Seborrheic Dermatitis

Overview of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis Meaning in Urdu

یہ ایک ایسی بیماری جو سر کی جِلد کو متاثر کرتی ہے۔ اس کی وجہ سے سر کی جِلد سرخ ہو جاتی ہے اور ڈینڈرف کا بھی سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔اس کے علاوہ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے آئلی جِلد بھی متاثر ہو سکتی ہے۔ یہ مرض جِلد کی خارش کا بھی سبب بنتا ہے اور بعض اوقات اس کی وجہ سے جِلد پر سرخ دھبے نمودار ہو جاتے ہیں۔ اس مرض کی بنیادی وجہ فنگل انفیکشن ہے جب کہ مدافعتی نظام کے مسائل بھی اس مرض کی وجہ بنتے ہیں۔ عام طور ادویات کی مدد سے اس مرض سے نجات حاصل کی جاتی ہے

Seborrheic Dermatitis is inflamed dandruff. It can be chronic and recurrent. The flakes of dandruff in this condition are usually yellow and oily in appearance. 

Dandruff is a scalp condition that can affect individuals of every age. It can be mild, severe, and chronic. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis (Jild ki Sozish / روغنی جلد کی سوزش) is the progressive form of dandruff. It is a chronic condition that affects the sebaceous, gland-rich regions of the scalp, face, and trunk. It is also known as Seborrheic Eczema and Seborrheic Psoriasis. 

It is present in infantile and adult forms. Dandruff being the precursor of this condition is uninflamed and can be treated quite easily. 

This condition is recurring and chronic. All the oily areas of the body are dubbed as the target area for the condition.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Prevalence 

In the global population, the prevalence rate of this condition is 3-5% while dandruff’s prevalence rate is 50%. In Pakistan, the prevalence rate is 21%. Where the ratio in males is higher than in females. 

Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis

It is easy to identify seborrheic dermatitis due to characteristic dandruff. 

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Inflamed dandruff
  • White and yellow flakes or crust on the scalp, face, and trunk
  • Itching
  • Red skin
  • Rash in armpits and groin area
  • Winter flares
  • Blepharitis
  • Superficial folliculitis
  • Cradle cap in infants
  • Localized scaly patches in adults
  • Generalized red patches in babies

Types of Seborrheic Dermatitis

There are mainly two forms of this condition:

  1. Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis

This form affects infants and toddlers. First appearing in babies under the age of 3 months. This condition is resolved by 6-12 months of age.

It is mild and self-limiting in infants and goes away on its own.

  1. Adult Seborrheic Dermatitis

This appears in late adolescence. Young adults and older people are the most affected. Males are more prone to develop the condition than females.


It is characterized by a recurring and remitting pattern of the disease.


Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis

The exact cause of the condition is unknown but many factors are involved. 

1. Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes

  • Genetics
  • A yeast living on the skin
  • Too much skin oil

2. Adult Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Family history of skin diseases
  • Weak immune system
  • A yeast living on the skin
  • An immune system response
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Certain medical conditions

Risk Factors of Seborrheic Dermatitis

People with oily skin are more likely to be affected and adults from ages 30 to 60. Risk factors include:

Health Complications of Seborrheic Dermatitis 

Complications of seborrheic dermatitis mainly involve skin infections. The treatments can also lead to various complications. Adults suffer from secondary bacterial infection especially when the disease is left untreated. The person can also suffer from a fungal infection. These infections can cause:

  • Red patches on the skin
  • Tender skin
  • Weeping of the patch and the skin that is surrounding 

Psychological distress and social awkwardness is another major complication of seborrheic dermatitis. 



There is no known cure for this disease. But certain lifestyle choices can slow down the progression of this disease. Given below are some preventive measures for this disease:

  • Make sure to Wash Your Scalp Regularly 

In case your regular shampoo is not able to reduce dandruff, you can ask your health care provider to recommend you any other over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. 

  • Remove Scales from Your Scalp 

First, you should apply any available mineral oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. This way your scalp will soften. Then you should brush your hair.

  • Use A Medicated Cream 

Make sure to consult with your doctor before using any medicated cream on your skin. 

  • Refrain From the Overuse of Styling Products 

You should not use too many of these styling products especially when you are undergoing the treatment.

  • Do Not Use Alcohol For Your Scalp And Skin

Avoid alcohol because of its acidic properties can flare up the disease. That is why make sure to avoid it as much as possible. 

  • Try Wearing smooth-textured Cotton Clothes 

These clothes will allow air circulation and thus will reduce irritation. 



A physical examination can usually tell about seborrheic dermatitis but for differential diagnosis, lab tests are required.

Diagnostic lab tests include:

Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis | When to Consult a Doctor

It is usually recommended to use home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis but a few other options are also available to control the condition.

1.Home Remedy

  • Wash hair and skin regularly
  • Keep the scalp and affected area clean 
  • Aloe Vera can be used directly on the skin for a soothing effect
  • Essential oils that don’t irritate the skin and are anti-inflammatory can be used.
  • Avoid hair sprays, gels, and creams that can flare the dandruff
  • Gently clean the eyelids in acne of an itch or rash
  • Use tear-free shampoo to wash the baby’s scalp
  • Don’t use harsh products on the skin and scalp

2. Shampoos for Dandruff

A few shampoos used to treat this condition contain the following active ingredient:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Pyrithione zinc
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole
  • Tar
  • Keratolytics

3. Creams, Shampoos, and Ointments for Inflammation

Medicated creams, shampoos, and ointments are prescribed in case home remedies don’t work. These include:

  • Hydrocortisone
  • Clobetasol
  • Desonide
  • Fluocinolone

They can be used sparingly and are very effective. Long-term use may cause breakage and thinness of hair.

Creams containing calcineurin inhibitors can also be used. Mild corticosteroids are preferred for use.

4. Anti-Fungal Medication

Since yeast might be the cause, antifungals might be prescribed along with other medications. This can be in the form of a pill or gel and cream.

(Note: All medication is to be taken as prescribed by the doctor)

Recommendation for Infants

In infants, the scalp is washed daily with gentle brushing. White petrolatum is often used. Topical antifungals may be prescribed depending on the rash.

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a severe form of dandruff. It can be irritating and cause more tension and stress in life. It can also lower your morale. So, make sure to visit a doctor if you observe any concerning signs and symptoms.

In case of any concerning symptoms, you need to reach out to a certified dermatologist to get yourself checked.