Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disorder that primarily affects the scalp. Other names used for the disorder include seborrheic psoriasis and seborrheic eczema. Some of the common signs of the condition include stubborn dandruff, red skin, and scaly patches on the affected area. In some patients, the disorder affects the oily body parts, for instance, the back, upper chest, and face.
It’s true that seborrheic dermatitis doesn’t have any negative impact on our overall health, but the condition can cause significant discomfort and embarrassment. It’s important that people remember that this skin disorder is neither contagious, nor does it indicate that the person suffering has poor personal hygiene.
In most cases, seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic condition. The patient might need to undergo treatments for a prolonged period of time for getting rid of the symptoms completely. In spite of complete remission of the condition, the symptoms might return after a certain time. However, the ability to identify the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis and a combination of medications and self-care can help in controlling flare-ups.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment
The primary treatments of seborrheic dermatitis include use of medicates lotions, creams, and shampoos. Read on to know about some common treatments prescribed by doctors.
Ointments, Creams, or Shampoos Formulated for Controlling Inflammation- Your doctor might ask you to apply prescription strength desonide, fluocinolone, or hydrocortisone onto your scalp and other affected parts of the body. These medications are highly effective, but shouldn’t be used for a prolonged period of time. That’s because using them for several weeks/months has been found to cause side effects like appearance of lines or streaks on the skin, thinning of skin etc.
A Combination of Anti-Fungal Shampoo and a Stronger Medicinal Drug- When alternated with Temovate, a clobetasol scalp medication (twice weekly), ketoconazole shampoo has been found to be highly effective in eliminating the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.
Anti-Fungal Medication- Seborrheic dermatitis treatment can involve use of antifungal medications like terbinafine (Lamisil). However, doctors use this option cautiously as these medications can result in serious side effects like liver problems and allergic reactions.
Medications Affecting the Immune System- Lotions and creams that have pimecrolimus and calcineurin inhibitors tacrolimus as their active ingredients might be effective in reducing the symptoms of this skin condition. These medications are usually not the first-choice of physicians as they are known to increase cancer risk. They are also costlier than the corticosteroids.
Medication in Combination with Light Therapy- Patients undergoing this treatment procedure first receive a oral or topical dose of psoralen and are then exposed to UV light. One demerit of this treatment option is that it often doesn’t work for thick-haired individuals.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Natural Treatment
Here are a few highly effective natural treatments for seborrheic dermatitis:
- Apply olive oil or mineral oil onto your scalp and wait for around an hour (if you are not comfortable with oiling your hair, leave the oil for at least 20 minutes). Brush/comb your hair thoroughly and rinse with sufficient water. This will help in softening and removing scales from hair.
- Applying freshly extracted aloe vera gel can also help in reducing the scaliness in areas affected by the condition. This has been proved by a study published recently in the Journal of dermatological Treatment.
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Massage your scalp for two to three minutes using the paste. Wait for another couple of minutes and rinse well with water. This home remedy should reduce itchiness and scaliness of your scalp significantly.