Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, scaling rash that sometimes itches. Babies generally develop seborrheic dermatitis as cradle cap, while adults develop a rash that is reddish in color, swollen and scaly. One or more of these rashes can appear on the body. Sometimes, the affected skin itches.
Researchers are still trying to piece together what causes this skin disorder, but they agree that it is not caused by poor personal hygiene, is not an allergy and does not harm the body. Many factors seem to work together to cause seborrheic dermatitis, including the yeast that normally lives on our skin, our genes, our environment, our stress level, and our overall health.
The type of treatment a dermatologist prescribes varies with age and where the seborrheic dermatitis appears on the skin. This condition is not contagious and may respond to medicated shampoos and prescription topical medications which can control the flare ups. No long term cure is known at this time. Many adults will have multiple flare-ups during their lifetime, while infant seborrheic dermatitis usually clears up by age 1.
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