Seborrheic dermatitis — complex disease and its treatment

Classification of the disease
Types of seborrheic dermatitis
Causes of seborrheic dermatitis
Pathology of facial seborrheic dermatitis
Dry seborrheic dermatitis on hands
Seborrheic dermatitis in children
How to get rid of seborrheic dermatitis

Classification of the disease

Seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea is a common disease. Although it is caused by a yeast-like fungus, it is not infectious. This skin disease is associated with the inflammatory process of the area of ​​the human body where there are many glands that produce subcutaneous fat. Most often these are areas covered with hair, like head, eyebrows, auricles, upper lip, axillary, neck, inguinal folds. Less commonly it appears between the shoulder blades, on the surface of the chest.

With a sharp release of a large amount of sebum by the glands, the number of microorganisms in this area increases, the skin becomes inflamed, causing peeling and itching.

The origin of seborrheic dermatitis may be:

  • Inherited, transmitted from parents or one of them, the tendency of the sebaceous glands to produce an excess amount of fat secretion.
  • Acquired, as a failure of the immune system, deviation from the norm of the digestive system, brain vessels. This leads to activation of the sebaceous glands, with a simultaneous deterioration in the quality of the secretion produced.

Types of seborrheic dermatitis

Human sebum is a specific mixture secreted by special fatty glands, consisting of carboxylic acids with various radicals, fats, proteins that provide normal skin functionality. With stable glands, secretion performs a protective function; it softens and moisturizes the skin, creates a protective layer with antibacterial properties, and prevents the skin from drying out.

Medical science distinguishes 3 types of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

 Oily seborrheic dermatitis

Most often, the disease happens during puberty in boys and girls due to an imbalance of male and female sex hormones in the body and can manifest itself in a dense and liquid form.

The dense form is inherent in males. The adolescent’s scalp becomes thicker, loses its childlike elasticity, and hair becomes stiffer. During this period, the secret of the sebaceous glands and the peeled part of the skin form a layer of thick, oily dandruff that clogs the glands and sticks to the hair. By age 28, the symptoms of oily seborrheic dermatitis in men disappear.

The liquid form is inherent in girls in puberty. Hair constantly appears wet and greasy even after daily washing. Itchy skin, hair thinning are also observed.

Dry seborrheic dermatitis

Inherent in children and adolescents up to 15 years old. The deviation of the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands helps to slow its release from the sebaceous ducts. At the same time, insufficiently moist skin on the face or head appears, which itches and flakes. Hair loses its natural elasticity, shine, become fragile and brittle.

Mixed seborrheic dermatitis

This form of dermatitis often affects adult men. The disease has signs of both dry and oily forms. The skin of the head visually has an oily appearance; the exact opposite can be seen on the face — dry, cracked and scaly skin.

Causes of seborrheic dermatitis

The fungus that provokes the development of the disease is inherent in every person. And only under favorable circumstances for its reproduction, it begins to actively develop, provoking the evolution of seborrheic dermatitis of the skin. External and internal circumstances influence the reduction of the human body’s immune defense.






Inherited pathogenesis
Violation of fat metabolism in the body as a result of a liver, digestive system diseases
Obesity, diabetes
Chronic diseases
Specific diseases of the nervous system





Malnutrition (abuse of spicy foods, spices, smoked meats, pickles, sweets)
Strong, often repetitive stress
Abuse of alcohol-based cosmetics
Overheating, visiting countries with hot climates
Alcohol, drug abuse
Damage to the skin by scratching, abrasions with the likelihood of dust and dirt in the wound


If the main cause of the disease is identified correctly, seborrheic dermatitis on the head and face can be completely cured, with a small amount of recurrence.

Seborrheic dermatitis is not infectious since the disturbances are caused by internal factors of the proper functioning of organs and systems.

Pathology of facial seborrheic dermatitis

Symptoms of the disease on the face appear gradually, the initial sign is the appearance of small foci of flakes on the face with a gradual increase in their number. The skin in these places becomes pink, and the scales have a white, gray and yellow tinge.

In a more serious clinical case, peeling of the skin with profuse redness is observed on the forehead, eyebrows, around the nose and is accompanied by itching.

As noted above, seborrheic dermatitis is inherent in adolescence at puberty. But quite often adults are affected by this disease, in which the functioning of the sebaceous glands is impaired due to:

  • Malignant and benign neoplasms in the endocrine system, when there is a change in the endocrine balance in the human body.
  • Schizophrenia, epilepsy, or an infection of the nervous system.
  • Excessive use of hormonal drugs.
  • Diabetes.
  • Stress states.
  • Acute diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Avitaminosis, violation of the regime and caloric intake.
  • Prolonged infectious diseases.

The appearance of acne, rapid salinization of hair, even after washing, copious sebum on the face, excessive sweating of the hands are the first signs of seborrheic dermatitis of the oily form.

Unstable work of sebaceous facial glands leads to dry skin, the protective layer of which disappears. The outer layer of the skin begins to burst, small scales appear (the so-called facial dandruff). They cause redness, itching, and burning. Excessive dry skin of the face provokes a decrease in the supply of nutrients to the hair that begins to fall off. Such signs indicate a dry form of seborrheic dermatitis.

In the cases described, it is recommended not to take any medical preparations and procedures on your own, but to consult with an endocrinologist, a dermatologist, who, based on the tests performed, will prescribe treatment.

