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Seborrheic Dermatitis

Related Terms

Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a scaly, itchy rash on the skin. Common sites are the hairline, in and behind the ears, on the eyebrows, around the nose, and on the chest. Dandruff is a type of SD that occurs on the skin on the scalp.

It is treated with medicated shampoos, lotions, and creams.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

These therapies may ease symptoms:

  • Common myrtle is a type of flowering plant.C1
  • Probiotics are healthy microorganisms.D1
  • Quassia amara is a type of evergreen shrub.E1
  • Solanum chrysotrichum is a type of shrub or small tree.A1
  • Tea tree oil comes from a species of tree in the myrtle family.B1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Homeopathic medicine F1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can cause problems with treatment or make conditions worse.



Solanum Chrysotrichum

A1. Herrera-Arellano A, Jiménez-Ferrer E, et al. Clinical and mycological evaluation of therapeutic effectiveness of Solanum chrysotrichum standardized extract on patients with Pityriasis capitis (dandruff). A double blind and randomized clinical trial controlled with ketoconazole. Planta Med. 2004;70(6):483-488.

Tea Tree Oil

B1. Satchell AC, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;47(6):852-855.

Common Myrtle

C1. Chaijan MR, Handjani F, et al. The myrtus communis L. solution versus ketoconazole shampoo in treatment of dandruff: A double blinded randomized clinical trial. J Pak Med Assoc. 2018 May;68(5):715-720.


D1. Reygagne P, Bastien P, et al. The positive benefit of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 ST11 in healthy volunteers with moderate to severe dandruff. Benef Microbes. 2017 Oct 13;8(5):671-680.

Quassia Amara

E1. Diehl C, Ferrari A. Efficacy of topical 4% Quassia amara gel in facial seborrheic dermatitis:a randomized, double-blind, comparative study. J Drugs Dermatol. 2013 Mar;12(3):312-315.

Homeopathic Medicine

F1. Smith SA, Baker AE, et al. Effective treatment of seborrheic dermatitis using a low dose, oral homeopathic medication consisting of potassium bromide, sodium bromide, nickel sulfate, and sodium chloride in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Feb;7(1):59-67.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC