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Seborrheic Dermatitis

Whether you call it “cradle cap” on a baby or “snow on the mountain” on an adult, dandruff is not cute. When it affects other parts of the face and body, it is doubly disturbing. It could be a sign of seborrheic dermatitis. Dr. M. Christine Lee has effective treatments for this condition, common across the Walnut Creek, CA area (and the globe).

Seborrheic Dermatitis, Walnut Creek

What is seborrheic dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder in the form of a stubborn rash. It presents as reddish patches that may look swollen and greasy. In some cases, the disease causes itching. The rash produces a pale yellowish or white crust at the surface that scales off, looking like dandruff. It may eventually clear on its own, or seborrheic dermatitis can be a lifelong chronic problem.

It is not contagious or generally a threat to health. However, seborrheic dermatitis may be linked to other illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease or HIV. Because symptoms mimic other skin conditions, it is easily misdiagnosed by the patient or even the family physician. Resulting improper treatment is ineffective and may irritate skin, worsening seborrheic dermatitis.

The condition tends to develop in areas where sebaceous glands are prolific – such as the scalp. It can also appear on:

  • Chest
  • Ears
  • Eyebrows
  • Eyelids
  • Face
  • Sides of the nose

Seborrheic dermatitis causes are net yet fully understood by medical researchers. However, despite its unsightly appearance (often more noticeable on dark skin), seborrheic dermatitis is not the result of poor personal hygiene. Nor is it an allergic reaction. Rather, seborrheic dermatitis seems to be triggered by a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. Individuals with a weakened immune system, some types of cancer, or who have had a stressful medical event are at higher risk. The presence of Malassezia, a yeast fungus that thrives in oily secretions, also appears to play a role.

What patients in Walnut Creek, CA need to know about seborrheic dermatitis

The most important thing to remember is, when seborrheic dermatitis symptoms first appear, a visit to The Skin and Laser Treatment Institute can bring tremendous peace of mind. Dr. Lee is experienced in many seborrheic dermatitis treatment modalities.

She begins with a biopsy of skin cells to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms – psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and others. Though called a biopsy, this is a small, painless scrape sample.

Antifungal shampoo used alternately with a regular, non-prescription products, may be recommended for scalp treatment. Dr. Lee has a wide variety of steroidal and calcineurin inhibitor creams and ointments available to treat scalp and other areas. A seborrheic dermatitis face cure, however, generally involves antifungal gel which carries less risk of aesthetic side effects.

Intense pulsed light or IPL, a treatment like laser therapy but involving broad spectrum light, can also be beneficial for seborrheic dermatitis on the face – particularly when it presents with rosacea. Skin can usually be cleared with a series of three to six sessions.

Dr. Lee also helps you identify lifestyle factors that may trigger outbreaks. She guides you toward a daily program of scalp and skin care to keep the complexion clear of rash and scaling skin.

Feel confident to show your skin off, with effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. Call The Skin and Laser Treatment Institute in Walnut Creek, CA at (925) 528-0117 to book an appointment with Dr. Lee.

Dr. Christine Lee

Dr. Min-Wei Christine Lee

Dr. Christine Lee is a Board-certified Dermatologist with sub-specialties in laser surgery, cosmetic surgery, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, facial plastic reconstruction, and dermatologic surgery. She leads The Skin And Laser Treatment Institute as its Director and serves as Clinical Faculty for the Department of Dermatologic Surgery at the University of California San Francisco. Patients travel from across the globe for her expertise, and Dr. Lee has trained thousands of stateside and international doctors.

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