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. When it affects infants, it is often referred to as “cradle cap”. It is a chronic skin condition that can appear any time after puberty, fluctuates in severity, and may persist indefinitely.
Seborrheic dermatitis is usually caused by an overabundance of a normally harmless skin yeast, also called 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 yeast.
On the scalp, it appears as dry pink or flesh-colored patches with a yellow scaly surface. The patches may spread to the entire scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis typically is around the scalp, but it can also affect areas next to the nose, forehead, back, and chest.
You may be able to prevent or minimize some instances of seborrheic dermatitis with products such as dandruff shampoos. Also, it’s a good idea to wash the affected area regularly and avoid harsh soaps. If it’s occurring on your scalp, increasing washing to at least five times per week helpful. It’s always important to get an expert to check it out first, so you can ensure you take the proper steps to prevent or treat this or any skin condition.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment
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. Our Bend Dermatology Providers may prescribe these treatments individually, or in combination for better results.