Seborrheic Dermatitis Acne: Characteristics, Causes, Symptoms and Best Breatments

The percentage of people who suffer from acne is much higher than we think, since the triggers of this problem are so many, and if someone is saved from hormonal acne, they may not be saved from acne caused by stress.

This is why this condition should not affect you, you are not the only person who has acne , there are those who have cosmetic acne, it is not even caused by some internal factor, but external, there are also those who have comedonic acne, and other seborrheic acne.

I want to talk to you about everything related to seborrheic acne so that you know which one you suffer from at the moment and know how to combat or prevent it , it is important to know everything about this type of acne, its characteristics, its causes , its treatments.

What is seborrheic acne?

To know what seborrheic acne is, you must first know what seborrhea is, because it is from there that the name of this type of acne derives, however , seborrhea is an alteration produced in several areas of the skin where the greater number of sebaceous glands such as: on the face, the scalp, and the part of the chest and back.

Seborrhea is an increase that the sebaceous glands have of the secretion called sebum that is to keep the skin moisturized and flexible, but when there is an imbalance in the hydrolipidic layer of the skin, that is, more sebum is produced than water, the pores and lead to seborrheic acne.

That said, we can move on to what is seborrheic acne, this is a skin disease that occurs in areas where there are more sebaceous glands , when sebum production becomes unbalanced and increases, pores are clogged and comedones, papules form and pustules in the affected area.

Seborrheic acne can affect anyone, of any age, and can be made worse by humidity, sun, stress, or products and medications that increase the production of sebaceous secretion.

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Seborrheic acne, how is it detected? How to combat it?

When seborrheic acne develops , the appearance of a comedo is observed in several areas of the face and the upper part of the chest , it is a lesion that accumulates sebum and looks somewhat bulky on the surface of the skin.

These comedones can be distinguished into two types, the open ones that are blackheads and the closed ones that are whiteheads, you will also have other manifestations such as pimples, papules, pustules or nodules.

To detect seborrheic acne you must attend to these appearances on your skin , mainly on the face, also on the chest, back and shoulders; If you see that your skin is porous, you may have seborrheic acne.

To combat it, you must inhibit the production of sebum to avoid clogging the pore and in this way reduce the multiplication of bacteria that are trapped when the pore is blocked.

This is achieved by maintaining a daily cleaning of the skin with warm water and a neutral soap, you can use products for your specific skin type but try not to be oily, you need to keep your face hydrated, balance the water with the amount of fat, because an oily complexion can be dehydrated.

Characteristics of seborrheic acne

Seborrheic acne is characterized by being a disease that mainly affects the young population, however seborrheic acne outbreaks can also appear in adults, although after 40 years it already begins to decline slowly and disappear completely in old age.

The triggers of seborrheic acne can be hormonal , a hormonal change generates an increase in secretion production in the sebaceous glands, and this causes sebum to remain trapped inside the pore and accumulate together with dead cells and bacteria.

It tends to appear more frequently in people who have oily or combination skin , and also in those women who use a lot of makeup and all kinds of beauty products, the increase in sebum plus these applied products also quickly clog pores.

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Causes of seborrheic acne

The causes of seborrheic acne are several, however the main one is usually hormonal , taking into account that the production of sebum occurs from birth through the years; and as hormones increase in each stage of life, starting with puberty, this sebum increases and therefore the pores are occluded and cause seborrheic acne.

Menstruation, pregnancy and menopause in women also cause a hormonal change that is reflected in the skin by the secretion of the sebaceous glands, since the increase in certain hormones increases the production of sebum and that is why women in these atapan have seborrheic acne.

Another cause is food , both in men, women or adolescents, poor eating habits cause the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, as well as stress and environmental factors such as sun, humidity and dust in the air.

