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Seborrhoeic eczema

Seborrhoeic Eczema: understanding, managing, and treating

Seborrhoeic eczema is distinguished by redness and patches of scale on the scalp, usually near the ears and hairline as the oil glands become sensitive to the levels of male hormones or androgens in the system. Individuals have a genetically determined predisposition towards this condition and outbreaks can be triggered by stress at different ages in the sufferer.

What is Seborrhoeic eczema?

Seborrhoeic eczema is a chronic form of eczema that occurs in areas of the body with a high density of sebaceous (oil) glands. It is characterised by:

  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Greasy scales or flakes
  • Itching and discomfort
  • Dandruff on the scalp

Typical causes and risk factors

The exact cause of seborrhoeic eczema is not fully understood, but several factors contribute to its development:
  • Genetic Predisposition: Family history of eczema or other skin conditions.
  • Malassezia Yeast: Overgrowth of this yeast on the skin can trigger an inflammatory response.
  • Oily Skin: Excessive sebum production can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Environmental Factors: Cold, dry weather can worsen the condition.
  • Stress and Hormonal Changes: Can trigger or exacerbate symptoms.
  • Certain Medical Conditions: Neurological and psychiatric conditions like Parkinson’s disease and depression.


Common symptoms of seborrhoeic eczema include:

  • Scaly patches on the scalp, face, or other oily areas
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Itching and discomfort
  • Flaky skin that may be yellowish or white

Seborrhoeic Eczema before/after images

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