Q:

How do you recognize seborrheic dermatitis?

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Quick Answer

Seborrheic dermatitis causes scaly, red patches on the skin and dandruff, according to Mayo Clinic. It is most commonly seen on the scalp, but may also appear on the face, chest or back. The condition may be itchy and may also causes patches of greasy skin.

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Full Answer

When seborrheic dermatitis occurs around the eyes, it can cause redness and crusting of the eyelids, explains Mayo Clinic. When it appears on infants, it is often known as cradle cap. This condition is not contagious, so patients cannot pass it on to anyone else. Patients often suffer from seborrheic dermatitis for an extended period of time and must try several different treatments before they find one that works for them. A weakened immune system and some medications may cause patients to develop seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis is frequently treated with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos and lotions, according to Mayo Clinic. Light therapy may also help improve the condition, as may prescription medications that affect the immune system. Many cases of seborrheic dermatitis are minor, and can be managed at home with tar shampoo or mild corticosteroid creams. However, patients who have not had success with at-home treatments or are suffering anxiety because of the condition should see their doctor. Patients who are losing sleep or becoming distracted during the day because of their skin condition should also seek treatment.

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