Seborrhea - oily skin, scalp and hair

The feeling of “oiliness” or greasiness in the skin, scalp and hair is something that most people dislike but at the same time consider unattractive in other people.

To some extent, the perception of this is very personal. The feeling is identified with excess production of skin oil (sebum).

A feeling of oiliness in the hair can also be associated with the accumulation or degradation of cosmetic hair products, or with the accumulation of by-products due to sweat. Overproduction of sebum often occurs during adolescence and tends to decrease as a person ages.

Excess sebum is a clinically important feature in many cases of acne. Treatment of acne may include treatment to reduce sebum production.

Acne is generally considered a teenage disease that can persist into adulthood for millions of people.

Seborrhea can cause the scalp and hair to feel oily or greasy. However, unlike seborrheic eczema, oiliness is not associated with crusting, inflammation and intense itching.

The cause of severe seborrhea should be diagnosed by a dermatologist to rule out other conditions and to determine the best treatment.

Seborrheic eczema is a common, chronic disease that affects people of all ages – from babies to middle age.

The disease is most prominent in the first 3 months of life and from ages 30 to 70 years. This disease can lead to hair loss.

The most prominent symptoms of seborrheic eczema are:

  • Increased oiliness of the scalp and hair
  • Yellowish scales that grow into crusts covering red, inflamed, moist scalp skin
  • Intense itching

More severe cases of the condition involve the eyebrows, cheeks and bridge of the nose. The intense itching can encourage severe scratching that will aggravate the inflammation and pave the way for secondary infection by bacteria, yeast or fungi.

The more severe forms of seborrheic eczema can resemble psoriasis. These can also overlap in a condition called sebopsoriasis. The cause of seborrheic eczema is not known.

Of the three versions – mild dandruff, seborrhea and seborrheic eczema – seborrheic eczema is likely to be the most severe, and should usually be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.

Treatment of seborrheic eczema usually includes shampooing daily to twice a week with a product recommended by your doctor.

Further forms of treatment depend on the severity of the disease, which is diagnosed by a doctor.

Although it cannot be cured, seborrheic eczema is highly treatable and can usually be treated with regular use of prescription products.

Are you experiencing seborrhea?

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