Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease caused by opportunistic fungi (Pityrosporum Ovale). It affects only those areas of human body where there are sebaceous glands. In most cases seborrheic dermatitis develops on the scalp, face and body.
Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is caused by non-pathogenic fungus which lives on the skin of a healthy person and feeds with sebum. However, under certain conditions this fungus can become a reason of seborrheic dermatitis.
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis of Scalp
1. Immune system malfunction is one of the seborrheic dermatitis scalp causes. Pityrosporum Ovale is unable to provoke seborrheic dermatitis in a healthy organism. The human immune system hinders the development of the fungus. But if the body’s defense is broken, this leads to uncontrolled growth of Pityrosporum Ovale.
If a person develops any immunodeficiency state, it often leads to the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis on scalp. For example, four out of the five people who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus have seborrheic dermatitis.
2. Permanent stress. The role of neurogenic factor in the occurrence of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp has been proved long ago. But the precise mechanism of how stress provokes the disease is still not defined.
People with various nervous system diseases are predisposed to seborrheic scalp dermatitis. Pityrosporum Ovale usually affects the skin of people with Parkinson’s disease, body or cranial nerves paralysis. People whose work involves constant emotional and physical stress greatly run risks of seborrheic dermatitis of scalp. The cause of the disease can be acute stress, like moving house, death of a loved one or family breakdown.
3. Hormonal imbalances are also among causes of seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis of scalp usually occurs to children that are breastfed. The reasons for this are hormones that the baby receives with mother’s milk. Once the child is transferred to artificial feeding the disease usually retreats without any special treat.
The role of hormonal factors in the excessive growth of Pityrosporum Ovale is confirmed by the fact that seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp often affects teenagers. Hormonal imbalance developing in puberty leads to excessive production of sebum which is the food for the fungus. So the latter multiplies actively, causing the disease.
Men are more prone to seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp than women, due to the fact that male sex hormones control the activity of sebaceous glands.
4. Genetic predisposition. Seborrheic dermatitis of scalp can be inherited. In this case, an innate feature of sebaceous glands (they produce too much sebum) leads to the development of the disease. A congenital seborrheic dermatitis is very difficult to fight. Sometimes it is even impossible.
Symptoms of Scalp Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis scalp symptoms are itching and peeling together with scalp inflammation. The disease process often involves the skin of eyebrows, eyelids, nasolabial folds and the area of beard and mustache growth.
Less severe form of scalp seborrheic dermatitis manifests itself through small white flakes. This is dandruff, which is typical for this disease. The only symptom of mild seborrheic dermatitis on scalp is itchy feeling. Usually there are no inflammatory changes of the skin.
Severe form of seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by the appearance of red erythematous patches which may even extend to hairless areas of the skin. They are covered with large greasy scales, and in some cases – with crusts, as a result of scratching. Sometimes bacterial flora joins fungal infection, causing purulent complications of seborrheic dermatitis. Besides, it can lead to hair loss which is one of the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.
Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis of the Scalp
First of all, you must eliminate all the factors that could cause the development of the disease and then proceed to seborrheic dermatitis scalp treatment.
- Get rid of stress. Find a new less-stressful job, talk to a psychologist or take sedatives. The exact actions depend on the reasons that cause stress. Go in for sports, have enough sleep, be in fresh air and avoid fatigue;
- Eliminate immunodeficiency. Most immunodeficiency states are curable. See a doctor that will help to restore your body’s defensive powers;
- Balance your hormones. Endocrinologists, gynecologists and andrologists can help you to do that.
Then you need to start medical treatment for seborrheic dermatitis on scalp.
- Antifungal drugs. Dermatitis is caused by a fungus, so it must be treated with antimycotics. The selection of the remedy is based on the sensitivity to antifungal agents test results;
- Vitamins. Lack of vitamins and minerals in your body often causes skin problems;
- Brewer’s yeast. They contain substances that improve skin condition;
- Cosmetics. You should provide maximum hygienic care of oily skin. Thus, you have to use a special shampoo.
Traditional Methods of Seborhheic Dermatitis Treatment
Home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis on scalp involve the use of all kinds of herbs and oils which relieve your state. Very effective is tea tree oil, due to its antifungal properties. You can also use herb decoctions and solutions that mildly dry your skin and simultaneously have anti-inflammatory action.
Here are some natural remedies for seborrheic dermatitis on scalp:
- Beggar-ticks decoction is used to remove severe itching. Add this herb to your bath or use its decoction as a lotion.
- Sage is another solution. Pour a tablespoon of sage leaves with about 200 ml of boiling water and simmer it for 5 minutes. Afterwards cool down the resulting solution, strain it, add a little honey and apply to your scalp.
- Nettle decoction. Cover 100 grams of nettle leaves with half liter of water and the same amount of vinegar. Simmer for half an hour. Let the decoction cool down, use as a lotion.
- Plantain ointment. Squeeze plantain juice; then mix it with lanolin or Vaseline in an equal proportion. Keep the ointment in a tightly closed glass bowl. Apply to inflamed areas.
A lot of people occasionally have seborrheic dermatitis on scalp. The disease is treatable and rarely leads to complications. If you see a doctor in time, you can quickly solve this problem. In order not to develop seborrheic dermatitis in the future, you need to identify and remove all the factors that can lead to the development of the disease.