If left untreated, the scale can become thick, yellow, and greasy, and occasionally, secondary bacterial infection can occur. In severe cases, if seborrheic dermatitis is not treated, a secondary bacterial infection may occur. This may require antibiotics for treatment. If you have more severe seborrheic dermatitis, you may experience erythematous plaques, which are raised, solid patches of thickly crusted skin on and around the scalp.
If left untreated, plaque could thicken and turn yellow and greasy, and secondary infection could occur. Seborrheic dermatitis can go away without treatment. Or you may need many repeated treatments before your symptoms go away. Daily cleansing with mild soap and shampoo can help reduce oil and dead skin buildup.
Any hair loss that occurs as a result of seborrheic dermatitis is usually reversible. Although seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp does not tend to cause hair loss, the American Hair Loss Association notes that it can sometimes lead to temporary hair loss. If you’re a teenager or an adult with seborrheic dermatitis, you might be more likely if you have higher-than-normal androgen levels, a higher level of skin lipids, or if you have overgrowth of yeast that is always present on the surface of your skin. You don’t usually need to see a health care provider for mild seborrheic dermatitis, but it’s worth getting checked for severe or persistent symptoms.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic condition, so you may have to deal with it on some level for the rest of your life. In adolescents and adults, seborrheic dermatitis usually does not go away on its own without treatment. Certain shampoos contain specific formulas to help treat seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults. Try to shower soon after you exercise so that excess sweat and oil don’t have a chance to build up and potentially contribute to your seborrheic dermatitis.
Although treatment does not completely cure seborrheic dermatitis, it may help relieve some of the symptoms. Medicinal shampoos, lotions, foams or gels can help eliminate fungi that may be contributing to seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis also occurs frequently in infants and is called cradle cap, which causes redness and greasy, yellow or brown scales on the head, face, diaper area, or other parts of the body. It is easy to diagnose seborrheic dermatitis if scaly, non-itchy patches of skin appear on the body parts typical of the condition.
Seborrheic dermatitis of the melolabial fold characterized by pink erythema and fine scaling in a 68-year-old Caucasian male. Seborrheic dermatitis can also affect fatty areas of the body, such as the face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, and chest. In addition to the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can occur on the sides of the nose, in and between the eyebrows, and in other oil-rich areas. The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are similar to those of other skin conditions, including rosacea and psoriasis.
This type of dermatitis causes itchy red spots and greasy scales on the skin, along with white or yellow scales crusted or dusty on the scalp.