Symptoms of seborrheic acne

The symptoms of seborrheic acne are as follows:

  • Skin lesions that manifest as comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules.
  • Redness in the part affected by pimples outbreaks.
  • Greasy and oily areas.
  • Itching and pain in some closed comedones.
  • In case of infection of some nodules , fever and general malaise may occur .

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Seborrheic acne pathologies

Seborrheic acne is a frequent pathology in young people and adults, it is a skin disorder that presents as acne vulgaris, and has other pathologies such as: folliculitis, male androgenic alopecia, seborrheic dermatitis; All these diseases are caused by the same reason and it is seborrhea.

When you have seborrheic acne, not only do you have to endure the appearance of these unwanted pimples, but they can also cause great damage in your psychosocial life , and if they complicate or infect the scars they are practically forever.

Areas of the body where seborrheic acne can appear

Seborrheic acne usually appears on the face: forehead, hairline, around the eyebrows, and also on the cheeks, nose, jaw, and chin . They can also appear on the back and shoulders , even on the chest.

In these parts of the body where the seborrheic acne that I just mentioned appears, they usually sprout because there are many more sebaceous glands , and therefore the production of sebum when it is increased causes this acne just when the pore does not allow the exit to the seborrheic discharge.

Seborrheic acne levels

Seborrheic acne has various levels of intensity and severity; For each level there is a different treatment, for this reason it is convenient that you know what the mild, moderate and severe level of seborrheic acne refers to and in this way you can use the appropriate treatment for you.


When seborrheic acne is mild or grade 1, the lesions are not usually inflammatory, but are open and closed comedones , if it is possible that some other papules and pustules appear but these are not numerous, generally there are less than 10 inflammatory outbreaks.


Moderate or grade 2 seborrheic acne is characterized by the appearance of more than 20 inflammatory acne lesions, between 10 and 40 comedones, pustules and papules , not only on the face but also the trunk can be affected.


Having severe acne is anyone’s nightmare because this level of seborrheic acne also called grade 3 has more than 21 inflammatory lesions, that is, you can have from 21 to 100 papules and pustules and the risk of infection is high , which is why it is Very often they turn into nodules and cysts and without proper care these can leave marks.

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Women and seborrheic acne

Although you think that seborrheic acne can only be associated with adolescence, the unfortunate news is that this pathology does not pay attention to the sex or age of the people, however in women there is a much higher risk of having seborrheic acne due to the multiple hormonal changes that you must go through since puberty.

From the age of 25, the manifestations of seborrheic acne in women are common, and the good news is that its frequency also decreases with age, if at 20 you have some outbreaks due to stress, the menstrual cycle, or another factor, such as At 30 it will no longer be the same, these outbreaks will be milder, and at 40 even milder to the point that they will no longer be noticeable, after menopause it is rare that you have seborrheic acne.

Do contraceptives cause seborrheic acne?

Unfortunately, some contraceptive pills can have adverse effects , and depending on the organism each woman these will vary, some may present acne breakouts because contraceptives contain the hormone progestin and this is the culprit of the increase in skin fat that causes the seborrheic acne.

Although on the other hand there are contraceptives that cure it instead of causing seborrheic acne, they have an anti-acne effect that relieves breakouts when you start to protect yourself with this contraceptive method, your skin is favored. It will depend on both the contraceptive pill and the body of each woman.

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Do men suffer from seborrheic acne?

Although women after puberty go through several stages that produce hormonal changes such as menstrual cycles, pregnancy, lactation, even menopause, in men this seborrheic acne is common because one of the hormones that causes the glands to sebaceous produce greater amount of sebum, it is the male hormone.

Seborrheic acne in men starts out mild but quickly becomes severe because few men take proper care of this type of acne , and that is why scars are aggravated to the point of being common, especially in adult men. because they are scars that are difficult to heal.

In adolescents, is seborrheic acne normal?

Seborrheic acne is responsible for low self-esteem in adolescents, and sometimes causes social isolation because young people at this stage are going through multiple hormonal changes due to puberty and begin to define their personality.

