Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis (Dandruff)

Dermatitis is a skin inflammation that is usually red and itchy and may create blisters. Seborrheic dermatitis creates greasy, yellow, or red scaling on hairy areas of the body such as the scalp or genitals. In infants, it is known as cradle cap. It can also appear in skin creases in the arms, legs, breasts, and elsewhere. Treating seborrheic dermatitis may include hydrocortisone creams, dandruff shampoos, saliclyic acid, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pharmacologic treatment options for seborrheic dermatitis include antifungal preparations (selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, azole agents, sodium sulfacetamide, and topical terbinafine) that decrease colonization by lipophilic yeast and anti-inflammatory agents (topical steroids).

The mainstay of treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is frequent cleansing. Medicated soaps or shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, or tar give an additional benefit. These should be applied to the affected area and left on for 5-10 minutes before being rinsed off.

A common type of scalp seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff. It tends to last a long time or go away and come back. It is often made worse by cold weather, hormonal changes, and stress. Seborrheic dermatitis is not spread from person to person.