Understand Seborrheic Dermatitis
As the root of the word "derma" implies, Seborrheic Dermatitis - or simply Dermatitis
- is a skin condition related to and found in the hair. Dermatitis is a
reddening of the skin resulting from the interaction of sebum (hair
oils) and yeast and bacteria causing irritation, itching and flakes. The
flakes will be larger and stiffer than normal dandruff flakes.
excreted from the sebaceous glands associated with all follicle pores.
Sebum acts to coat and protect the follicle shaft and aid in
flexibility, resilience and elasticity. Dermatitis is commonly
considered the result of excess sebum and oiliness that create scales,
flaking itching and rash (redness). Your scalp may also start to swell a
little as well.
Common Symptoms of Dermatitis:
Flakes, flaking and itchiness
Redness or localized scalp rash
Oiliness or greasy scales
Scalp rash or flakes on babies
found anywhere on the scalp, dermatitis usually begins or is noticed at
the front hairline. Trichologists believe dermatitis begins most often
at puberty when sexual glands act to increase sebum (providing further
evidence of teen acne). Though adult dermatitis is most common, cradle cap is dermatitis found in babies. It can cause mild hair loss, but the hair usually will grow back quickly.
Dermatitis Shampoo & Treatment:
Hair shampoo that regulates sebum (oil)
Products that contain Zinc PCA, sulfur or salicylic acid
Frequent shampooing (twice daily if necessary
The most effective relief for dermatitis is either frequent shampooing or using a shampoo for dermatitis
that helps to regulate sebum. Hair shampoo with sulfur, Zinc PCA and
salicylic acid have been found to slow production of sebum and reduce
Often confused for dandruff,
dermatitis creates inflammation, generally considered unrelated to
dandruff. Additionally, dandruff is considered a scalp-wide hair
problem whereas dermatitis tends to be localized.
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Other Treatment Options
There are many trigger for dermatitis - and, as discussed oiliness on the scalp is a primary cause. Other triggers can cause problems as well.
With increased use of SLS shampoo - those containing Sodium Laurel (Lauryl) Sulfate, diseases of the scalp have increased. This low-cost ingredient is used in many "cheap" products because of its high availabilty and low expense.
Used commonly in products from detergents to carpet shampoo, SLS can be especially harmful to thos with sensitive skin. This can encourage diseases promoting scalp sores, flakes, itchiness and localized hair shedding.
Using a sulfate-free shampoo
can help improve tissue health and guard against common scalp problems - including inflamed tissue, wounds, and scabs. And, in conjunction with natural herbal extracts, sulfate free shampoos
can help improve manageability and style control.