This change in puberty causes increases in hormones and these in turn in the production of sebum, it is perfectly normal to have seborrheic acne in adolescence, if there is keratinization, the pore is clogged and inside it will harbor bacteria, fat, and dead cells . that cause inflammation in the skin and lead to comedones, papules, pustules and nodules.

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Pregnancy and seborrheic acne

At this stage, not all pregnant women suffer from seborrheic acne, but if they do have outbreaks it is due to the hormonal imbalance that occurs during pregnancy, the sebaceous glands cause an excess of fat in order to prepare the mother’s body for the change of your skin, the growth of your belly and many other changes that occur internally.

This increase in the production of sebum is simply due to what has already been mentioned, due to the hormonal disorder that a pregnant woman goes through, and gives rise to those unwanted comedones and papules at any stage of a woman.

That is why you must take good care of your diet, and also use appropriate products for your skin type, and of course you must stay well hydrated.

Babies have seborrheic acne, why?

Many people call it seborrheic baby acne but it is actually a common seborrheic dermatitis on the skin of a newborn , this skin discomfort occurs when the sebaceous glands become inflamed and make something like scales appear on the baby’s skin.

This seborrheic dermatitis occurs because breast milk stimulates the baby’s sebaceous glands and as a consequence, pimples with white spots and a scaly appearance appear on the baby’s face and scalp.

During breastfeeding, can you suffer from seborrheic acne?

Once you become a mother, a very important part comes for you and your baby, and that is feeding him very close to your heart, giving him your breast milk will create an unbreakable bond with your baby.

During lactation the hormones will be returning to normal, and during this process your skin will reflect it, add to that staying up late, caring for the baby day and night , not having time for anything other than caring for your baby, maybe even forget to stay hydrated, which is essential in breastfeeding.

Worries, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding and hormones returning to normal all contribute to breakouts of seborrheic acne which can be mild, but in some cases if you neglect you could have severe seborrheic acne while breastfeeding.

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Menopause and seborrheic acne

This is another stage that a woman lives in her life, when you enter menopause, hormonal levels change, estrogen levels drop and constant androgen levels cause the appearance of seborrheic acne.

Menopausal women begin to develop seborrheic acne because testosterone (a type of androgen) increases and the skin begins to produce more sebum, causing the pores to become blocked; over the years skin cells regenerate more slowly and pores become clogged more easily.

This is the reason why an adult woman in the menopausal stage can present seborrheic acne, also it must be taken into account that beauty products can contribute to make them worse and not improve them, so be careful if you try to hide them with makeup.

Stress can cause seborrheic acne. How? Why?

When you find yourself going through difficult situations, or when you demand more of your body than it can give, then you are going to have seborrheic acne, it is a fact that stress causes seborrheic acne.

The reason is because when your body is under stress it begins to produce hormonal steroids such as cortisol, and testosterone, these cause an increase in the production of sebaceous secretion and therefore this increase clogs the pores and in these stressful moments it begins to appear. seborrheic acne.

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How does isotretinoin help against seborrheic acne?

This oral therapy directly attacks acne and facial seborrhea, it has degreasing effects that also improves scalp seborrhea ; so isotretinoin fights seborrheic acne with total effectiveness.

Isotretinoin controls increases in oil production from the sebaceous glands , and you may experience dry skin during treatment and on the lips, but it is normal you can use oatmeal and aloe vera gel to relieve them.

Menstruation and seborrheic acne

In each menstrual cycle it is certain that you suffer from one of the many premenstrual symptoms, and seborrheic acne is one of them, not everyone has an acne breakout but yes, most women.

This is because the body increases the production of hormones and this directly stimulates the sebaceous glands before the arrival of menstruation, so chemical reactions and excess sebum cause seborrheic acne.

What you should do if you have seborrheic acne every time your menstrual period is going to drop is that between three and seven days before arrival, intensify the daily skin care regimen , thus reducing the excess sebum produced and the pores not they will clog.

