Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that creates redness, inflammation and flaking on the scalp and other areas of the body that are vulnerable to excessive oil accumulation. Despite the location of these outbreaks along the folds of the body and under hair, there really are no certain seborrheic dermatitis causes. A number of hypotheses seem to correlate with higher instances of this chronic skin condition, but it’s not certain why these seem to trigger attacks.
Other conditions. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Neurologic conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, head injury, and stroke may be associated with seborrheic dermatitis.” Certain autoimmune disorders such as AIDS/HIV may also be linked to an increase in the incidence and severity of seborrheic dermatitis. While autoimmune disorders make sense in that they reduce the body’s ability to fight off infection and retain healthy cells, the effects of neurological conditions on the skin are fairly mysterious.
Lifestyle. The body reacts badly to stressful situations, and that includes the skin. If you work in a high-stress environment or are currently dealing with a traumatic life event, you may notice an increase in any number of skin disorders — including seborrheic dermatitis. In addition, if you work outside in extreme weather conditions, do not regularly cleanse your skin or use potentially irritating products on your skin, you may see an increase in the frequency and severity of seborrheic dermatitis outbreaks. Obesity also greatly increases your risk of skin conditions.
Fungus. The primary infectious culprit for seborrheic dermatitis is malassezia, a fungus that is commonly found on the skin’s surface. Though seborrheic dermatitis is not classified as an infection, it is believed that the condition could be the result of a reaction to contact with this fungus. Evidence suggest that seborrheic dermatitis could even have genetic factors that increase the skin’s sensitivity, though the condition could also run in families based on similar lifestyles and habits. Seborrheic dermatitis is not considered serious in most cases, but you should alert your doctor if it begins to interfere with daily life or if you know you’re immune compromised due to health issues or medications.