Dandruff

DermNetNZ.org

About Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

John is a young executive who had been noticing an itchy rash over his eyebrows, forehead and nasolabial folds over a period of months. The rash would be aggravated at times of stress and fatigue. His problem is compounded by an itchy scalp and dandruff that makes him very conscious about the types of clothes he wears. John has Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a very common condition, which can start at any age, although it is more common in males. The underlying cause is thought to be an inflammatory response to a commonly found yeast (Malassezia furfur) living on the human skin. The skin appears red, scaly and may be itchy. Common facial areas include the forehead, scalp, eyelids, nasolabial folds and back of the ears. Other sites include the chest, under the breast, armpits and groins where skin is more oily. It is not a contagious skin condition but can be made worse by stress, illness and a change in climate.

Treatment of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is considered a chronic condition, and management of the condition aims to reduce symptoms and flare ups. Topical medications and/or anti fungal creams can reduce the inflammatory process and yeast on the skin. Some shampoos can greatly improve dandruff. In severe cases, oral therapy is used to bring the condition under control. Long term maintenance therapy with the appropriate creams and shampoos are essential to reduce flares and minimize symptoms.

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