Your full guide to deal with Seborrheic Dermatitis, all Causes and Symptoms.

Read this article to know more about seborrheic dermatitis: causes, treatments and symptoms.

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammation of skin that occurs due to the activation of opportunistic saprophyte fungus. This fungus lives on almost everyone’s skin; however, it does not manifest itself fully.

Seborrheic dermatitis usually appears as red, itchy rash on your scalp which has flaky scales. It’s a very common skin disease that seems similar to psoriasis, eczema, or an allergic reaction. It can appear on your body besides your scalp.

Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis

What’s Causing Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Actually, the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown. However, it seems to be a combination of things which including:

  • Your genes
  • Stress
  • A yeast that lives on skin
  • Certain medical conditions and medicines
  • Cold and dry weather

People think that it comes from an allergy or being unclean, but it doesn’t.


Who Gets Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Newborns and adults who aged 30-60 are more likely to get seborrheic dermatitis. Moreover, it’s more common in men than women and in people with oily skin. The following medical conditions can raise your risk:

  • AIDS
  • Acne
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Heart attack or stroke recovery
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea


What are the Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Dandruff and cradle cap are the most common names for seborrheic dermatitis. Babies 3 months and younger commonly get cradle cap which appears as crusty yellow or brown scales on their scalp. It often goes away before they’re a year old; however, it can come back when they reach puberty.

You may get seborrheic dermatitis on your face, specifically around your nose, on your eyelids, or behind your ears. It can appear on your body includes:

  • Around the navel
  • In the middle part of the chest
  • On buttocks
  • In skin folds under arms and on legs
  • In the groin
  • Below breasts


Skin may itch, burn, or look red. The scales which flake off can be white or yellowish and look moist or oily. On babies, seborrheic dermatitis can be mistaken for diaper rash.

Seborrheic dermatitis can look like other skin conditions, you should see your doctor to get the right treatment. You doctor will ask about your medical history and look at your skin. If the doctor thinks it’s related to another medical condition, you may need other tests.


How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Often, Seborrheic dermatitis will clear up by itself. More often, it’s a lifelong issue that clears and flares. It can last for years at a time; however, you can usually control it with good skin care.


Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss


When your doctor told you that you have seborrheic dermatitis, you immediately want to ask him: Can seborrheic dermatitis cause hair loss? The answer will actually be unfavourable. However, don’t be too upset; this disease is easy to treat and there are many methods of hair loss treatment that can lead to complete hair loss recovery. Substantial therapy is an excellent solution of your problems causing in the end complete hair regrowth. Don’t wait too long, consult a specialist and find out how to stop hair loss from seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss
Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss

What are the Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis on Scalp?

Dermatitis are pronounced inflammations in form of papules. They are defined red foci covered with greasy scales. These lesions grow and merge if the disease is not treated. Because of the excessive peeling patient’s scalp is covered with dense scales glued together with sebum. If you remove them, you will see bright pink inflamed skin surface, actually it is often painful. Severe itching, which accompanies seborrheic dermatitis in hair, carries a risk of infection. The scales peel off and can be observed in your hair and on your clothing.

Don’t forget to ask your doctor: Does seborrheic dermatitis cause hair loss? The answer will give you a good impetus to start treatment immediately. Further symptoms are redness, and formation of seborrheic plaques, which become bigger. The disease can be accompanied by increased hair loss from seborrheic dermatitis which stops only after you get rid of the problem. The good news for you is, if you have lost some of your hair because of this disease, after the treatment you can count on the restoration of your hair without any hair transplant procedures.


How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Lost?

Successful treatment of seborrheic dermatitis implies the need for an integrated approach. Treatment should be directed not just to fight the clinical manifestations of the disease, but also to correct the problems with your body, which were the primary cause of dermatitis.


  • To begin with adjust your diet, consume hypoallergenic food. Take sufficient amount of vitamins of A, B, C groups and zinc and selenium;
  • You should begin to use topical antifungal agents. Consult a doctor to have the exact remedy prescribed.
  • If the flakes have formed quite a dense layer, it will prevent the active influence of the remedies. To overcome this barrier, you need to use pre-applications with ointments and oils.
  • During the treatment period, apply only medical shampoos containing keratolytic components, zinc and substances capable to eliminate excessive sebum production without over drying your skin.


Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoos

Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoos
Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoos


You know shampoos are  meant for the head, however, this hasn’t kept people from using them elsewhere. Doctors may recommend to use head and shoulders on the face to control facial seborrheic dermatitis.

