Seborrheic Dermatitis: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Published: March 2, 2018

Winter is never friendly to eczema-prone skin, and with the recent weather as it is, more and more people are suffering from red and cracked skin. Although eczema can affect anywhere on the body, Seborrheic Dermatitis is mostly found on the scalp, hairline, forehead and eyebrows. You can also find flare-ups of Seborrheic Dermatitis around the nostrils. This type of eczema is hard to come to terms with at the best of times. As it is incurable, the best we can do is prevent scaling, keep our skin moisturised and eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

Classed as a chronic inflammation, Seborrheic Dermatitis will usually come and go. However, when it appears it causes red scales, pimple like spots and can be itchy/painful. Unlike Psoriasis, SD does not produce plaques on the skin, and will usually present itself in other parts of the body, such as around the joints.

Below are some of the causes of SD, followed by treatment ideas and prevention techniques.

Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Specialists are unsure about the root cause of SD, however, it's thought that Auto-Immune Diseases could be a factor in whether you start with the symptoms of the condition. Other likely causes of SD include oily skin, overproduction of natural skin yeasts. The condition is not contagious, and can sometimes cause dandruff.

If you suspect you have SD, visiting a doctor will be able to give you a better understanding. Usually, patients are diagnosed by where the rash lies. If the skin on your forehead, hairline, ear canal or eyebrows is inflamed, then it will be likely that you have SD.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatments

Although it is still unproven, it's thought that diet can have an effect on your SD. Simple Carbohydrates, Gluten, and high-fat foods are said to impact on the intensity of SD rashes. However, diet changes should be discussed with a nutrition before changes are made.

Although the condition is incurable, symptoms can be prevented and treated. In winter, skin can dry at an alarming rate; the following facial skincare routine can prevent flaking and redness:

  • Wet the face with a warm flannel to open the pores and soften dry skin
  • Exfoliate the skin (we recommend the St.Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub - which helps to fight redness)
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  • Pat dry the face (don't rub, as this can cause irritation)
  • Moisturise the face with an emollient such as Cetreban
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If you find that your SD is focused on the scalp, treatments for the scaling and itching include specific hair treatments such as T/Gel and Pure Potions Scalp Oil.

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Preventing Seborrheic Dermatitis

Although the triggers of SD are still a mystery to some, you may know what causes your flare-ups. Writing down when flare-ups occur and what has been happening in your life at the time can help you to discover the triggers for yourself. For example, stress can effect SD rashes, however, if you find that you're experiencing flare-ups after drinking or eating dairy, you may want to cut this from your diet in a bid to find a cause.

Other than this, it's helpful to use an emollient before bed. This will keep the area moisturised, and prevent scaling from happening. To avoid product from being wiped onto your pillow straight away, allow the product to soak for 10-20 minutes before bed.

You may find that using face masks can help to prevent redness on the face as well. Stores such as Lush offer Vegan facemasks with hydrating properties that can help with drying skin - visit your local store for help on which mask will help you the most.