What is Sebopsoriasis?
Sebopsoriasis is an overlap condition between seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.(1) It affects the scalp or the face and in order to understand the condition better, it is important to look at both the conditions of psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis separately.
Seborrheic Dermatitis: Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that afflicts the skin.(2) It is generally found affecting the oily areas of the body, such as the face or the scalp. The symptoms of this condition vary from person to person and depend on which part of the body is afflicted.
Psoriasis: While the cause of psoriasis remains unknown, it is believed to be an autoimmune response that leads to an overgrowth of new skin cells.(3) These new skin cells starts growing more rapidly than they normally would, which causes an excess buildup of skin cells on the surface of the skin.
What are the Symptoms of Sebopsoriasis?
Seborrheic Dermatitis Symptoms
The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include(1):
- Skin flakes or dandruff on the scalp, hair, beard, mustache, or even eyebrows.(5)
- Patches of oily skin covered in flaky yellow or white scales.
- Loss of hair.
- Extremely oily skin
- Scaly skin(5)
- Skin redness
- Burning sensation on the skin
Babies of 3 months and younger often get seborrheic dermatitis in the form of cradle cap.(6) The symptoms of this include crusty yellow or brownish scales on the scalp. It tends to go away on its own once they turn a year old, but sometimes it can return once they reach puberty. Sometimes in babies, seborrheic dermatitis may get mistakenly diagnosed as diaper rash.
The symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Dry skin
- Patches of red skin covered with thick, silvery scales(3)
- Dry, cracked skin – some bleeding may also occur(3)
- Thickened, ridged, or pitted nails
- Swollen and stiff joints (Psoriatic Arthritis).(4)
- Joint pains (Psoriatic Arthritis).(4)
- Itching or burning sensation on the skin(3)
Psoriasis patches can appear anywhere on the body, but they typically become visible first on the elbows and the knees. These patches will be itchy or sometimes even be tender to the touch. They may also feel sore.
What is the Treatment for Sebopsoriasis?
Treatment for sebopsoriasis involves treating both the conditions of seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. You will have to try out several treatments in order to determine, which treatment your skin responds to and which one suits you the best.
Some treatments for sebopsoriasis include:
- Medicated shampoo
- Topical treatments
- Coal tar shampoo(1)
- Ketoconazole (available under the brand names of Xolegel, Nizoral, Extina, and Kuric)(1)
- Ciclopirox (available under the brand names of CNL8, Penlac, Loprox, and Ciclodan)
- Sodium sulfacetamide (available under the brand names of Seb-Pev, Ovace, Mexar, and Klaron)
Treatment will also vary from person to person depending on the severity of the sebopsoriasis symptoms. The severity of the symptoms also helps categorize your sebopsoriasis into mild, moderate or severe. The treatment for each type of sebopsoriasis varies as described below:
Mild Sebopsoriasis: In mild sebopsoriasis, the rash does not have much of an impact on the quality of your life. The symptoms can be controlled with the use of some mild routine skin care procedures and products.
Moderate Sebopsoriasis: In moderate sebopsoriasis, you will not be able to control the skin rash to an acceptable degree with the use of mild skin care measures. The rash will cause substantial discomfort and will also have a prominent effect on the quality of your life. For treating moderate sebopsoriasis, you will need to turn to prescribed treatment from a doctor.
Severe Sebopsoriasis: Severe sebopsoriasis cannot be controlled with the use of topical treatment. This type of sebopsoriasis causes severe psychological and physical discomfort. Severe sebopsoriasis affects the patient’s quality of life drastically, often reducing a person to a life spent indoors and out of the sun.
Is Sebopsoriasis Curable?
Unfortunately, at present, there is no cure for sebopsoriasis, or for the conditions of seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis for that matter.(3) You can only consult your doctor for treatment and management of your symptoms. Your doctor will also help you figure out what are the triggers that cause your condition to flare up.
Many times you will come to observe that the symptoms become aggravated or amplified by an external cause, such as: obesity, stress, allergies and environmental conditions, such as weather.
Though sebopsoriasis is a chronic condition, it is possible to manage it by treating the symptoms with the use of a variety of treatments. Topical ointments, steroid creams, a variety of shampoos and medications can all help you manage sebopsoriasis.
If you feel you may be suffering from sebopsoriasis, then you need to visit your doctor at the earliest to get a confirmed diagnosis. Generally, the condition of sebopsoriasis cannot be diagnosed with any one specific test. Your doctor will need to physically examine the rash and then reach a diagnosis based entirely on your symptoms.
After the diagnosis, you will work together with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works best for you and allows you to manage your symptoms as effectively as possible. You will have to try and test a couple of treatment options before you finally find the one that suits you the best.
Döring, H.F., 1984. Treatment of sebopsoriasis. Dermatology, 169(Suppl. 1), pp.125-133.
Döring, H.F., 1985. Therapy and etiology of sebopsoriasis. Zeitschrift fur Hautkrankheiten, 60(24), pp.1940-2.
Faergemann, J., 1985. Treatment of Sebopsoriasis with Itraconazole: behandlung von Sebopsoriasis mit Itraconazole. Mycoses, 28(12), pp.612-618.
Didriksen, E. and Høy, G., 2012. Pharmaceutical composition for dermal use to treat psoriasis, sebopsoriasis or seborrhoic dermatitis comprising a Vitamin D and a corticosteroid. EP2450043.
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