Common Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoos

The most commonly used shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis are:

  • Head and Shoulders (zinc pyrithione)
  • Neutrogena T-Gel (coal tar)
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole)
  • Selsun Blue (selenium sulfide)
  • JASON Natural Dandruff Relief (sulfur + salicylic acid)


Using anti-fungal shampoos is something positive. Using anti-fungal shampoos or conditioners on your facial skin would often leave it feeling unhealthy and overly bare. However, inside and behind the ears, this was not a problem.


Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face


About 5% of the population is prone to facial seborrheic dermatitis. Even babies can have it. Among the risk groups are teenagers, people with a genetic predisposition, HIV-positive and those who suffer from seborrhea. Male are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis than women.

Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face
Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face

What’s Causing Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face?

There are many possible causes of seborrheic dermatitis on face which include:

  • thinning of the local skin barrier
  • immunity disorders
  • constant stress
  • harmful habits
  • chronic sleep deprivation
  • endocrine disorders
  • high skin oiliness
  • pancreatic diabetes
  • unhealthy diet
  • vitamins deficiency.

Seborrheic dermatitis can accompany chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or can be a side effect of a long intake of hormonal preparations. Because of these reasons, the fungus begins to multiply rapidly and releases a lot of toxic waste products that are harmful to the skin on the face.


What are the Symptoms of Dermatitis on Face?

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis on face do not appear immediately. If the problem is not identified in time and if the appropriate treatment is not started, you may develop even erythroderma.

You can identify mild seborrheic dermatitis by the following symptoms:

  • Severe itching
  • Severe irritation of skin, accompanied by redness;
  • Burning and peeling
  • Appearance of yellow and white scales on the damaged areas of the skin
  • Increased skin sensitivity
  • Small but numerous papules on the face, localized on cheeks, forehead, eyebrows and in the nasolabial area.


What are the Types of Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face?

  • Oily seborrhea is the most common type of this disease. A greasy film will cover a patient’s face. This will lead to a proliferation of different pathogenic fungi and mites, which exacerbates the situation.
  • Dry seborrhea happens less often. The skin becomes very dry and cracks. Sebum production reduces greatly. These symptoms you can find on an infant face because children are more prone to this type of seborrheic dermatitis.

Mixed seborrhea combines symptoms of oily and dry seborrhea. Dry seborrhea locates on the scalp, and the oily on the skin of face.


How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face?

It requires a complex facial seborrheic dermatitis treatment. Doctors have to identify and remove the cause of dermatitis.


Seborrheic Dermatitis on Nose


As we mentioned, the most common areas for seborrheic dermatitis are the scalp, the nasal folds, ears. However, seborrheic dermatitis is very common around and on the nose. You may ask your doctor why? Simply, it is due to this area having the most sebaceous activity, sweat and oil production.

Seborrheic Dermatitis on Nose

A study concluded that seborrheic dermatitis most commonly affected the warmer areas of the facial skin. The heightened temperature of face is responsible for attracting much of the bacteria present on your skin surface. the seborrheic dermatitis can become triggered as more bacteria accumulate in these warmer patches of skin.

Prior to having seborrheic dermatitis on your face, it may present on your scalp. However, at that time you may didn’t even know it was called seborrheic dermatitis. Then one day you will notice a strange rash appearing on the right side of your nose. Then, you decided to see a doctor. Actually, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic cream. The cream will do work and the rash will fade away. However, shortly if you stop using it, the rash will come back and ever bigger. The seborrheic dermatitis may spread to a large poriton of your face.

If your seborrheic dermatitis is limited to your nose, you’re quite fortunate. However, you should consider taking a proactive approach before it has the ability to spread further.


Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet


Seborrheic dermatitis commonly appears on the scalp; however, it can affect any area of the body with a large number of oil glands. This inflammatory condition can cause redness, flaking, itching and lesions. There is no special diet that exists to treat seborrheic dermatitis; however, your food choices can influence inflammation, which is a major player in skin conditions. Responses to changes in the diet varies from person to person with the same health problem. There is no guarantees that exist to avoid certain foods that influence your symptoms.


Inflammation that Causing by Fats

Your body uses fats to produce hormones that involved in the inflammatory response. The Western diet is heavy on omega-6 fatty acids, which promote the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, and is lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation.       According to an article of the ‘’Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” This imbalance contributes to the high incidence of inflammatory conditions. Oils high in omega-6 fats that include vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower and soybean. Try to Read the ingredients of packaged foods carefully since they are prepared with these oils. Fats that are found in animal foods and trans fats also can contribute to inflammation.


