Flaky Skin Information
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a very common skin rash that affects many people. It usually appears as pink or red dry patches with white scale or crust. These dry patches often itch. Despite being dry or flaky, the skin sometimes takes on a greasy appearance. Seborrheic dermatitis can affect different parts of the body such as the scalp (dandruff), face (eyebrows, eyelids, sides of the nose, and around the mouth), ears, chest, armpits and genital area. Infants can develop this (cradle cap) as well as adults.
One specific cause has not been found for seborrheic dermatitis. Many factors seem to play a role in developing this skin condition. These may include genetics, cold and dry weather, a yeast that lives on our skin, stress and our overall health. It is not an allergic reaction to anything, however, certain cosmetic products may cause flares at times, especially those high in perfume or fragrance.
Treatment can help but not cure seborrheic dermatitis. Skin care tips to help manage this skin condition include dry skin precautions. These include warm, not hot, showers or baths. Gentle skin cleansing products such as Dove soap or soap free cleansing products such as Aveeno, Cetaphil, CeraVe and Eucerin. Always apply a moisturizer to the areas where you are prone to the dry skin. Moisturizers I recommend for this are Aveeno, Cetaphil, CeraVe and Eucerin. Avoid products with dyes and fragrances. If the scalp is affected, regular use of a dandruff shampoo will be beneficial. When medical care is needed, it can include a few different types of topical medications.
- Topical steroids: These work very well, but can only be used for a short period of time. They quickly help reduce the redness and flaking, but long term use needs to be avoided.
- Barrier repair creams: These are creams that help restore the skin back to its more natural state. They help to maintain proper hydration and pH balance of the skin.
- Topical anti-fungal creams: A specific type of yeast on the skin may play a role for patients who suffer from this skin condition. Using a cream to reduce this yeast organism has been helpful in some patients.
- Shampoos: Prescription and/or over-the-counter shampoos are a useful way to help maintain and manage some of the symptoms of the scalp.
If you suffer from this chronic, dry and flaky skin condition we can help you identify the skin rash and get you on a plan to help maintain and minimize the appearance and frequency of this rash. Together we can discuss the best way to improve your skin health and help it keep it that way. There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis, but with a proper skin care routine and the correct treatment you will be able to easily control this chronic condition.