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How does cortisone help against seborrheic acne?

Cortisone is a hormone that the body releases in response to inflammation, and according to specialists it is widely used to help fight inflammation caused by seborrheic acne.

To treat this skin disease, cortisone is injected directly into the affected area. It can cause some temporary adverse reactions such as hypopigmentation and a small indentation at the injection site but disappears with time.

Cystic acne vs. seborrheic acne

Cystic acne originates when acne is infected at a moderate level, it is formed by the breakage of the pore plug and what accumulated there (fat, dead cells and bacteria) form nodules , these expand under the skin and they can leave serious scars.

While seborrheic acne is caused by excess seborrhea that blocks the exit of the pores and everything that is clogged causes it to become open and closed comedones, and papules and pustules.

Hormonal acne vs seborrheic acne

Hormonal acne begins in adolescence and it is because a change in male hormones such as testosterone and cortisol begins, these hormones cause you to secrete more oil than usual and this leads to all types of acne.

Therefore, seborrheic acne can appear just like hormonal acne, both appear for the same cause, although seborrheic acne can also be externally originated, using greasy and inappropriate beauty products.

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What to eat if you have seborrheic acne

Women and men who have seborrheic acne must take great care of their skin, not only externally but also with what they consume, that is, diet plays a fundamental role in skin care to avoid seborrheic acne.

The diet that you should eat if you have seborrheic acne has to be rich in antioxidants, your diet should have daily portions of carrots and peppers to mention a couple of examples of vegetables, you should also eat citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.

Vitamin C helps you fight viruses and bacteria, and vitamin A keeps your skin healthy, always try to consume vegetables and fruits that contain vitamin A and vitamin C, and you will see how your seborrheic acne improves.

Seborrheic acne, does it have a cure? What is it?

Like all skin diseases, seborrheic acne has a cure, and even more prevention, because if you avoid many of the factors that trigger seborrheic acne breakouts, you will only have to deal with a couple of pimples.

Taking this into account, the triggers are the following: stress, hormonal changes, environmental pollution (dust and dirt), beauty products, and food, among other things.

To cure seborrheic acne you must mainly maintain good facial hygiene and in areas where more pimples appear, by washing your face with neutral soap twice a day you will be eliminating impurities and dirt that causes environmental pollution.

You should also avoid stressful episodes , lead a quiet life, make an effort with that even if it is difficult because anything can cause stress, just try to relax in those moments and if possible instead of facing first calm down, go out, recreate, travel and then solve.

And finally, you must use non-comedogenic products , those that do not have fats or oils that cause cosmetic acne, there are many beauty products that are for different skin types, choose the right one for you.

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Medical treatments for seborrheic acne

Seborrheic acne is a disease that can be controlled with the above indications, but if you do not see improvement, you should consult your dermatologist, he will recommend medical treatment.

These medical treatments against seborrheic acne are usually topical and oral , it will depend on the severity of the acne you have, in case of having mild seborrheic acne, you can use mild creams, but if you have moderate acne it is possible that they will send you combined treatments, topical and oral

In case you are suffering from severe seborrheic acne then you should take antibiotics, but dermatologists are the ones who determine the treatment that corresponds to you according to your skin type and the severity of the acne.

Natural treatments to relieve seborrheic acne

The natural treatments to alleviate seborrheic acne are many, everyone has their personal experience with these natural treatments since the effectiveness depends on each person.

You can prepare a jojoba oil mask with tea tree essential oil , with this antiseborrheic mixture you will be fighting all kinds of fungi, bacteria, and you will also eliminate impurities and excess sebum.

Another natural alternative against seborrheic acne is a honey and lemon mask, simply add the juice of a lemon to the honey and perform a facial cleansing, you must leave it on for a few minutes, these two natural ingredients are antimicrobial and will leave your skin rejuvenated. and resplendent.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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