Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that causes a scaly, itchy rash. It can appear as a mild, white scaling, or a yellowish greasy, or reddish scaly rash. Most commonly affected areas are along the hairline, in and behind the ears, on the eyebrows, around the nose, and on the chest.
Dandruff is a type of seborrheic dermatitis where there is a scaling of the skin on the scalp. The area can be dry or oily, and is sometimes itchy.
The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They include:
Dry or greasy, scaling of the scalp
Itchy, scaly rash with small pimples on nasal folds, eyebrows, anterior chest, upper back, arm pits, or genitals
Thickened, flaking skin
Reddened skin over the forehead and on either side of the nose
In babies less than 1 month old, seborrheic dermatitis may cause a thick, yellow, crusted scalp rash known as cradle cap.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is made by the appearance of the rash.You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders.
Treatments for seborrheic dermatitis are usually applied directly to the skin in the form of shampoo or lotion. Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Seborrheic dermatitis in infants will usually resolve on its own.
Baby shampoo, mineral oil, and topical anti-fungal shampoos may be used for seborrheic dermatitis in infants
A variety of treatments are used for seborrheic dermatitis in children and adults, such as:
Prescription or over-the-counter shampoos containing 1 or more of the following ingredients:
or other cortisone (steroid) preparations
Prescription or over-the-counter creams or lotions containing:
Hydrocortisone or other cortisone (steroid) preparations
Treatment can take several weeks or months and may need to be repeated if the condition returns.
There are no current guidelines to prevent seborrheic dermatitis because the cause is unknown.
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