Is Seborrheic Dermatitis Common?
Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that most often occurs on the face and scalp. It can also occur on other parts of the body, such as the chest, back, or groin. Although it is not contagious, seborrheic dermatitis can be difficult to treat and may come back often. It is thought to be caused by a combination of things, including dry skin, oily skin, and yeast that live on the skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that can cause scaly, itchy patches on your skin. It's common, and it often affects your scalp. But it can also occur on your face, chest, and back. Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious.
Seborrheic dermatitis is relatively common, affecting 3% to 5% of the population. It is more common in men than women and is more likely to occur in people with oily skin or certain medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or HIV/AIDS. Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams, shampoos, or soaps. In severe cases, prescription medications may be necessary.
The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. But it's thought to be related to a type of yeast that is naturally present on your skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as:
- Parkinson's disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Psychiatry disorders
It can also be more common in people who have oily skin or who are under a lot of stress.
Seborrheic dermatitis often causes dandruff. Dandruff is flaking of the skin on your scalp. It's usually not serious, but it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing.
Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause:
- Itchy, scaly skin
- Greasy patches of skin that may have yellowish or white scales
- Burning or stinging
If you have seborrheic dermatitis, you may notice that your symptoms get worse when you're stressed or when the weather is cold and dry. If you have dandruff, you may notice that your scalp is itchy and that your hair is falling out more than usual.
The condition often appears as scaly, flaky patches on the scalp. But it can also show up on the face, chest, back, or other parts of the body where there are lots of oil-producing glands. In infants, seborrheic dermatitis causes crusty yellow or brown scales on the scalp. It's sometimes called cradle cap and is seen in around half of all babies.
Seborrheic dermatitis usually isn't painful or itchy. But in rare cases, the irritation can be severe. The good news is that there are several treatments that can help control the condition and ease your symptoms.