Demodex Based Issues

Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: Differences and Similarities

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Things there are no solution to: Inflation, bureaucracy & dandruff.
“Malcolm Forbes”

If you have either dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis (SD), you probably agree with Malcolm!

Sometimes treatment of scalings is really frustrating. After each remedy, you hope to get rid of these ugly embarrassing flakes forever, but after a while, they show up again without an invitation!

Dandruff and Seborrheic dermatitis appear as a continuous spectrum of the same skin issue with various severity and location. Although this is not always the case, dandruff is often a mild demonstration of seborrheic dermatitis.

However, if you have been suffering from recurrent scalp or face scaling, this article is probably what you need.

The concept, differences, and similarities of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, as well as the ways to treat them, is a part of your prospect in the current article. Furthermore, we will tell you about the possible role of Demodex in these two skin conditions.

Conception: Dandruff vs. Seborrheic Dermatitis​


Dandruff or “seborrheic pityriasis capitis” is characterized by scaling the scalp. It is accompanied by itching and sometimes redness and itching. This complication is limited to the scalp and is not usually accompanied by visible inflammation.

Seborrheic Dermatitis:

On the other hand, seborrheic dermatitis is associated with red, scaly lesions of the skin accompanied by the production of seborrhea (oily or dry white scales) and itching. In addition to the scalp, SD can affect oily parts of the body such as the face, parts of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, and chest, and can also be associated with apparent erythema. Infestation of seborrheic dermatitis is usually more severe than dandruff.

Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis both affect the seborrheic areas of the skin.  The scales of both conditions can be oily or dry, and their color can be white or yellow.

The basis of these two dermatological conditions is similar: they have similar causes and treatments, and as you see both have the common symptoms of scaling and itching. However, they differ in involving area and intensity.


Dandruff or Seborrheic Dermatitis? Which One Do You Struggle With?

As mentioned, these two skin issues are the continuous spectrum of a single problem. Dandruff is usually a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis that affects only the scalp.

However, if you insist on separating the two, look at your skin lesions. If it is limited to your scalp and is not inflamed, what you are dealing with is dandruff. On the other hand, if a part of your face or body is also inflamed and scaly, you probably have got seborrheic dermatitis.

Do not worry, though.  These two issues are the most common skin problems worldwide. About half of people struggle with these complications without knowing what the problem is; And you are one of the lucky ones that are getting familiar with what you are facing. 

I remember the first time I realized that the cause of my recurring skin problems is seborrheic dermatitis. I felt such a relief because I knew exactly what I was facing and what I had to do, it has long been said:

Knowledge is power

So pull your socks up to increase your power by learning more about seborrheic dermatitis:

Who Is Most at Risk for SD and Dandruff?

The risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis peaks at three stages of life:

  • The first three months
  • Around puberty
  • 40 to 60 year of old in adulthood

SD is called the cradle cap up to three months of age and affects about 40% of babies at their scalp and face. However, newborns’ SD is usually not a concern and resolves on its own. However, seborrheic dermatitis affects about 1 to 3% of adults, mostly men, and is usually chronic and recurring.

SD is also more common in the following situations:

  • Immune-compromised patients such as HIV/AIDS patients (30-83%)
  • organ transplant recipients
  • Lymphoma
  • Neurological disorders and psychiatric diseases such as parkinsonism, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, facial nerve palsy, spinal cord injury, and mood depression
  • Chronic alcoholic pancreatitis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Down syndrome

Compared to seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff affects about half of the people worldwide. It starts at puberty and rises up to reach its peak around the age of 20. people over the age of fifty are less unlikely to develop  dandruff.



What Conditions May Have Similar Symptoms?

The manifestations of some diseases, especially those related to skin and hair issues, are pretty similar. A dermatologist once told me that no exam in the world is more challenging than a dermatologist’s board because they have to keep in mind and differentiate a massive amount of similar conditions with the same sign and symptoms. That’s why you should never try to diagnose your health issues by yourself. Increase your general knowledge but let your doctor decide about the condition and suitable treatment. 

The following disorders are those that may have the same symptoms as seborrheic dermatitis:


  • Psoriasis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Tinea capitis
  •  Rosacea
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Pemphigus foliaceus
  • Pityriasis rosea


Besides, some medications can also cause SD-like symptoms:

  • Griseofulvin
  •  Ethionamide
  •  Buspirone
  •  Haloperidol
  •  Chlorpromazine
  •  IL-2, interferon-α
  •  Methyldopa
  •  Psoralens


Finally, deficiencies in some nutrients, such as pyridoxine, zinc, niacin, and riboflavin, can also cause symptoms similar to seborrheic dermatitis.


Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff

Although many people have these problems, their main cause is still unclear. It seems that various factors play a role in creating these clinical conditions including fungal colonization, sebaceous gland activity, Individual susceptibility, and maybe Demodex mites.

Fungal Colonization and Demodex Mites

Although we do not see, our skin is home to countless small creatures; bacteria, fungi, mites, and even viruses. Sometimes the balance of this miniature ecosystem is upset, which can lead to clinical problems.

One of our skin inhabitants that seems to be involved in the pathology of seborrheic dermatitis is a fungus called Malassezia. It is a lipophilic fungus and is most commonly found in oily areas of the skin – exactly where seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff occur. Overgrowth of this fungus is associated with SD and dandruff. On the other hand, Malassezia secretes lipase that breaks down skin lipids and produces fatty acids such as oleic acid, which play an influential role in causing and exacerbating the symptoms of SD. Malassezia can also cause immune system responses and trigger symptoms associated with these problems.

Another inhabitant of our skin – probably one of the oldest ones- is a microscopic mite called Demodex. This mite carries a large number of harmful bacteria and fungi inside its body, which are spread on the surface of the skin when it dies. One of these fungi is Malassezia.

Interestingly, Demodex mite, the same as Malassezia, is fat-loving. That’s why they both gather in the same place: sebaceous glands-affluent areas, the same sites of common skin complications.

According to the above, in recent years, a hypothesis has arised about the role of Demodex mites in the pathology of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff; Primarily since some studies have found an association between the Demodex population and SD severity. However, more studies we need to reach a definitive conclusion.

Sebaceous Gland Activity

Malaysia’s fungus feeds on fat, so it seems reasonable to correlate with the sebaceous glands’ activity. In support of this hypothesis, various studies show that seborrheic dermatitis is more common during periods of life when the sebaceous glands are most active:

  • After birth
  • Adolescence
  • A number of adult years with longer duration and intensity in men

However, not all people with active oil glands develop seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. On the other hand, not all individuals with SD and dandruff necessarily have active sebaceous glands.

In addition to the level of sebum production, skin oil composition is another issue, which it affects likely through a favorable milieu for Malassezia growth.

In short, if you have oily skin, you are more likely to develop dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

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Individual Susceptibility

It seems that some individuals are susceptible  to developing SD and dandruff. For example, some people seem to be genetically predisposed. Besides, neurological factors and stress are other factors that affect the occurrence and severity of seborrheic dermatitis. If you have experienced SD (just as I have do,) you have probably noticed that your symptoms get worse when you are under stress.

On the other hand, people’s immune systems may act in different ways. Some may have an abnormally severe reaction to Malassezia fungi, followed by a cascade of inflammatory responses, while others may don’t experience any sign.

In short, many factors are involved in the development of seborrheic dermatitis. Overgrowth of Malassezia and Demodex mite, host skin condition, immune system, and sebaceous gland overactivity are part of this complex network.

Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff Treatment

Prescribed medications usually focus on relieving the symptoms. As many seborrheic dermatitis symptoms are because of fungi’ overgrowth, such as itching, irritability, and inflammation, antifungal medications are the first line of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff remedy.

Other widely used therapies are:

  • Coal tar
  •  Lithium gluconate/ succinate
  •  Phototherapy.
  • Immune modulators such as topical metronidazole and calcineurin inhibitors.
  • Alternative therapies, such as tea tree oil. (This is where Ungex products come in handy)

PROCUTiN Helps You with Your Flaky Skin.

PROCUTiN is a unique product from OZiDEX company that is particularly designed and formulated to kill  Demodex mites.

As mentioned, studies show that Demodex is involved in the pathophysiology of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis:

  • They carry harmful fungi that cause seborrheic dermatitis.
  • They carry bacteria and other harmful substances that can cause local reactions such as itching, inflammation, and systemic.
  • Demodex mites secrete inflammatory agents that trigger the immune system and cause inflammation.

Besides, Demodex mites have short octopuses. When many Demodex mites are on the move,  scratching their claws on the skin causes micro scars and lesions on the skin, accompanied by dandruff, inflammation, and itching.

PROCUTiN both directly improves the symptoms of SD and dandruff by killing Demodex and indirectly helps treat and prevent recurrence by reducing the Malassezia fungus population.

Above all, PROCUTiN has antifungal and antibacterial compounds that can kill fungi and harmful bacteria involved in SD and dandruff pathology. 

The product helps you to reclaim healthy, clear, radiant skin without itching and redness.


Click on the link to buy PROCUTiN.

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