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Seborrheic Dermatitis

Can Seborrheic Dermatitis Cause Hair Loss?

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One of the most gruesome scalp conditions you can develop is seborrheic dermatitis. Unlike traditional dandruff, this ailment causes thick patches to appear on your head that are flaky and greasy. The patches crumble onto your clothes and seem impossible to get rid of, and these red areas itch profusely.

Seborrheic dermatitis causes dandruff, but this is a more severe form than just a few flakes during the dry season. An overproduction of sebum in the skin causes scalp dermatitis.

Sebum is an oily secretion that’s made by your sebaceous glands. Though finding the exact cause of this condition has been troublesome, experts believe that it may have something to do with immune system malfunctions and genetic links.

While having dermatitis on your scalp won’t directly cause hair loss, constant scratching can cause damage to the hair follicles themselves, which will result in injury. Malassezia is an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp, and this yeast is what causes those large patches of dandruff that seem to be stuck on you like glue.

All the extra sebum won’t sit by idly, as it triggers yeast to grow.

Since there are tiny amounts of yeast already naturally on your skin, the overproduction of it can cause real problems as it will grow out of control.

The scalp becomes inflamed and large chunks build up on it, which makes it challenging for your hair follicles to remain healthy and grow. Is this condition reversible or treatable, and how can you maintain it and keep your hair from falling out?

Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis

The good news is that you can treat seborrheic dermatitis and prevent severe cases where you experience hair loss. First, though it pains you and you feel the urge to scratch, you must resist. Remember, it’s the scratching that’s going to cause damage to the follicles that result in hair loss.

You can treat this condition in numerous ways, and you may need to use a few methods to find complete relief. Most folks must use a combination of things to get the best results. Many over-the-counter products might bring you the comfort you desire, but if these methods don’t work well, you need to ask your doctor for assistance.

Plenty of prescription medications can help you eliminate the dreadful, thick patches on your scalp. Here are some of the best treatments to try:

Over the Counter Help

When looking for over-the-counter treatments, most come from a medicated shampoo. Since the problem causing you the most trouble is dandruff, you should look for products geared toward curing this flaky skin. You can start with the basic inexpensive shampoos, but the chances are these won’t give severe cases much relief.

You want to look for products that have things like zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, or ketoconazole in them. Those who only have mild seborrheic dermatitis may see immediate results. However, if your case is more severe, it may take weeks of daily use to find relief.

Be cautious that these shampoos will dry out the hair follicle and cause damage if used too much, so you need to pair them with a good conditioner to keep the shaft moisturized. Additionally, if you have color-treated hair, the chemical selenium sulfide will strip the color from your locks, so you want to avoid any shampoo or treatment that has this in it.

Natural Remedies

If you’re looking for a more natural option to combat your seborrheic dermatitis, you might try things that are natural antifungals. Yeast can be treated naturally for some people, though the severity will dictate the help you need.

Many people find that tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar can bring them the relief they need. Since these products have antifungal properties, they can help eliminate yeast and relieve itching.


You need a prescription medication if you’ve spent your time and money on natural products and over-the-counter shampoos and still find no relief. Remember, the longer you let this condition continue, the more inflamed your scalp will become. You can see hair loss at the severe stages when itching is unavoidable.

Your doctor might prescribe shampoos, corticosteroids, or ointments to help bring relief. These medications will calm inflammation and prevent the white, patchy buildup that can lead to hair loss. In severe cases, your physician might turn to products that have things like ketoconazole in them.

The only drawback of using more extreme measures is that it can cause the skin to thin a bit, as well as some other side effects.

Getting Assistance with Hair Loss

Will your hair grow back after severe seborrheic dermatitis? In most cases, the hair will return when the overgrowth of fungus is under control. However, there are always instances where damage to the hair shaft can be permanent, though this is an unlikely scenario.

If you have noticeable hair loss after a bout with seborrheic dermatitis or other condition, let us help. Dr. Arthur Zacco is an expert at hair transplantation surgery, and the team here at AZ Hair Restoration wants to help you look and feel your best.