Seborrheic dermatitis and hair loss
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that is characterized by flaky scales on certain parts of the face and scalp. On average, it affects 1 to 5% of adults. It can be described as a severe case of white or yellow dandruff that can be oily or dry.
This condition can be more prevalent in some seasons rather than others due to a variety of factors. There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis, but it can be controlled with treatments. This is why it is so important that you see a specialist (dermatologist or trichologist) who can give you the right diagnosis and treatment. In extreme cases, if you do not receive adequate care, this can result in hair loss.
What causes seborrheic dermatitis?
Although the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not known, we do know that this condition can be caused by a combination of multiple factors:
- Overly-active sebaceous glands
- Club-shaped yeasts (malassezia) that live in the skin, especially in areas with more sebaceous glands.
- Changes in the functioning of the cutaneous barrier
There are also risk factors to be taken into account, since some of them may be controlled. Risk factors include:
- Stress or tiredness
- Extreme climate
- Oily skin or skin conditions like acne
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Using lotions that contain alcohol
- Nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s, cranial trauma, or a stroke
How can I know if I have seborrheic dermatitis?
The signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis may include:
- Flaky scales (dandruff) on the scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard, or mustache.
- Oily patches on the skin covered in white or yellow scales, or scabs on the scalp, face, nostrils, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, chest, or underarms.
- Redness on the skin
Can seborrheic dermatitis make my hair fall out?
Dermatitis is not synonymous with hair loss in and of itself. In mild to moderate cases, excess sebum on the skin can make the hair that falls out normally every day to remain “stuck” there, so, when you wash it, it creates the sensation of more hair falling out.
However, in severe cases where a serious alteration is visible, the excess sebum can obstruct the pores on the skin, impeding the hair’s growth.
The first and most important thing to do is to talk to a dermatologist or trichologist who can give you a precise diagnosis and personalized treatment, since every case is different and requires medical supervision.
Maintaining good hygiene is fundamental, and this may include using dermocosmetic shampoos with active astringent and sebum-regulating ingredients, like sulphur, selenium, and zinc. One option that we recommend is Kaloni’s Oil-Control Shampoo.
It is also important to use a topical or oral antifungal treatment that contains active ingredients derived from azoles, like ketoconazole, and possibly, some kind of corticoid treatment to reduce inflammation.
Of course, eating healthy, reducing your fat and alcohol consumption, and regular physical activity also help in treating this condition.
Also, sunlight can improve cases of seborrheic dermatitis. For some people, their skin gets better in the summer, especially after doing any open-air activities.
Some dermatitis patients may also require phototherapy, a medical procedure where the skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light.
Fortunately, at Kaloni, we offer a wide range of services to solve the many different kinds of skin conditions that can affect your hair’s health.
Talk to our specialists to obtain a personalized diagnosis.