Types of Dermatitis

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis

What is seborrheic dermatitis? Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the papulo-squamous dermatoses most commonly seen on the scalp, the sides of the nose, the eyebrows and the middle of the eyebrows, the external auditory canal, the back of the ear and the middle of the chest. It can also be seen in areas of skin folds such as the belly button, buttocks, armpits, under the breasts, and groin. The appearance of dermatitis may vary according to the region, but its appearance is usually in the form of oily large squamas on a red/orange erythematous background.

Its prevalence in the community is known as 1-3%. This disease is very common especially in the 3-year-old group, especially in infants (host), middle-aged and elderly. It usually occurs after adolescence and can last for many years by going through certain periods of increase or decrease. It is more common in men than women in all age groups where it is seen. It is an inflammatory and itchy disease whose exact cause is unknown. There are many types of the disease, starting from the mild form to the severe form known as erythroderma. The type of treatment and duration of treatment may also differ according to these varieties.

What are the factors affecting seborrheic dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a disease that can be affected by many conditions. It may increase in frequent alcohol consumption, intense stress, atopy and many conditions where the immune system is suppressed and may spread to different parts of the body. Apart from these cases, an increase can also be seen in the winter months. Cold and dry air are among the factors that trigger seborrheic dermatitis.

Some diseases such as acne, rosacea, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, epilepsy, post-stroke period, alcoholism, depression and eating disorders are among the factors that increase the risk of seborrheic dermatitis. The incidence in HIV-infected patients is 85%. The use of certain drugs can also be counted among the factors that increase the risk of seborrheic dermatitis. Examples of these drugs are interferon, lithium and psoralen type drugs.

What are the causes of seborrheic dermatitis?

The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not yet known, but it is quite complex. In some studies, it has been seen that many factors play a role, but it has been stated that seborrheic dermatitis is generally caused by a type of fungus called malassezia. Although the Malassezia fungus is a type of fungus that occurs naturally on the skin, some factors can cause this fungus to become disease-causing.


Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in oily skin. The secretion made from the sebaceous glands in the skin is called sebum, while this event is called seborrhea. If this happens too much than it should, seborrheic dermatitis may develop. The cause of the disease is generally shown as increased sebum, and it is observed more frequently in the scalp and in the upper parts of the face, ear, scalp and trunk where sebaceous glands are abundant. Parkinson’s is among the diseases that cause increased sebum secretion, and indirectly the possibility of seborrheic dermatitis is higher in this disease.

Microbiological Effect

There is an increase in bacteria and yeasts on the skin surfaces where seborrheic dermatitis is seen. Examples of these bacteria and yeasts are Candida albicans, Pityrosporum ovale and Staphylococcus aureus.

Other Factors

Drugs that cause seborrheic dermatitis include arsenic, gold salts, methyldopa, cimetidine and neuroleptics. Diseases as a result of certain neurotransmitter abnormalities can also be counted among the causes of seborrheic dermatitis. Examples of these diseases are Parkinson’s, epilepsy, facial palsy, polymyelitis and syringomyelia. Among the physical factors that cause seborrheic dermatitis, skin blood flow and environmental temperature can be said. Not eating a healthy and regular diet can cause many diseases, as well as seborrheic dermatitis.

Especially zinc, biotin and essential fatty acid metabolism disorders can be said among the causes of seborrheic dermatitis. Protein deficiency is also one of the causes of seborrheic dermatitis. Genetic structure is also among the factors that affect the likelihood of seborrheic dermatitis. Hormonal changes are very effective on seborrheic dermatitis as well as on many diseases.

What are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis may differ from person to person, depending on the severity of the disease and environmental factors. Seborrheic dermatitis can also be confused with other skin diseases.

In this regular treatment, dermatology doctors usually treat with the application of anti-fungal shampoo and anti-fungal cream. The drugs used in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis are divided into prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. These drugs include local steroids, antifungals, local metronidazole, vitamin D3 analogs, isotretinoins. At the same time, one of the treatment options can be counted as phototherapy. Regular skin care is also very important in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. The dermatologist determines the treatment according to the severity of the disease, the frequency of the symptoms and their location.

Seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp of babies usually heals on its own.

Early diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis is very important. When you see the symptoms, do not forget to have your health checks at the nearest health institution.

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