Also known as seborrheic eczema, seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that affects the face, scalp and torso region of the body. The inflammatory skin disorder causes scaly, flaking, itchy and red skin. It is thought to be caused by excess production of sebum which enables a yeast called Malassezia. Other factors are also known to be the cause such as genetics, neurological condition, stress, fatigue, HIV/AIDS and environmental, hormonal and immune-system. Illness, stress, lack of sleep, poor health and change of season may intensify seborrheic eczema.
Psoriasis, Ringworm of the scalp and Atopic dermatitis are other skin conditions whose symptoms are similar to that of seborrheic dermatitis. The first signs of seborrheic eczema are flaky skin and scalp which can be yellow, white or grey in colour. Other symptoms include inflammation, thick crusts on scalp, soreness, itchy skin and red, greasy skin with flaky white or yellow scales.
Although, the condition is mostly seen on the scalp, face and torso, it also occurs in other parts of the body such as armpits, behind the ears, near the eyelashes, the chest and upper back and in areas where the skin folds.
The condition also occurs in infants who are younger than three months but it known as cradle cap. It is caused by excessive Vitamin A intake. People suffering from seborrhoeic eczema may also experience hair loss and dandruff (white scales) that are attached to the hair shaft. It lasts from a few weeks to years while patients experience alternating inflammation stages.