Learn how to make a difference between seborrheic dermatitis & atopic dermatitis
If you suffer from skin problems, it is essential that you can precisely determine your problem, so that you can select the appropriate remedies. Seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis are often confused because their common point is their propensity to generate skin irritations. However, their origins are quite different, as is their treatment.
Seborrheic dermatitis: definition, origin and treatment
Seborrheic dermatitis is manifested by fatty spots that appear on the skin in the hair, eyebrows and eyelids, as well as on the beard in men. These marks are covered with white and yellowish scales that form dandruff. This is called a milky crust, a bit like baby's milk crusts. It can also be red, itchy patches.
Seborrheic dermatitis generally develops in the scalp, near the forehead, behind the ears, on the back of the neck and also on the parts of the face where the production of sebum is important: the T zone. We notice that the phenomenon is accentuated in patients. people who sweat profusely. It also fluctuates with the weather and worsens during cold and dry seasons.
When not channeled, seborrheic dermatitis can degrade and recur with each trigger.
Who is affected by seborrheic dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis affects everyone, with a slight predilection for men. It can also affect some adolescents at the time of puberty. Fortunately, it only affects 5% of the population, but its discomfort is more or less measured depending on the case.
The causes of seborrheic dermatitis
The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is poorly determined. The appearance of the fungus is attributed to various origins: stress, fatigue, overall health, diet (often a deficiency in B vitamins), environment, or even obesity, which is an aggravating factor.
Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis
In order to eradicate the fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis, you need to regulate the excess sebum, which helps eliminate the inflammation. The use of antifungals precipitates its disappearance with its cleansing power. It is important to adopt a suitable routine to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Atopic dermatitis: definition, origin and treatment
Atopic dermatitis also causes redness and itching. They often tend to get worse overnight. The skin becomes dry. As a result, if you scratch yourself, the peeling is accelerated and you easily create additional scratches and inflammation of the skin.
Atopic dermatitis is manifested by reddish traces, primarily on the extremities (feet and hands), on the wrists and the folds of the elbows, on the neck and on the scalp. As the pathology progresses, the skin begins to thicken and the cracking increases. The spots start to spread, especially in the folds of the elbow, and create whitish scaly areas.
Atopic dermatitis fluctuates, with periods during which the plaques are exacerbated, followed by temporary disappearance.
Who is affected by atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is more common than seborrheic dermatitis, with 20% of the population affected. It is predominant in children and adolescents. It is also more annoying because its irritation is more continuous.
The causes of atopic dermatitis
Genetics are one of the main factors in atopic dermatitis. However, environmental factors, the quality of the more or less hard water, as well as eating habits play an important role. Skin dryness results from enzyme deficiencies. The skin no longer has the adequate immune response, which weakens the skin barrier and induces a very irritating itching.
Treatment of atopic dermatitis
Dry skin caused by atopic dermatitis requires abundant hydration. An emollient treatment softens inflamed tissue and restores suppleness to the skin.This external treatment can be supplemented by phototherapy. The non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation of light accelerates the return to equilibrium of the skin and the absorption of symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
What to remember
These two pathologies are the consequence of dysfunctions of the body.
In the case of seborrheic dermatitis, it is a fungus, a bad yeast that overgrows and that the body cannot control. The imbalance of the skin's microbiome is involved.
In the case of atopic dermatitis, it is the immune defenses of the skin that over-react. Its protective hydrolipidic film is failing and makes the skin more permeable. Common allergens (dust, mites, etc.) penetrate the epidermis more easily. Abnormally dry, dehydrated, irritated and uncomfortable skin is then characterized as atopic.
Their aspects are distinct. Seborrheic dermatitis, as the name suggests, is akin to excess sebum on the skin and scalp where oily dandruff is found. While atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry skin, often in very red patches, and dry dandruff (scales).
By making this distinction, you will understand that these dysfunctions are not treated in the same way. In one case, we must control the overproduction of sebum and reduce the proliferation of bad yeasts by rebalancing the microbiome and in the other we must nourish, hydrate deeply to restore the protective barrier of the skin.