What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

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Another root cause of flaking and discomfort is associated with the medical condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. It is a common, chronic inflammation whose symptoms include scaling, redness, itchiness, and flaking. Areas which may be affected include the scalp, scalp margins, nose, ears, and eyebrows.

Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp and its ensuing flaking occur from the disruption of healthy skin cell growth. Research has shown that dandruff is more common in males, which indicates that the sebaceous glands could potentially be influenced by sex. That could account for the fewer cases of dandruff among females.

Malassezia – the same fungus that causes dandruff, which lives on the scalp and normally does not do any harm, is possibly one of the primary seborrheic dermatitis causes. For a person who does not suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, this fungus could cause some mild, greasy flaking. But, when seborrheic dermatitis is present, Malassezia grows way out of control, and it causes significant changes in the composition of the sebum.

These changes in the sebum’s structure can cause the scalp’s topmost layer to develop inflammation, irritation, and flaking. These dramatic changes in the scalp are reversible, though, through use of anti-fungal shampoos which balance the fatty acids on which the Malassezia fungi feeds.

Seborrheic dermatitis can also be the result of an inherent susceptibility to infections and allergies. Some people are a lot more sensitive to changes which the human body undergoes. This causes them to experience a reaction of some sort. These people are very vulnerable, and are more prone to the negative effects of microbial activity in their scalp. Yeast or Malassezia-derived toxins can be the inducing agent in this case, and the dermatitis is the body’s natural reaction to the supposed infection.

Not all of those who suffer from dandruff are immediately diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis, but it is very common for the two to coincide. Furthermore, as with any medical condition, there are cases which are milder than others. Having seborrheic dermatitis on your scalp does not necessarily mean it will also develop on your nose, ears, and eyebrows.


Most importantly, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are both treatable conditions. Even though they can both be chronic, there are ways are getting them under control, so that the condition is at least manageable, if not totally curable.

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