The mainstay of the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis is frequent cleaning. An additional benefit is provided by medicated soaps or shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, sulfur, salicylic acid or tar. Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases in the world. It is characterized by dry, scaly, itchy skin and can cause dandruff.
Many people with seborrheic dermatitis don’t even realize they have it. Many people have dandruff, but they don’t know that one of the most common causes of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. However, distinguishing between seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis can pose a challenge even for healthcare professionals and it is therefore important to see a doctor if you develop concerns about your skin. Children younger than three months may sometimes have seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp (called cradle cap).
Seborrheic dermatitis is a lifelong condition that appears, disappears with treatment, and is exacerbated from time to time. Patients may also develop seborrheic dermatitis on other fatty areas of their body, such as the face, upper chest, and back. Dandruff is a common feature of seborrheic dermatitis and can appear as thin, powdery chunks of dead skin. Most types of dermatitis can be diagnosed by a doctor’s observation of irritation and its location on the body.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema and most often affects the scalp, but it can also develop on oily areas of the body, such as the face, upper chest, and back. If you think you have seborrheic dermatitis on your face or body, see your healthcare provider or dermatologist. Not all cases of seborrheic dermatitis can be treated solely through the use of over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. Because there are so many diseases that have similar symptoms, it is important to ask your doctor about dermatitis.
Similarly, a skin biopsy (a procedure in which a small sample of skin is removed) may be required in rare cases to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other conditions that mimic seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis often affects the scalp and hairline, with symptoms ranging from mild dandruff to thick, dense patches of dry skin. The dermatologist will ask you about your medical history and will also perform a physical exam of your skin. In other words, topical treatment with steroid drugs caused seborrheic dermatitis to disappear in 22 out of 100 people.