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What causes seborrheic dermatitis?

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Quick Answer

Researchers don't know the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis, but factors such as genetics, stress and certain medications seem to contribute to the condition, according to WebMD. Other factors such as a particular yeast that lives on the skin, some medical conditions, and cold, dry weather can also lead to seborrheic dermatitis. Allergies and poor hygiene do not cause the condition.

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Full Answer

Newborns and adults ages 30 to 60 are most at risk for developing seborrheic dermatitis, WebMD explains. Individuals with oily skin are more at risk.

Patients with certain medical conditions are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis, WebMD reports. The skin conditions rosacea, acne and psoriasis may also put patients at risk. AIDS, heart attack, stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease may also contribute to developing the condition.

Some behavioral health issues can also be a risk factor for seborrheic dermatitis, WebMD reveals. These conditions include depression, alcoholism and eating disorders,

Seborrheic dermatitis is most commonly found on the scalp, but adults can get it on their face and other parts of the body, WebMD states. It is common behind the ears, around the nose and on the eyelids. Some patients have the condition on the buttocks, chest, under the breasts, in skin folds and around the navel.

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