Seborrhoeic Eczema (Also known as Seborrhoeic Dermatitis)

Definition:
Seborrhoeic Eczema is a chronic, non-contagious skin condition characterized by red, scaly, and itchy patches. It primarily affects areas of the skin with a high density of sebaceous glands, such as the scalp, face, chest, and back.

Aetiology (Causes):
The exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed to be related to:
– An abnormal reaction to the yeast (Malassezia) present on the skin.
– Genetic factors.
– Environmental factors such as stress, weather conditions, and medical conditions that affect the immune system.

Symptoms:
– Flaky skin (dandruff) on the scalp, hairline, eyebrows, beard, or moustache.
– Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales.
– Redness and itching.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosed primarily based on the appearance and location of the skin lesions. Skin biopsy or other tests are rarely needed.

Treatment:
Treatment aims to control the symptoms and may include:
– Antifungal creams or shampoos containing ketoconazole, ciclopirox, or zinc pyrithione.
– Topical corticosteroids for inflammation.
– Shampoos containing coal tar, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide to reduce scaling.

Management:
– Regular washing with medicated shampoos.
– Moisturising and gentle skin care.
– Avoiding harsh soaps and chemicals.
– Managing stress.

Prognosis:
Seborrhoeic Eczema is a chronic condition with periods of exacerbation and remission. It is manageable with proper treatment and skin care.

Trichologists often encounter Seborrhoeic Eczema due to its significant impact on the scalp and hair health. Understanding its characteristics, management, and treatment options is crucial in providing effective care and advice to individuals affected by this condition.

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