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What’s Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a severe skin condition which can affect any age group. It cause the skin to get swollen, scaly and reddened. It is a very chronic kind of inflammation of the skin, which can sometimes show weepy and oozy eruptions.

They do not only make the skin reddish, but they also make the skin have a greasy appearance. Sometimes, you will even notice a white or yellow crusty scale on the surface. There are specifically some parts of the body that get affected, and they are the scalp, brows, and ears, mid-back, mid-chest, and mid-face.

The areas which get affected by this disease may also experience the secretion of an oily substance into the hair follicles. Children usually do not get affected by Seborrheic dermatitis, but if they do, then the scalp and the diaper area get affected. 

An autoimmune response or allergy causes seborrheic dermatitis, but this allergy is not contagious. You cannot cure it, but you can have a control on it on many levels.

Because it is a common skin disease and shows symptoms like itchiness, redness of the skin, and severe rashes, it looks like many other skin diseases too. These skin diseases are eczema, psoriasis, or some of the different allergic reaction. Because this disease affects the scalp especially, it can be difficult to distinguish between Seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Comparing to psoriasis affects more areas of the body and the skin compared to Seborrheic dermatitis. It is a condition which produces more of a weepy and oozing appearance.

If you visit a doctor as soon as you see some symptoms on your body and your skin, you will be able to identify your skin issues. It can have highly functioning medication, that can keep the disease under control, but it cannot be 100% cured.

Seborrheic dermatitis is generally seen affecting the newborn babies and adults aging between 30-60 years old. People, who have oily skin, attract more skin diseases than people with normal or dry skin type. Such type of dermatitis is more commonly seen affecting men than women, and those people who have an oily skin type. 

These conditions are acne, eating disorders, alcoholism, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, rosacea, psoriasis, epilepsy, heart attack, stroke recovery, and depression.

Types of Seborrheic dermatitis

Cradle cap dermatitis in infants

Cradle cap happens to newborn babies and infants. The disease affects the scalp area making it look scaly, and creating greasy patches over it. Over time the spots can become crusty and thick, but the cradle cap disease is considered to be harmless. Within a few months, the cradle cap disease must go away on its own.

Other than the scalp, the other area which gets affected due to Seborrheic dermatitis causes is the diaper area of the babies.

It is essential to pay attention to a newborn baby’s skin, as the baby’s skin type and skin conditions evolve over the time. The reddened part of the diaper area in babies is most of the time mistaken as the red diaper rashes.

These rashes can be seen not only the diaper area but the rest of the body area too with red and scaly patches. It can last up to 6 months to 1 year, and after that, it disappears.

Seborrheic dermatitis in adults

Just like how a baby’s Seborrheic dermatitis gets disappeared, the same is not the case with the adults. If an adult receives identified with Seborrheic dermatitis, then the skin condition can go away and reappear in the adult’s entire life.

An adult with that type of skin condition will experience frequent flare-ups during the winter season, as the weather turns all cold and dry.


Some of the symptoms of Seborrheic dermatitis are dandruff, flaking of the skin, flakes on the scalp, and flakes on the beard, mustache or eyebrows.

You will also notice the skin becoming greasy. You will see oily skin patches on the nose, on the scalp, near the eyelids, around and in the ears, mid chest. Armpits, groin, and under the breasts. The skin will also get inflamed and will appear to be red. Even, you will get a lot of itching.

Therefore, if you notice any of these symptoms, then you must immediately visit a skin specialist and get yourself consulted.


The exact Seborrheic dermatitis causes are unknown. However, there can be many factors that contribute to this disease.

Genes and Seborrheic dermatitis

Doctors still have to find the exact causes of Seborrheic dermatitis. However, many doctors think that genes do play a huge role. Many people, who got diagnosed with this skin condition, were affected because their parent or someone in their family was affected by it too. Therefore, one of the Seborrheic dermatitis causes can be genetics.

Microorganisms and Seborrheic dermatitis

Body care is one of the most critical aspects of an individual’s life. Oral hygiene and personal hygiene is required to sustain in the society. When the cleanliness and personal hygiene is ignored, the body gives birth to too many diseases. Moreover, most of these diseases are some of the other skin conditions.

It is also a thought that poor hygiene and oral care causes a dermatitis. Microorganisms that live on the skin can lead to Seborrheic dermatitis. Therefore body care must be an utmost priority in an individual’s life, and parents must pay attention to children’s hygiene and body care.

Stress and Seborrheic dermatitis

According to some observations, stress plays a significant role in giving rise to Seborrheic dermatitis. The body has been seen to respond to pressure, and worsen the skin condition. When the body is under stress, the skin starts to flare up, and it gets more reddened. A stressful event precedes Seborrheic dermatitis, and this stress tends to suggest a poor prognosis.

A study had taken place, where patients with this skin condition received questionnaires. The majority of the result confirmed that people saw their skin condition getting worsened under stress. Therefore an individual with this critical skin condition must learn the art of stress management. The person must learn to deal with stress in such a way that it does not show up on his or her skin.

Hormonal changes or illness and Seborrheic dermatitis

If there is any hormonal imbalance and or hormonal changes, then it can be one of the causes. A hormonal change changes the working of our body too. It creates an impact on the fluids and all the organs and glands of the body.

These changes many a time show up on the skin, as the skin automatically becomes a receptor of the difference. Apart from hormonal change, illness can also cause this disease. Many diseases lead to skin diseases; therefore this can be one of them too.

Harsh detergents, solvents, chemicals, soaps, and Seborrheic dermatitis

It is imperative to pay attention to what type of detergent are you using to wash your clothes, and especially your innerwear.

Before your clothes, your inner wears have the closest contact with your body. Not all detergents are suitable for all skin types. These detergents are made from some solvents and have chemicals in them that might not suit your body. These chemicals can have a significant impact on your skin and can be one of the causes.

Apart from detergents, it is also the type of body soap that you use to bathe with daily.

Some kinds of soap are harsh on the skin, and they do not suit us. We do not come to know about it, but as soon as we see some changes in the body or experience any irritation, we must consult the doctor immediately. Therefore we must check the ingredients of any soap, and see what chemicals or solvents make up these solutions.

Cold and dry weather and Seborrheic dermatitis

Winter season is not good for any severe skin condition. Our skin condition can deteriorate in the season of coldness and dryness. The skin becomes patchy and dry and becomes scaly too. Cold and dry weather can be one of the Seborrheic dermatitis causes, giving rise to the skin condition. A person should take extra care in such a climate.

Medications like psoralen, interferon, and lithium cause Seborrheic dermatitis

For a very long time, lithium has acted as an anti-depressant to many patients. However, sometimes some medications can have an adverse reaction in the body which can show up on the skin. These medicines can cause side effects, and they can give rise to skin diseases.

Therefore, it has come into a suspicion that medications like psoralen, interferon and lithium can be some of the main causes. Before any drug, a whole body checkup is a must to avoid any side effects in the future.

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