Dry seborrheic dermatitis on hands

Дерматит себорейный на руках сухой формы
Seborrheic dermatitis on dry hands

Dry seborrheic dermatitis on the hands is a fairly frequent disease. Damage to the sebaceous ducts on the hands causes excessive dryness of the skin, which in turn leads to cracking. This may be the result of the use of household chemicals, the effects of changes in ambient temperature, the lack of a sufficient number of sebaceous glands on the hands.

The main reason for the occurrence of the disease are yeasts, which penetrate into the formed cracks in the dermis, fall into a favorable development environment. They begin to actively multiply, causing inflammation of the skin. Under natural conditions, the human immune system impedes its development. But under the influence of some factors, its weakening occurs, which yeast-like fungi immediately use.

Factors that contribute to reducing the action of the human immune system and increase the risk of dry seborrheic dermatitis on the hands:

  • Diseases of the regulation system of human internal organs (thyroid gland, any type of obesity, insufficiency of insulin production in the body).
  • Disorder of the metabolic process in the body at the cellular level.
  • Pregnancy, menopause in women, puberty in adolescents.
  • The period after surgical treatment of the abdominal cavity, when there is a decrease in the immune system functioning.
  • Ovary syndrome in women.
  • Immunodeficiency diseases caused by the violation of the protective mechanisms of the body (HIV, cancer, tuberculosis).

This disease is more susceptible to women. The World Health Organization believes that stress, nervous shock or depression, even an emotional outburst, contribute to the short-term loss of the body’s ability and its immune system to counteract yeast-like fungi, which multiply rapidly and disrupt the fat glands in the hands. Winter temperature drops (cold outside — warm in the apartment), contribute to the occurrence of inflammation of the skin of the hands.

Excessive and unusual dry hands, a constant feeling of discomfort, should be alarming. And if there is severe itching, redness of the back of the hand, peeling of the skin, ever-increasing red spots and foci, they are the first sign to consult a dermatologist. In some cases, self-medication leads to the formation of ulcers on the hands and the prospect of unpleasant complications.

Seborrheic dermatitis in children

Дерматит себорейный у детей
Seborrheic dermatitis in children

Children’s seborrheic dermatitis can be scaly and oily. It may appear fast after birth, not only on the head of the child but also on other parts of the body, which are rich in sebaceous glands. There are several reasons for the appearance of the disease, like genetic predisposition or improper hygiene.

Features of the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis in children

Most pediatricians tend to believe that the remaining maternal hormones in the body of the child after birth, provoke an enhanced work of the glands, including the sebaceous glands. The result of their activity appears in form of rash, redness and greasy crusts. In this case, it is necessary to consult a pediatrician for the timely start of treatment. It is much harder to treat the beginning form, besides, complications can arise.

One of the main causes of inflammation of the skin are yeasts, which can be activated on children’s skin when the immune system is not sufficiently formed.

In addition to the above reasons for the appearance of inflammation of the skin of a child of any age have:

  • Unnaturally increased sweating caused by an excessive wrapping of the child or taking a certain category of drugs.
  • Malfunctions of the digestive system due to malnutrition.
  • Violation of the child’s hygiene, rare bathing, the use of detergents as an individual mean (soap), and for washing (powders), which have an irritant effect.
  • Genetic heredity, when one or both parents suffer from dermatitis.

As a rule, children seborrheic dermatitis is cured completely in the first months of life. In some cases, a recurrent disease occurs at 3-4 years of age, but much less frequently.

As it is said, a disease is a missed opportunity to prevent it. This expression is best suited to newborn babies. After all, prevention of child seborrheic dermatitis must be dealt with from the first days of pregnancy of the expectant mother. To do this, you just need to give up bad habits, be attentive to your health and future baby, conduct examinations with qualified doctors regularly, lead a healthy lifestyle. After the birth of the child, strict compliance with hygienic rules by all family members is needed. At the first visual abnormality, you should visit the doctor, follow all his recommendations for care. There are certain periods of the beginning of the bait vegetable and meat compositions. Their implementation is the key to the health of the child, including good skin condition.

How to get rid of seborrheic dermatitis

The effect of seborrhea treatment is not always achieved quickly, but with some effort after an accurate diagnosis. Since seborrheic dermatitis is easily visually confused with other dermatological diseases, it is necessary to conduct appropriate analyses of the scraped-off peel.

Simultaneously with the determination of the pathogenic bacteria, it is necessary to analyze the intestine for the presence or absence of beneficial microflora. The presence of stagnant infectious foci in the body, stagnation of bile are studied. In some cases, it is necessary to conduct a blood test for hormones.

After laboratory determination of the bacteria type, the doctor prescribes treatment guided by additional research.

Modern methods of treatment are a set of measures:

  • Use of antifungal drugs.
  • Preparations based on birch tar, salicylic acid, zinc, and selenium give a positive result, but require strict use as prescribed by a doctor.
  • Strengthening immunity through dosed sunbathing, practicing certain sports, replenishing the body with vitamins of natural origin.
  • Strict adherence to the diet, permanent ban of sweets.
  • Follow the rules of personal hygiene. The use of moisturizers, lotions with aloe extract, eucalyptus gives a positive effect on health.

In some cases, seborrhea has an allergic nature. Therefore, elimination of the use of chocolate, nuts, cow’s milk, strong tea, and coffee can significantly reduce the flow of natural allergens into the human body. It is not recommended to eat spicy, fried foods, spices, and smoked meats.

A separate line should be dedicated to the influence of alcohol intake during the period of exacerbation of the disease. As practice shows, it is alcohol that is the culprit of a sharp spread of the disease.

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