Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common, scaling rash that tends to occur in areas where the skin is oily. Commonly affected areas include the scalp (dandruff), eyebrows, eyelids (blepharitis), ears, nasal folds, armpits and groin. It is a chronic condition that can appear any time after puberty, fluctuates in severity and may persist indefinitely.

It is believed that seborrheic dermatitis is caused by an overabundance of a normally harmless skin yeast (malassezia). The yeast produces toxic substances that irritate the skin and make it itch. Stress and physical illness can lower an individual’s resistance to the yeast.

On the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis appears as dry pink or flesh-colored patches with a yellow scaly surface. The patches may spread to the entire scalp.

Treatment options for seborrheic dermatitis include topical steroids, tar cream and antifungal agents, often in the form of medicated shampoos. Cradle cap can be treated by using daily shampoos with a gentle cleanser and massaging the affected area with mineral oil. Some cases require a prescription topical medication.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call 512.930.3909.