosis

The diagnosis can be established by talking to your physician and letting him examine your skin and scalp under wood’s lamp. It shows golden colour scales under it .

Homeopathic treatment for Seborrhoeic dermatitis

Conventional treatment

There is no complete cure available for seborrheic dermatitis till date. Conventional medicines manage to control the symptoms. But, the condition is ever recurring. The skin-type of the patient, severity of symptoms and general well-being all need to be considered when adjusting the dosing of available drugs.

Scalp dermatitis

Common medicines come in the form of shampoos medicated with one or more of the following:

• Ketoconazoles
• Salicyclic acid
• Tar
• Pyrithrione zinc
• Selenium sulfides
Non-scalp dermatitis

The medications used try control repeated inflammations and build-up of flakes. These drugs used are

• Anti-fungal applications
• Corticosteroid applications
• Ointments of ketoconazole and desonide
• Immune-modulators having anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties (ONLY when other treatments fail, as these have many adverse side-effects)

Alternative treatments include

• topical zinc and/or lithium,
• essential fatty acids, and
• various B-vitamins.

Things to remember:

• Shampoo daily : any mild and antidandruff ( less chemical )
• Avoid harsh soaps and detergents. Be sure to rinse the soap completely off your body.
• Wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. This will help you avoid irritation.
• Avoid too much of scratching.

Homeopathic treatment for Seborrhoeic dermatitis

Homeopathy offers an excellent treatment for Seborrhoeic dermatitis during all stages. Cases treated especially in the early stages show much better results. However, old cases of Seborrhoeic dermatitis also respond very well, but would require time. Most cases approach for homeopathic treatment after other pathies tried.

Treated cases on Seborrhoeic dermatitis

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