Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis and Its Natural Treatments

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disorder that mainly affects the scalp and presents with scaly and itchy red skin.

  • In infants, the condition is known as ‘cradle cap’

  • Aside from the scalp, it can also affect other parts of the body like the area in between the eyebrows, upper chest and back, and the armpits.

  • The condition is limited to the skin and does not affect the person’s overall health

  • It can, however, cause discomfort and can lead to self-esteem issues and embarrassment

  • The condition is not contagious, but it can be chronic and flare-ups are common

  • It is also not caused by poor personal hygiene

Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes

The exact cause of the condition is not known, but there is some observed correlation between the condition and areas of the skin with high sebum production.

Some possible causes and aggravating factors for this skin problem include:

  • Malassezia. This fungus or yeast is found on the surface of the skin. It is not contagious.

  • Seasonal Changes. Flare ups are common in winter.

  • Neurological Problems. It has been observed that the condition is common in patients who have Parkinson’s disease.

  • Stress. Many patients report flare-ups of the condition during stressful life events. It is not yet well understood how the two correlate.

  • The condition is also commonly observed in patients who have HIV/AIDS.


  • Inflammation of the skin – characterized by redness

  • Areas or patchy scaling

  • Formation of thick crusts on the scalp

  • Dandruff flakes (yellow or white) on the scalp and other areas of the face (e.g. eyebrows, beards)

Aside from the scalp, patients with this condition can also develop inflamed, scaly, and greasy skin on other parts of the body including:

  • Naso-labial fold

  • Armpits

  • Chest

  • Back

  • Groin

Babies with the condition may also develop seborrheic dermatitis in their face and in the diaper area.


Here are some of the possible treatment options for people who have this condition.

  • Antifungal Medication. This can come in the form of shampoos, lotions, creams, soaps. In severe cases of seborrheic dermatitis, patients may also be prescribed oral antifungal medication

  • Corticosteroids. These help to reduce the inflammation and some of the discomfort

  • Soothing creams and lotions

  • Calcineurin Inhibitors. These work by suppressing the immune response. They are suggested as a last-resort medication because prolonged and generalized use can increase the risk skin cancer in patients.

  • Phototherapy

Seborrheic Dermatitis Natural Treatment

  • Aloe Vera – Helps sooth the skin

  • Coconut oil – also has a soothing effect on the skin

  • Tea Tree Oil – has antifungal effects

  • Avocado Extracts

  • Honey

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