My History with Seborrheic Dermatitis
When I was young, I had no problems with my skin. My face was clear and I had no worries. When we would go to get my hair trimmed, the people there would let my mom know that I had cradle cap and that there was nothing wrong. We just needed to use dandruff shampoo.
As I got older, of course, I had acne like most teens.
The one very noticeable thing in my family was that my mom’s face was always full of red marks and flaky skin. She never knew how to take care of her skin to make it look better.
As an adult, I found that I also had problems with my skin. I thought at first that it was just dry skin and tried to use aloe lotion to clear my skin. It helped in tiny ways. My skin would be better. I thought that maybe I needed to scrub my face hard with the Irish Spring with aloe soap that does not irritate my skin. Even though my skin would not have flakes, it would be very red. I would still have the problem of flakes and bleeding behind my ears.
Soon, I decided that since they had helped clean makeup off my face and made me feel better, I should use some of the acne clearing pads such as Clearasil or Stridex, as long as they were the ones with aloe so they would not irritate my skin. I would often use theses in combination with the aloe as I know that I do get dry skin as well.
After my Daddy passed away, I went to a dermatologist appointment with my mom. This dermatologist was able to easily diagnose what was on my mom’s face, which was no also spreading to her chest. The diagnosis was simple. It was seborrheic dermatitis.
The dermatologist gave my mom some special shampoo and she gave her a prescription for some cream that helps to clear her face.
She said to me and to my sister that it also looked like we had seborrheic dermatitis, or at least the beginnings of it. Before the appointment, I thought that I was angry with myself for not taking care of my face before going with my mom to her dermatologist appointment. However, since the dermatologist was able to point it out, I am happy that I had cut back on my skin care. My sister and I basically got a diagnosis for free.
What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis can be seen on the skin because the skin will be red and have white or yellow flakes. While it sounds like seborrheic dermatitis is a terrible thing, it is the same thing as cradle cap, but it can occur on other places of the body than the scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic condition, meaning it will last all life long, but it is not dangerous and can easily be treated.
What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Doctors do not know what causes seborrheic dermatitis. Some think that it may be a yeast. Some think that it may be a bacteria. There is also a theory that it is a yeast combined with a bacteria.
It has also been found that cases seem to get worse in the winter and are worse among people with neurological conditions and/or AIDS. It also seems that it is brought about with stress.
How is Seborrheic Dermatitis Treated?
At home treatment is very simple. For mild cases, an aloe lotion may clear the condition as long as it is used every day. For cases that are a little more severe, aloe lotion and washing the spots with seborrheic dermatitis with dandruff shampoo (containing pyrithrione zinc), may work. If this works, but eventually the seborrheic dermatitis seems to appear again, try switching out dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients. These may be ketoconazole,. Ciclopirox, or selenium sulfide.
A rigorous home treatment would be to use a dandruff shampoo and Clearasil or Stridex pads with aloe and an aloe lotion. The reason that these acne prevention pads work to help prevent breakouts of Seborrheic dermatitis is that Salicylic acid helps to prevent breakouts of Seborrheic dermatitis and that is the active ingredient in acne prevention pads. This is what I was doing before I knew I had Seborrheic dermatitis. Being that my grandpa said it might be something from the fallout when he was in WWII, I was never sure if it was something that would ever look clear.
It turns out I was doing the correct thing.
The steps to taking care of seborrheic dermatitis are as follows.
Every day or every other day, wash hair with dandruff shampoo (my recommendations would be one with pyrithione zinc such as Head and Shoulders).
Every day, throughly use as many acne prevention pads as needed to cleanse all areas covered with seborrheic dermatitis. If it is on the face, make sure to use these pads behind your ears liberally as if you do not, you will have problems with crust behind your ears that causes an odor and bleeding when it is scratched.
After you apply the acne prevention pads, rub aloe lotion into the areas where seborrheic dermatitis occurs. At night, if you use aloe, do not rub the lotion all the way into your face, but let it stay white (or whatever color the lotion is) on your face so it can moisturize your face all night long.
Remember that using the acne clearing pads and aloe lotion are every day activities and should be done one to three times a day. Hair can be washed every one to two days unless seborrheic dermatitis is very severe. Then hair should be washed every day until the symptoms are reduced.
If you cannot find these exact treatment options, check the active ingredients in different dandruff and acne prevention products and use them. If they help, continue the routine that works to clear your skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis – MayoClinic.com. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seborrheic-dermatitis/DS00984
Seborrheic dermatitis: Causes – MayoClinic.com. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seborrheic-dermatitis/DS00984/DSECTION=causes
Seborrheic dermatitis: Treatments and drugs – MayoClinic.com. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seborrheic-dermatitis/DS00984/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs