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Seborrheic dermatitis most commonly occurs on the scalp, nasal folds, external ear canal, and on hair bearing areas of the face.

Specific reasons for why lesions occur in these specific areas is not completely clear. This study shows that the relatively high temperature of these areas may be a potential explanation.

Approach

  • Thermal imagery of the skin of 25 healthy individuals (without any sign of seborrheic dermatitis) was obtained for analysis

Outcome

  • Clear skin temperature patterns were apparent, with some variation between individuals
  • Nasal folds, scalp, external ear canal, and bearded areas were almost always warmer then the rest
  • Cheeks, nose, earlobes and chin were consistently cooler then other areas

Key Points

  • Warmer areas of the face are the exact areas most commonly affected by seborrheic dermatitis
  • Skin temperature may play a significant role in seborrheic dermatitis progression

Discussion

  • Higher temperatures of the skin may be a good indication of the sebaceous gland density
  • The individuals examined had healthy skin, it may be interesting to examine the thermal imagery of seborrheic dermatitis affected individuals
  • Increased skin temperature may be favorable for microbial and fungal activity

Summary

The high temperature of specific areas of facial skin may play a role in the progression of seborrheic dermatitis. However, individuals examined did not actually have seborrheic dermatitis and this study is simply a starting point for further exploration.

Research Paper Details

May 4th, 2000
E K Hale, J C Bystryn
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