Hair Loss

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis

It is a very common skin disease that causes rash. When this rash occurs, it usually looks like the image above. The skin tends to be inflamed;

  • Reddish color
  • Swollen and oily appearance
  • White or yellowish crust on the surface

Seborrheic Dermatitis in Babies:

Some babies get Seborrheic Dermatitis with red scaly spots that cover most of the body. It can occur on the baby’s face, usually on the eyelids, around the nose, or in the ears.

It usually starts with cradle cap. This is the type of Seborrheic Dermatitis. Scaly, oily hair forms on the baby’s scalp. The patches can be thick and crusty, but the cradle cap is harmless. The cradle cap usually goes away on its own within a few months.

  • Cradle cap signs and symptoms;
  • Yellow, oily patches on the scalp
  • A thick layer of patch can cover the entire scalp
  • The patch is usually yellow and brownish in color.
  • Over time, the patch become flaky and rubs easily

It also occurs in the diaper area and rarely appears all over the body. In the diaper area, the red rash is often mixed up with diaper rash. If your baby has Seborrheic Dermatitis in the diaper area or elsewhere, it’s best to see a doctor for diagnosis. Eczema, psoriasis or allergic reactions should also be considered during the diagnosis.

Wherever Seborrheic Dermatitis occurs, it tends to disappear permanently between 6 months and 1 year old. Cradle cap in babies normally disappears between 6 and 12 months of age. Baby shampoo, comb or brush should be used until the rash disappears.


1- Shampoo the baby’s scalp with a baby shampoo every day. This helps soften the patch.

2- Brush gently when the crust starts to soften.

3- In resistant cases, you can visit your doctor and use low-dose ketoconazole shampoo.

Seborrheic Dermatitis is long-lasting in adults

When an adult has Seborrheic Dermatitis, it may come and go for the rest of a person’s life. When the weather starts to get cold and dry, flare-ups are common. Stress can also trigger a flare-up. The good news is that treatment can reduce flare-ups and provide relief.


  • Scaly patches appear on the skin
  • The skin under these patches is reddish
  • Although they seems scaly, the patches often look oily or moist
  • Flakes, exfoliate and turn yellowish white

Adults and adolescents may have symptoms such as;

  • Itching, especially in the scalp and the ear canal
  • Combustion

Patches occur in areas where the skin is oily

  • Scalp
  • Ears (around the ear canal)
  • Eyebrows (beneath the skin)
  • Center of the face
  • Eyelids
  • Upper chest
  • Upper back
  • Armpit
  • Reproductive organs


Although the relationship between Malassezia yeast level and Seborrheic Dermatitis is not clear, antifungal treatments play an active role.

Ketoconazole, Naftin or Ciclopirox creams and gels are effective treatments. Alternatives include calcineurin inhibitors (i.e. pimecrolimus, tacrolimus), sulfur or sulfonamide combinations, or propylene glycol. Class IV or lower corticosteroid creams, lotions, or solutions can be used for acute exacerbations. Interlesional steroid therapy is effective for exacerbations. Tea tree oil has also proven effective in relieving scab in the treatment of seboraid dermatitis.

If seborrheic dermatitis is severe or unresponsive, combination therapy with systemic fluconazole and interlesional steroids is recommended.

Dandruff responds to more frequent shampooing or a longer lathering time. Shampoos containing salicylic acid, tar, selenium, sulfur or zinc are effective and can be used in an alternative program. Alternative to a zinc containing shampoo is rinsing with fluocinolone and acetonide topical oil which contains zinc, 0.01%. Applying tar, bath oil, or Baker’s P&S solution overnight can help soften thick scalp plaques. Derma-Smoothe F / S oil, especially useful if common scalp plates are present.

Selenium sulfide (2.5%), ketoconazole, and cyclopirox shampoos may help by reducing Malassezia yeast skin reservoirs. Shampoos can be used on truncal lesions or beards, but can cause inflammation in intertriginous or facial areas.

It has been reported that systemic low-dose isotretinoin taken orally is beneficial for severe seborrheic dermatitis.

What causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

In the secretion of oil in the skin, yeast (fungus) called malassezia causes an irregular response of the immune system, an increased response and complement activation. Increased stress has a trigger role.

Seborrheic Dermatitis is associated with Malassezia levels, but it is an abnormal immune response. Stimulation of helper T cells, phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin, and antibody titers were suppressed. Even with antifungal treatments, it has been reported that there is no reduction in Malassezia levels. Contribution of Malassezia species to seborrheic dermatitis may come from the lipid activity releasing inflammatory free fatty acids and the ability to activate the alternative complement pathway.

Seborrheic Dermatitis is precisely;

  • Not caused by poor personal hygiene
  • Not an allergy
  • Not harm the body

Who gets Seborrheic Dermatitis?

People of all colors and ages get Seborrheic Dermatitis. You have a higher risk if any of the following apply to you;


People in these two age groups are most sensitive:

  • Babies 3 months and younger
  • Adults between the ages of 30 and 60


If you have any of these medical conditions below, your risk increases;

  • HIV (about 85% of people infected with HIV develop Seborrheic Dermatitis).
  • Acne, rosacea or psoriasis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke or heart attack (recovery)
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders

If you use any of the following drugs, your risk of Seborrheic Dermatitis is increased;

  • Interferon
  • Lithium
  • Psoralen

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