What does seborrheic dermatitis look like?

Skin condition is a reflection of the human’s health in general – therefore, one of the universal criteria of beauty has always been the absence of signs of peeling and inflammation on the skin. Dermatologists acknowledge that many of the diseases are primarily the result of psychological discomfort of patients. Stress can be both the root cause, and the consequence of many derma diseases. Seborrheic dermatitis is not an exception.

What is seborrheic dermatitis?

It is a common skin disease which can be faced by any of us at a certain period of life. It is an inflammatory disease that is developed on the parts of the body where many sebaceous glands are located: on the scalp, behind the ear, and the area of the nasolabial triangle, and also in the area between the shoulder blades and on the front surface of the chest. The discussed disorder causes a yeast-like fungus of the genus Malassezia (Malassezia), but it is incorrect to refer to this disease as to a contagious one: the causative agent, which is a conditionally pathogenic microorganism, lives on the epidermis of almost every healthy person. The life cycle of this fungus is associated with fatty acids in the sebum, which is produced by the sebaceous glands. If, for some reason, they begin to release a secretion heavily, the number of microorganisms in this area increases sharply, which leads to an inflammatory reaction accompanied by itching and derma peeling.

Who is at risk?

Doctors have identified several causes that can lead to seborrheic dermatitis. It is proved that strong or chronic stress (which is a frequent companion of many people) leads to a disruption of the normal function of the sebaceous glands. Therefore, this problem often occurs in people who have suffered nervous shock, patients with mental disorders and those who, due to their profession, are forced to work under stress. Another risk factor: the restriction of motor activity, typical for disabled people and people who are overweight. In addition, the influence of some hormones on the production of sebum is proven, therefore, seborrheic dermatitis often affects adolescents in the age of transition, breastfed infants (they get hormones with the mother's milk, and manifestations of the disease naturally disappear after changing the diet), and men and women, in which the androgenic hormones predominate.

Finally, there was detected a relationship between some immune system pathologies and an inflammatory response to reproduction of cutaneous microflora: in people with congenital and acquired immune deficiency, this disorder is developed significantly more often than the in average among the population.

The cause of this disorder is the fungus-causative agent, which produces special lipolytic enzymes that can break down fatty acids contained in sebum. When the fungus amount becomes too high, these chemicals provoke an inflammatory reaction that is accompanied by the destruction of skin cells (visually it looks like peeling), as well as the release of histamine, a chemical agent which causes itching. Scratching the itching areas aggravates the inflammation and worsens the appearance of the skin with seborrheic dermatitis.

Published at September 9, 2018

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