1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Seborrhoea

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SEBORRHOEA, a medical term applied to describe an accumulation on the skin of the normal sebaceous secretion mixed with dirt and forming scales or a distinct incrustation. On the head, where it is commonly seen, it may interfere with the nutrition of the hair and cause partial baldness. A form of this disease occurs in young infants. The main treatment consists in thoroughly cleansing the parts. The crusts may be softened with oil and the affected skin regularly washed with soft soap and rectified spirit. The sebum frequently accumulates in the sebaceous ducts, giving rise to the minute black points often noticed on the face, back and chest in young adults, to which the term comedones is applied. A form of this disorder, of larger size and white appearance, is termed milium. These affections may to a large extent be prevented by strict attention to ablution and brisk friction of the skin, which will also often remove them when they begin to appear. The retained secretion may be squeezed out or evacuated by incision and the skin treated with some simple sulphur application.