BEST TREATMENT FOR SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin pathology which is characterized by redness of the skin, itchiness and scaly patches on the skin. It affects approximately 5 million individuals in the U.S and approximately 5% of the world’s population, including children and adults.
If you have seborrheic dermatitis, you will most often not know. Even by mere appearance, it is often difficult for dermatologists to diagnose this condition. This is so because the inflammatory reactions triggered by Seborrheic dermatitis is similar to those caused by other skin pathologies such as psoriasis or other forms of eczema.
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Part of the body affected by Seborrheic Dermatitis
It commonly affects the scalp, where it appears as dandruff, but can also affect the face, nose, ears and chest. Anyway though, since the face is one of the most prominent part of the body, individuals are more concerned when this skin condition affects the face.
The hair in the scalp can easily conceal the dermatitis such that it becomes unnoticeable. But for the face, this is not the case. Seborrheic dermatitis affecting the face is most common in teenagers and adults and are less likely to occur in the elderly. Contrary to popular belief, this skin condition is not contagious.
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis
As common as it is, doctors and medical experts alike have not yet been able to ascertain the exact cause of Seborrheic dermatitis. Recent research though have linked it with a yeast called Malassezia.
Malassezia is a specie of fungi which is found naturally on our skin. There are about 14 species of this fungi but the one which has been most likely linked to cause Seborrheic dermatitis is Malassezia globossa.
The infection occurs when the fungus grows so rapidly that it interferes with normal growth of skin cells. Seborrheic dermatitis has also been linked to a poor immune system.
Getting Rid of Seborrheic Dermatitis on Face
Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated medically and naturally. Medical treatment of seborrheic dermatitis involves the use of topical medications which inhibits or minimizes the growth of the fungi.
There are many options, including: topical corticosteroids, medicated shampoo, antifungal creams,and topical sulfur creams. Medical treatment commences after a specialist called a dermatologist diagnoses the condition and determines its severity. The treatment option will most times vary depending on the severity.
Medical Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis
As stated earlier, medical treatment is through the use of topical medications.
Topical Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid are used mainly because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
Additionally, they are vasoconstrictive and antipruritic. Because of this combination, they are usually considered the best treatment option by dermatologists for treating Seborrheic dermatitis.
Topical corticosteroid are usually applied to the skin two times a day and preferably after bathing to ensure effectiveness. For long term effective treatment, dermatologists will usually prescribe topical corticosteroid in conjunction with antifungal.
Medicated Shampoo: Over-the-counter medicated shampoos can also be prescribed by dermatologists.
A good example of this is the coal tar shampoo. This shampoo is keratolytic. That is, it works by breaking down the keratin on the skin and thus allows dead skin cells to be gotten rid off, more easily.
This shampoo contains a special compound called salicyclic acid which is very important in skin treatment. Salicyclic acid is very important in skin treatment because it is soluble in oil and is also antiinflammatory. You may have photosensitivity while using coal tar shampoo.
Another good example of a medicated shampoo is selenium sulfide shampoo. The active ingredient in this shampoo is selenium sulfide. It works by fighting off the fungus and preventing inflammation of the skin.
Antifungal: Antifungal medications may be used alone but more often in combination with topical corticosteroid. Antifungal creams work by fighting off the fungi which is responsible for causing Seborrheic dermatitis.
Many antifungal creams can be used to treat Seborrheic dermatitis but the one which has been found to be most effective is ketoconazole. Antifungals and ketoconazole in particular, should not be used without the doctor’s prescription.
Calcineurium Inhibitors:Calcineurin inhibitors are prescribed by dermatologists because they prevent immune responses which trigger inflammatory responses.
If you don’t have enough money to go for medical treatment, or you just want your Seborrheic dermatitis to heal naturally, there are several natural methods that have proven effective in treating Seborrheic dermatitis.
Baking Soda: Popularly known as a baking ingredient, baking soda can also be used to treat Seborrheic dermatitis. It has strong antifungal properties which can fight off the fungus.
To use, you should mix a cup of water with half teaspoon of baking soda. Stir the mixture thoroughly and then apply to the area of skin which is affected. After five minutes, after it must have soaked in the skin, you can then wash it off.
Coconut Oil: Because of its triple action of being antimicrobial, anrifungal and antiviral, coconit oil is often considered the best treatment for seborrheic dermatitis on face. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and caproic acid.
These two medium-chain fatty acids are responsible for the potency of coconut oil in treating seborrheic dermatitis. Coconut oil can effectively fight off the fungus causing Seborrheic dermatitis. Coconut oil, being a good source of Vitamin E, is also anti-inflammatory. You can use coconut oils directly.
There is no need to mix with water. Simply take half teaspoon of coconut oil, rub gently on your palms and apply to the affected area. For a much better and effective result, you can combine coconut oil with essential oils such as cedarwood oil, lemongrass and tea tree oils.
Others: Other natural and very effective methods to treat seborrheic dermatitis include the use of honey, aloe vera and tea tree oils. Honey mixed with water can serve as a very good face wash for individuals with Seborrheic dermatitis.
If you have Seborrheic dermatitis, you shouldn’t worry too much. Sometimes, this skin condition will even heal out on its own. If this is not the case though, with proper medical and/or natural treatment, you are sure to get your soft, sparkling skin yet again.
Regina Uwalaka. Am your regular Dermatologist with 8 years of experience, you can contact me on any of my social media accounts