Dermatologist’s tips for dry, flaky skin on your face and scalp; tis the season for seborrheic dermatitis!

HeadScratching

Do you know if the ‘dry skin’ in the middle of your face is really just dry skin?  Has your scalp started to itch a little too? If so, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. 

In my dermatology practice I see a lot of patients whose seborrheic dermatitis really acts up as the weather turns cold. The good news is that with some over the counter products, you can control your seborrhea and keep your skin and scalp healthy and attractive instead of red and scaly.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a frustrating, confusing and at times embarrassing rash that’s really common.  Most people don’t know they have it until they see a doctor.  Patients commonly misinterpreted the redness and scale of seborrhea as dry skin. They layer on the moisturizers, which of course don’t fix the problem because seborrhea is a rash, not dry skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis is so common that almost everyone will have it at some point in their life. You’ve undoubtedly seen it on yourself or someone you know, it’s:

•    Cradle cap in babies
•    Red, greasy, scaly skin in the nose cease or between the eyebrows in teens
•    ‘Dry’ and itchy scalp starting in the teen years  and going on throughout life
•    ‘Dry’, red, scaly skin in the T-zone of the face at any time in life
•    Red, crusty skin on and behind the ears
•    Flaking of the eyebrows
•    Crusty scale and itching of the eyelashes (blepharitis), especially in the morning when you wake from sleep
•    Greasy, red scaly skin on the chest and upper back

Seborrheic dermatitis may or may not be accompanied by tender, itchy pimples on the scalp, around the hair line and on the neck, chest and upper back.

If you are prone to seborrheic dermatitis then you’ll always have a tendency for this annoying rash.  We don’t know what causes seborrheic dermatitis and we don’t know how to cure it. Treatment is aimed at controlling the problem, and extending the time between flair ups.  The good news is that with medicated products, and good skin and scalp care, you can have clear, healthy skin by controlling your seborrhea.

Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common skin problems I find during a skin exam.  I’ve found  many great treatments for seborrheic dermatitis using over the counter products. In my next series of blog posts, I’m going to outline my favorite remedies for seborrheic dermatitis and recommend products.  This is the information I give my patients in the office.

My Seborrheic Dermatitis Series:

Remedies for the Dry Itchy Scalp of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Remedies for the Dry Itchy Scalp of Seborrheic Dermatitis-Part 2

Remedies for Really Stubborn Scalp Seborrheic Dermatitis

Itchy Crusty Scaly Ears; More on Seborrheic Dermatitis

Dermatologist’s Tips for Treating Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis: It Looks Like Dry Skin, But It’s a Rash!

Dr. Cynthia Bailey’s Tips for Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis Control

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