03 January 2018

Seborrheic dermatitis

We explain you what causes this pathology, also called dandruff and cradle cap, and what precautions should be taken to prevent and treat its symptoms


This problem affects a large proportion of the population in its varying degrees, and it can become uncomfortable for both adults and the little ones. Today we'll tell you about the origins of seborrhoeic Dermatitis, it main symptoms, and the most appropriate products to handle this disease.


What is seborrhoeic Dermatitis?

It is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin areas with greater fat production. Seborrhoeic dermatitis tends to worsen during the winter months, and it's also associated with overweight, stress, sleep deprivation as well as other diseases such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease. It is also common for seborrhoeic dermatitis  to manifest tself in people prone to acne or rosacea.

Seborrhoeic DermatitisIn adults, this problem arises mainly in the form of dandruff on the scalp, having acute phases interspersed with no symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms can cause hair loss too.

On the other hand, seborrhoeic dermatitis appears to babues until the 3rd month after birth, being also called cradle cap. It may also occur on the scalp, as well as forehead or even in diaper area.

In more severe cases, seborrhoeic dermatitis may appear in other places, such as the face, being more common on the eyebrows, behind the ears, around the nose but also on the neck, chest, inner thighs and underarms.


What causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?Sebaceous Gland

For hormonal reasons, emotional distress or even genetics, there are people whose sebaceous glands have a greater tendency to produce fat. This fat feeds bacteria and fungi that naturally inhabit the surface of our skin, who metabolize it and produce irritating substances.

It is thought that seborrhoeic dermatitis occurs because some people's skin is more sensitive to excess fat and/or the substances produced by microorganisms, thus developing an inflammatory reaction.

Also, it seems that the humidity and sweat can aggravate the symptoms of this problem.


How to identify it?

How to identify it?

Depending on the severity of symptoms, it can be observed only a light white flaking in areas with high fat production, or the flaking may have a yellowish tint (seborrheic). This symptoms may be accompanied by itching or even erythema (redness).


Can seborrhoeic dermatitis develop complications?

Besides affecting the well-being and self-esteem, especially for teenagers and adults, when the flaking areas are not properly cleansed, they may develop some infections. In case it happens on a baby, this could be particularly serious, which reinforces the treatment's urgency.


What products should I use to prevent and treat?

After consulting a dermatologist or pediatrician for a diagnosis and also to check the need any pharmacological treatment, it is important to introduce some products in your hygiene and beauty routine:


Hair (dandruff)

  • Shampoo

You should choose an anti-dandruff shampoo, which can be used several times a week during acute flaking.

These shampoos may contain ingredients that regulate the production of sebum by the sebaceous gland, and others that soothe the scalp or have antimicrobial action; acting generally by more than one of these mechanisms. According to the instructions of use from each product, the treatment shampoo should be switched by a frequent use shampoo during the remaining days in which you need to wash your hair, as well as during maintenance phases.

We lewve you with few suggestions of both types of shampoo:

  • Treatment

DucrayLa Roche PosayBiodermaCystiphane






  • Frequent use

BiodermaDucrayLa Roche PosayDercos






During the treatment, you should begin to wash your hair with a first cleanse, removing the scales that are already formed and all the dirt accumulated on the scalp. Then, ehen the scalp is perfectly clean, the treatment shampoo must be reapplied, and it is important to take some time massaging gently the head with the fingertips. That, let the shampoo act for some time before rinsing off. Usually it is suficient to wait for around 3 minutes, but this time may vary between different brands.

Bearing in mind all these steps, the active ingredients may penetrate more easily through the skin, allowing not only to unstick the scales that may be forming but also to soothe the scalp and remove excess oils.


  • Conditioner or mask

Treatments for seborrheic dermatitis can dry and damage the hair fiber, therefore a long-lasting treatment will require extra care with your hair lengths.

However, conditioners should never be applied on the roots since this not only makes the hair more oily as it will also make it difficult to process the natural skin desquamation, contributing to the development of scaly plaques that are observed in dandruff . Therefore, since these products are intended only to deal with the length and the ends of the hair, you can chose any product that is suitable for your hair type.  If you still haven't found your favorite one, we leave you with a few suggestions that you will certainly love!


Rene FurtererKerastaseRene FurtererPhyto





  • Regulatory lotion/emulsion

In order to complement the shampoo's action, you can also use leave-in lotions that stay in contact with the scalp for a longer period.  We have some options for you:






  • Hair loss treatment

You can choose dietary supplements that act on seborrhoea, stimulate hair growth and also improve the hair anchoring:

DucraySesdermaMartidermRene Furterer







  • Cleansing

Is an essential step to remove excessive oils that sebaceous glands produce continuously, but also skin flaking and the eventual colonization by microorganisms. At SweetCare, we have are cleaners especially directed to remove excessive oils, providing also a slight exfoliation:







  • Moisturization and care

The flaking facial areas need a soothing and moisturizing care, that also helps to unstick the scales:

BiodermaDucrayLa Roche PosaySesderma






Baby (cradle cap)

The prevention and removal of scales on the baby can be made with the help of specific shampoos and other products suitable for this purpose, that in some cases require a pause time followed by rinsing off:






What other concerns must I have on a daily basis?

In addition to your hygiene routine and a good choice of products, it may be necessary to change some habits:

  • Avoid taking showers using hot water;
  • Pat dry the skin of the affected zones at the end of the shower, without rubbing;
  • Protect the affected areas during the colder months, using warm clothes, hats or scarves;
  • Avoid scratching areas with increased itching, which will worse the inflammation also causing wounds;
  • Brush your baby's hair with a soft brush, in order to unstick the scales;
  • Wash your baby's hair only every 2 or 3 days. However, if the flakes develop between washes, you may remove them help of a specific product.

At any age, if you see any bubbles around the flakes boards or an intense inflammation, it is important to talk to your doctor.

Suggested Products

Abcderm babysquam cradle cap cream 40ml
$ 10.59

Abcderm babysquam cradle cap cream 40ml - Bioderma

Abcderm babysquam croûtes de lait - Bioderma

Sebovalis facial gel seborrhoeic dermatitis 50ml
$ 18.05
Ds hair lotion spray 100ml
$ 15.09

Ds hair lotion spray 100ml - Uriage

Ds lotion spray apaisant régulateur - Uriage

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