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Seborrheic (seb-o-REE-ik) dermatitis is a common skin condition that mainly affects your scalp. It causes scaly patches, inflamed skin and stubborn dandruff. It usually affects oily areas of the body, such as the face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids and chest. This condition can be irritating but it’s not contagious, and it doesn’t cause permanent hair loss.

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Seborrheic dermatitis may go away without treatment. Or you may need to use medicated shampoo or other products long term to clear up symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

Seborrheic dermatitis is also called dandruff, seborrheic eczema and seborrheic psoriasis. When it occurs in infants, it’s called cradle cap.

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Symptoms

Seborrheic dermatitis signs and symptoms may include:

  • Flaking skin (dandruff) on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache
  • Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales or crust on the scalp, face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, chest, armpits, groin area or under the breasts
  • Rash that may look darker or lighter in people with brown or Black skin and redder in those with white skin
  • Ring-shaped (annular) rash, for a type called petaloid seborrheic dermatitis
  • Itchiness (pruritus)

The signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis tend to flare with stress, fatigue or a change of season.

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Aloe vera is a plant with anti-inflammatory properties has shown that its extract is effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis. Supplements containing aloe vera gel or extracts can help suppress flare-ups. They can also help lessen the severity of flare-ups that do happen.

 

Aloe vera

Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties, and research has shown that it is effective in treating SD. Aloe vera supplements can help suppress flare-ups and lessen their severity.

Do not give aloe vera supplements to children under age 10 years without first discussing the safety and dosage with a doctor.

Aloe vera is also used to treat constipation, so the supplements can have side effects, including:

  • abdominal cramping
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • urine discoloration

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Topical use of aloe vera may also help manage redness and itching during SD flare-ups. Before using topical aloe vera, check for allergies by applying a small amount on a dime-sized spot of healthy skin. If there is no reaction within 12-24 hours, topical use should be safe.

Note that allergic reactions can develop over time. Discontinue the use of topical aloe vera if signs of an allergy appear.

Side effects of topical aloe vera can include:

  • redness
  • burning
  • stinging
  • potential allergic reaction in people with skin sensitivity

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Fast facts on seborrheic dermatitis:
  • SD is just as common as acne.
  • The condition affects people of all ages.
  • The condition affects people of all ages.
  • To diagnose SD, a doctor – typically a dermatologist – will examine the affected areas.
  • Someone should speak to their dermatologist or doctor to decide the best treatment.

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References

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seborrheic-dermatitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352710#:~:text=Seborrheic%20(seb%2Do%2DREE,%2C%20ears%2C%20eyelids%20and%20chest.
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/seborrheic-dermatitis-natural-treatment#Natural-or-alternative-supplements
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319113#medicinal-treatment