Medical Q&As

Seborrhoeic dermatitis - confused?

Having suffered from bad skin sporadically since my teens (Iíve just turned 30) I visited a consultant dermatologist yesterday who diagnosed seborrhoeic dermatitis but is confident it will clear with medication. I\'m confused how this condition can explain spots or partial redness of the face. Can you explain the condition?

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common but harmless skin condition. It is caused by a proliferation of a particular yeast that is a normal inhabitant of the skin. The yeast is known as Pitysporum ovale. People who develop the condition appear to have a reduced resistance to the yeast. The condition is not contagious nor is it related to diet. It can flare up as a result of stress, seasonal change, fatigue, or just being generally run down. The condition can occur at any age after puberty and can persist for years. It can affect the face, eyebrows, trunk and scalp. It can give rise to dandruff when the scalp is affected. Seborrhoeic dermatitis can be successfully treated with antifungal creams or tablets. There are also antifungal shampoos available for treating the scalp. Modern treatments are very effective but the condition can recur.