Patients often misunderstand the condition as being dry skin, and it’s not dry skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that presents itself with a yellow, flaking crust on top of a reddish pink plaque. It’s commonly found around the ears, nose, scalp, beard and in the center of the chest. It’s most common in men in their third, fourth and fifth decade of life. There is no direct treatment for this disease, however it is easily managed with topical therapies and suppression. There are several things that can cause seborrheic dermatitis. The most common cause is excessive sebum production, or skin oils. There’s a yeast called malassezia. Stress can cause seborrheic dermatitis. Medications, certain medical diseases are associated with seborrheic dermatitis as well. The best way to prevent it would be avoiding hot and cold environments, minimizing your stress and working with your primary care doctors on possible medication causes. Most patients who come in have tried over-the-counter preparations, such as coal tar shampoo, but I find most prescription topicals are more effective, such as antifungals, corticosteroids, sulfur-based preparations, and they’re often in creams, liquids or shampoos In rare cases. a patient with a resistant case may require an oral antifungal. It works over a period of one to three weeks. You’ll begin to notice decreased plaque, followed by diminished redness. There can be periods of complete clearance of the condition.
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