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Seborrheic Dermatitis & Cardio Exercise

author image Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.
Seborrheic Dermatitis & Cardio Exercise
Stress and obesity can increase your risk for seborrheic dermatitis. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of eczema, or inflammation of the skin. According to, 1 out of 20 people in the United States has seborrheic dermatitis. Although performing cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, walking or swimming might not affect your seborrheic dermatitis, sweating during exercise could.

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The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that seborrheic dermatitis is categorized as yellowish, scaly and oily patches of skin that usually appears on your face or scalp, although it can also appear on other parts of your body. Seborrheic dermatitis can also appear as redness, powdery scales, greasy scales, dandruff, thickened scaly patches on the scalp and might cause an itching or burning sensation, according to Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in infants is often referred to as cradle cap.


Causes of seborrheic dermatitis are usually not directly related to cardiovascular exercise. According to, the causes of seborrheic dermatitis might include stress, change of seasons, fatigue, a yeast fungus, hormones, or an abnormality of hair follicles or oil glands. PubMed reports that other causes of seborrheic dermatitis may include oily skin, use of alcohol-containing lotions, skin disorders, infrequent skin cleaning, infrequent shampoos and obesity.

Benefits of Exercise

Because obesity and high stress levels can increase your risk for seborrheic dermatitis, achieving a healthful body weight and reducing stress levels might help lower your risk. According to the National Eczema Association, regular aerobic or cardiovascular exercise can help reduce stress levels and your risk for developing atopic dermatitis.


In general, you should still participate in cardiovascular exercise if you have seborrheic dermatitis. However, the National Eczema Association reports that sweating during exercise may cause people with atopic dermatitis to itch, and strenuous exercise should be avoided when atopic dermatitis flare-ups occur. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, some people with atopic dermatitis can experience hives, or raised red bumps, after exercise. Over-exercising that causes chronic fatigue may also increase your risk for seborrheic dermatitis.

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