If your scalp is itchy, flaky, inflamed, or any experiencing any other uncomfortable condition like these, it may be more than just a dry or oily scalp. There are two common conditions that it may be, which we will talk about in this post and in the next post.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (a.k.a. Dandruff)
Seborrheic Dermatitis, often referred to as dandruff, is likely the most familiar scalp condition to many people. It is estimated to affect almost half of all Americans at some time or another in their lifetime! Seborrheic dermatitis can appear on several areas of the skin, but we will focus on the scalp for this post.
What causes it?
First, let me stress that it is NOT caused by bad hygiene. The exact cause is still unclear, but doctors & scientist believe that one of the primary causes is malazzezia, a fungus (yeast) that is naturally found on the skin, in the oil production.
What does it look like?
Typical symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include:
*Skin flakes (“dandruff”) that are typically white or yellow-ish. They may be greasy and may also have a smell.
*Patches of greasy skin with a crust or skin flakes (as mentioned above)
*Itching or burning is possible
How do I treat it?
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a chronic condition, so there is no cure, but there are treatment options that can help reduce symptoms.
*Medicated shampoos, creams or foams (available OTC or prescription). Look for products containing one or more of the following ingredients: salicylic acid, pyrithione zinc, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide or sulfur. Coal tar is another great ingredient for seborrheic dermatitis, but it is not recommended for those with blonde, gray or white hair as it may discolor hair. Be sure to read the directions -- some of these shampoos should be left on the scalp for a few minutes after lathering whereas others should not.
*Avoid scratching. This may lead to further irritation, infection or hair loss.
For More Information:
American Academy of Dermatology: Seborrheic Dermatitis
Mayo Clinic: Seborrheic Dermatitis
**If you think you may have seborrheic dermatitis or another scalp condition, please schedule an appointment with us! Call the front desk at (949) 831-3057**