What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is commonly known as dandruff. It causes the skin to have a greasy look, but it is flaky and scaly. Seborrheic dermatitis is most often found on the scalp, but can also appear in creases of legs, arms and the groin. Seborrheic dermatitis can affect those of any age including babies. Infant seborrheic dermatitis is commonly known as cradle cap.
Who Can Get Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis can affect those of any age including babies. Infant seborrheic dermatitis is commonly known as cradle cap. Adults between the 30 and 60 years of age and infants less than three months are more apt to suffer from the infliction. Males are more prone to seborrheic dermatitis than females.
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis
No one knows what causes seborrheic dermatitis. It often appears in infants who are less than three months old. Because it commonly disappears before the child reaches puberty, researchers have concluded that it may be hormonal in nature. Another theory that researchers have is that it may be caused by the fungus, malassezia. Seborrheic dermatitis has also been linked to epilepsy and neurological disorders. No definite conclusions have been made at this time as to the causes of seborrheic dermatitis.
Seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp is most commonly treated with dandruff shampoo containing salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide. Another option is shampoo that contains coal tar. If none of these work, doctors often prescribe a steroid lotion. This lotion can also be applied to seborrheic dermatitis of the skin in adults.
Infants that suffer from cradle cap should have their scalp brushed with a soft brush to loosen flakes and scales. Do not treat infants with steroids without consulting a health care professional. Instead, use non-medicated soap on baby’s scalp.
Babies that suffer from seborrheic dermatitis of the skin should see a health care professional. A gentle steroid lotion may be prescribed.