Is the winter season and cold weather causing you to have a dry, itchy, flakey scalp? Seborrheic Dermatitis is a very common chronic inflammatory scalp condition, which also affects the skin. This occurs in infants, adolescents and adults. It can occur off and on throughout an individual’s life. Although it most commonly occurs on the scalp, some individuals may not know it can also be present on the eyebrows, eyelids, nasolabial creases, lips, and ears. Typically, the skin lesions present as scaling on an erythematous base. 

The etiology of it is still not fully understood and is complex. Dandruff is a milder form of seborrheic dermatitis and presents as dry, itchy, greasy flakes on the scalp. Seborrheic Dermatitis is more common in men and individuals aged greater than fifty years old. Most of the time, patients notice flare ups seasonally, typically during the winter or spring months. 

Although Seborrheic Dermatitis and dandruff cannot be cured, there are many different approaches for treatment that help reduce flares to keep the itching, erythema, and scaling under control. When treating Seborrheic Dermatitis and dandruff, it is essential to use treatments as directed. There are many different shampoos and solutions that can help alleviate the dandruff and itching. Certain shampoos have instructions to leave in the scalp for five to ten minutes before washing and two to three times a week, which is critical to the treatment. If you have had a flakey, itchy scalp for a long time and have found no relief with over the counter options, do not be discouraged because there are definitely more prescription options available!

Even though it might just seem like it is only dandruff or a simple rash, it is extremely imperative to see a dermatology provider soon in order to get the accurate diagnosis and treatment. There are many other skin conditions with scaling and erythema, such as Psoriasis, Rosacea, and more. Additionally, treating Seborrheic Dermatitis as soon as possible is essential in order to prevent the scales from thickening and possibly leading to an infection due to excessive scratching. Lastly, early detection of it can also help prevent individuals from getting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, which is more difficult to treat. 

In some individuals, Seborrheic Dermatitis can go away on its own without any treatments. If it does not go away on its own or if you have any more concerns regarding your Seborrheic Dermatitis and dandruff, be sure to make an appointment with a Dermatologist or Dermatology PA at Beacon Skin & Surgeries. 

The information above is from the American Academy of Dermatology

Megan Bacall, PA-C