How to Choose the Right Carbohydrates?

A diet high in carbohydrates produces large spikes in insulin which promotes inflammation. According to the site Women to Women, the high insulin levels cause the immune system to act as if it needs to fight off a harmful substance, leading to elevated levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals which normally alert infection-fighting white blood cells that they are needed. Actually, when no invader is present and inflammation is prolonged and constant, it will cause problems, such as inflammatory skin conditions. In addition, there are many problematic foods that include processed carbohydrates such as white bread, soda and sugary foods such as cookies and candy. Carbohydrates that promote normal insulin levels include whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice.


Food Allergies

You might associate a food allergy with your face swelling up; however, it can manifest in other ways.  It very important for you to know that food allergy may contribute to seborrheic dermatitis. So, your body’s rejection of the food may trigger the inflammation characteristic of this condition. The most common offenders  that appear to be dairy are wheat and citrus fruits. Other common allergens include fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. Experimenting with an elimination diet will help determine whether certain foods worsen your symptoms. Therefore, you must cut out all suspected problem foods for a period of time and add them back one at a time to see which exactly affect your condition.



Beside limiting specific foods, you want to make sure to include plenty of inflammation-fighting foods in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, substances that can fight inflammation. When cooking, choose olive oil or canola oil over vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids.  You should eat more omega-3 fatty acids.


Seborrheic Dermatitis on Babies and Infants


Seborrheic dermatitis in babies and infants causes dandruff or cradle cap. It may cause a rash on other areas of the skin.

Seborrheic Dermatitis on Babies and Infants
Seborrheic Dermatitis on Babies and Infants

As we mentioned, seborrheic dermatitis in babies and infants is a type of skin inflammation that mainly affects the scalp and face. It is thought that babies who develop this condition can produce more oil from the sebaceous glands in their skin. However, it is not just a simple skin infection and you cannot catch this condition from others. The fungal germ lives in the sebum of human skin and some babies might react to the germ which causes the skin inflammation.

Commonly, in most cases, babies have a mild form of this condition in the first six months of life and it usually goes away on its own after a few months. Commonly, it has cleared by the age of 6 months.


What are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis in babies and infants?


  • Cradle cap: It appears ad greasy, yellow, scaly patches on the scalp. In some cases a thick scaly layer covers the whole scalp. Then, the scales may become flaky and rub off easily. It is not usually itchy. In most cases, the baby is not aware of any discomfort.


  • Rash: In addition to cradle cap, some babies develop a mild red rash. It can appear on the eyebrows, on the skin next to their nose, or in the creases of the skin such as around the neck, behind the ears or in the armpits. Moreover, it can cause a nappy rash in the groin creases.


How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis in Babies and Infants?

In most cases, treatment is not needed because the condition is usually mild and it is not serious and does not usually cause any discomfort to the baby. It will usually clear by itself eventually. However, the appearance of the scalp may be improved by daily washing with a baby shampoo followed by gentle brushing with a soft brush to loosen scales. You can also soften the scales with baby oil first, followed by gentle brushing and then washing off with baby shampoo. If it does not work, it can be helpful to soften the scales by rubbing in olive oil, vegetable oil or white petroleum jelly. Leave this overnight to allow it time to work. Wash it off with baby shampoo in the morning. Another option is to try a greasy moisturizing lotion such as emulsifying ointment.

If there are other areas that are affected,  do regular washing. Use an emollient cream instead of soap on the affected skin.

If it needed, your doctor may prescribe a medicated antifungal cream. Creams that may be used are clotrimazole, econazole or miconazole. They will usually clear the rash. Rarely, if inflammation is very severe,  your doctor will prescribe a mild steroid cream.


Seborrheic Dermatitis Eczema

Seborrheic Dermatitis Eczema
Seborrheic Dermatitis Eczema


This type of eczema is known as dandruff. In infants, it affects the scalp. In adults, it also often affects these areas:

  • Eyebrows
  • Sides of the nose
  • Area behind the ears
  • Groin
  • Center of chest

Seborrheic dermatitis causes skin to fall off in flakes. It may be due to an overgrowth of a type of yeast that lives in these areas, and an overgrowth and rapid shedding of cells on the scalp. It can be especially hard to treat in people whose immune systems aren’t working properly, including people with AIDS .


