Thick, Greasy Dandruff? It Might Be Seborrheic Dermatitis

Posted on: 27 January 2020

Dandruff is a common and harmless condition to have, but it's not the only thing that can cause clumps of skin to form on the scalp. If you've noticed that your dandruff seems to be thicker and more noticeable than other people's, it might not be dandruff at all. Here's what you need to know about this condition.

What It Looks Like

The condition in question, seborrheic dermatitis, shares some similarities with dandruff. Both cause flakes of skin to form on the scalp, which can shed and look like little balls of dust on your clothes or hair. However, the similarities primarily stop there.

Seborrheic dermatitis isn't the same thing as dandruff and thus has different symptoms. You may notice that the flakes of skin coming off are more like chunks, or large pieces of skin. These pieces may seem noticeably greasy even if your hair is clean. And if you take a close look at your scalp, you may notice that there are little mounds of skin that appear reddish or yellowish. If these symptoms match with yours, chances are seborrheic dermatitis is your problem.

What It Is

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that isn't yet fully understood by scientists and doctors. While the cause is unclear, the symptoms aren't. Aside from what was previously mentioned, seborrheic dermatitis can cause problems like hair loss.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition where the body produces too much skin too quickly. While ordinarily the body replaces skin cells as needed, with seborrheic dermatitis, skin cells are produced before the old ones are ready to be shed, resulting in these little mounds. This is also why seborrheic dermatitis tends to be itchy—the now-dead skin cells beneath the new ones are trying to shed and have nowhere to go because they're locked in by the dermatitis above it.

Seborrheic dermatitis can transfer to any part of the body but is particularly common to crop up around the eyebrows, hairline, and nose. For this reason, it's particularly important to have it treated as quickly as possible so that it doesn't progress to other areas.

Getting It Treated

Seborrheic dermatitis is likely best treated by a dermatologist. They're experts at all things skin, so they're the people you want to see for this condition.

Your dermatologist will examine your skin to determine if it's seborrheic dermatitis. If it is, a steroid cream may be prescribed to help with flare-ups. In addition, washing your hair more frequently and visiting the dermatologist for scalp scaling may be helpful.


Tips For Maintaining Healthy Skin Throughout All Phases Of Life

Through our highly researched blog posts, we educate our visitors on dermatology topics such as how autoimmune disorders affect the skin, why cystic acne may be linked to endocrine disorders, and how to keep your skin looking young and healthy as you age. Preventing skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma is one of our highest priorities, and because of this, you'll find many educational articles pertaining to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatments for skin cancer. Other blog topics you may stumble upon when you visit our site include which vitamins and minerals help promote collagen formation while preventing free radical damage caused by the sun and cigarette smoking. To learn how to preserve the health of your skin, stop by our site and have a look at our posts.

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