This condition occurs in approximately twenty per cent of the population and produces a red, scaly rash, usually around the nose, eyebrows, ears and scalp margin. It is caused by excessive oil production rather than dry skin, the oil causing an irritant skin reaction.
Many people think seborrhoeic dermatitis is due to dry skin and so apply moisturizers. Moisturizers, however, only make the condition worse. The body is actually trying to reject the inflamed skin, causing the redness and peeling, so by applying moisturizers you are ‘gluing’ on this unwanted skin.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis is largely hereditary, but is made worse by stress and alcohol. It is very easily and safely treated using a combination of topical cortisone and anti-fungal creams as well as tar-based shampoos such as Ionil T, Polytar and T/Gel.
As the name suggests, this condition produces dermatitis in rings, but is really just a form of eczema. It is often confused with ringworm and treated with various anti-fungal creams. These make the condition dramatically worse. Discoid dermatitis is treated in much the same way as endogenous dermatitis in adults.
With age, the skin becomes drier, gradually losing its protective coating. It therefore becomes more prone to irritation, especially if it is washed excessively or is exposed to excessive heat. Asteatotic or dry skin dermatitis is very simply avoided. All people over the age of sixty should use moisturizing bath oil in the shower or bath. Soaps should be kept to minimum and only moisturizing soaps used. After bathing a moisturizing cream should be applied. Harsh antiseptics and cleansers should also be avoided in elderly skin.
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