Seborrheic Dermatitis Cure


Conventional Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis


  • Using special shampoos containing antifungal agents on the scalp
  • Applying topical agents to the skin
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications if another condition is the cause of dermatitis or applying anti-inflammatory topical agents to the skin
  • Using keratolytic agents to control inflammation


One treatment that doctors commonly use to control SD symptoms on the face and scalp is ketoconazole cream, which is usually about 2 percent concentration applied twice daily for four weeks.

Topical treatments don’t work for all patients, it sometimes can cause even more irritation or symptoms to return at a later time.


Natural Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis


  • Treat Itchy Scalp Dryness

Dandruff  is very common in adults and children; however, this doesn’t mean it’s normal. Many Studies suggest that dandruff is really the over accumulation of dead skin, and dandruff causes can include low immune function, reactions to the dry winter air, a vitamin-deficient diet and harsh chemicals that found in things like chemical-heavy unhealthy shampoos. Malassezia yeast lives on the scalps of adults but in excess causes more skin cells to grow and then skin cells to die and flake off.


Common seborrheic dermatitis scalp treatments that include:


  • Applying a combination of hydrating coconut oil and essential oils to the scalp.
  • Making a DIY dry scalp shampoo or mask to cover itchy areas
  • Avoid shampooing too much but making sure to clear the scalp.
  • Increasing intake of antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries and leafy greens
  • Using a humidifier if the air in your home is very dry (dandruff usually gets worse during the fall and winter when air is very dry)
  • Supplementing with things like vitamin D to prevent deficiencies


Boost Immune Function

As we mentioned, low immune function and high inflammation levels are at the root of most skin conditions. Skin irritations are caused or made worse by chronic stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue. To improve immunity, try these tips:

  • Exercise regularly to control stress
  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep each night
  • Consider taking supplements like omega-3 fatty acids
  • Keep up with hobbies and relationships to feel more connected and relaxed.
  • Spent at least some time outdoors in nature or the sun each day
  • Try natural stress relievers like meditation, yoga, prayer, reading, writing..etc.
  • Consume more anti-inflammatory foods, including garlic, apple cider vinegar, banana, avocado, flaxseed, ginger and coconut oil.
  • Consider using adaptogen herbs to help your body deal with stress and control cortisol levels


Reduce Intake of Inflammatory and Allergen Foods

To keep inflammation as low as possible, you need to stick to keep your diet as unprocessed as possible focusing on eating all foods. Minimize your intake of packaged and processed foods which known to worsen autoimmune reactions and allergies, including:

  • Processed oils like corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oil
  • Added sugar and sweetened beverages
  • Fried foods and trans fats

If you’re prone to allergies, foods like refined grain products made with wheat, conventional dairy, shellfish and peanuts


Stay Hydrated

Make sure to supply skin with hydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid having too much salty food, alcohol, caffeine or sugary drinks, because they can aggravate and dry out the skin, instead having things like coconut water, green tea, and homemade smoothies or juices to increase fluid intake.


 Use Healing Coconut and Essential Oils

Real coconut oil contains medium, including lauric acid and capric acid, so it has strong antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil that applied to the skin has been shown to reduce excess yeast, microbes and fungus that can lead to irritation, too much oiliness or dryness. Even better, use coconut oil on the skin along with soothing essential oils.

To make a homemade treatment for itchy skin that you can keep at home to use several times, combine eight drops cedar wood, eight drops rosemary oil, six drops tea tree oil, one teaspoon local honey and four ounces coconut oil. Massage onto the affected area, including the scalp, leave it on for about 15–20 minutes, and then rub or rinse off. These oils contain antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and they can reduce inflammation and treat infections.


Avoid Irritating Beauty Products

Symptoms of dermatitis are made worse when you apply chemical-heavy products to your skin on a regular basis. Itching, picking and over-cleaning the skin might also make things worse.

You can use natural, organic products on your skin as much as possible, being careful to avoid commercial shampoos with chemicals if you have dandruff. Most beauty products contain chemicals that are drying or harmful, so look for those made without ingredients. Instead, to clean, tone and hydrate the skin without irritation turn to natural skin care products like apple cider vinegar, tea tree, witch hazel, shea butter and aloe vera gel. Moreover, it’s important to avoid other causes of contact dermatitis, including:

  • Fragrant soaps, detergents, shampoos, perfumes and lotions that might be on your clothes or household fabrics
  • Poison ivy or poison oak
  • Latex

Specific natural products that might trigger an allergy, such as certain essential oils or active constituents.


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