Seborrheic dermatitis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic


To diagnose seborrheic dermatitis, your health care supplier will likely talk with you about your symptoms and look at your skin. You may need to have a belittled patch of skin removed ( biopsied ) for study in a lab. This test helps rule out early conditions .

More Information

  • Skin biopsy


For adolescents and adults, the main treatments for seborrheic dermatitis are medicated shampoos, creams and lotions. If nonprescription products and self-care habits do n’t help, your health care supplier might suggest that you try one or more of these treatments :

  • Antifungal gels, creams, lotions, foams or shampoos alternated with another medication. Your health manage supplier might suggest you try a product with 2 % ketoconazole or 1 % ciclopirox ( Loprox ). Or you might rotate between two or more products. Ketoconzole can worsen the dispassion of tightly coiled or chemically treat haircloth and increase the risk of breakage. To ease this consequence, use it alone once a week with a humidify conditioner .
    How much you shampoo or apply other antifungal products will depend on your hair-grooming practices and symptoms. Medicated shampoo can be used once a day or 2 to 3 times a week for respective weeks. Let the product sit on your scalp for a few minutes — visualize box directions — so it has time to work. then rinse. After your symptoms clear up, use a medicate shampoo just once a workweek or once every two weeks. This will help prevent a backsliding .
  • Creams, lotions, shampoos or ointments that control inflammation. Your health concern provider might prescribe a prescription-strength corticosteroid you apply to the scalp or early affect area. These include hydrocortisone, fluocinolone ( Capex, Synalar ), clobetasol ( Clobex, Temovate ) and desonide ( Desowen, Desonate ). They are effective and easy to use. And use them lone until symptoms clear up. If used for many weeks or months without a break dance, they can cause side effects. These include loss of skin tinge, thinning skin, and skin read streaks or lines .
    Creams or ointments with a calcineurin inhibitor such as tacrolimus ( Protopic ) or pimecrolimus ( Elidel ) may be effective. Another benefit is that they have fewer slope effects than corticosteroids do. But they are not first-choice treatments because the Food and Drug Administration has concerns about a potential association with cancer. In addition, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus cost more than meek corticosteroid medications .
  • Antifungal medication you take as a pill. If your condition isn’t improving with other treatments or is severe, your health care provider may prescribe an antifungal medication in pill form.

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Lifestyle and home remedies

You may be able to control seborrheic dermatitis with life style changes and dwelling remedies. many of these are sold in nonprescription forms. You may need to try different products or a combination of products before your condition improves .
The best approach for you depends on your skin type, hair-grooming practices and your symptoms. But tied if your condition clears up, it ‘s probable to come back at some point. Watch for the symptoms and resume treating the condition when it recurs. Or use nonprescription antidandruff products in your self-care everyday to prevent flare-ups .

Wash your scalp regularly

If regular shampoo does n’t help with dandruff, try nonprescription dandruff shampoo. They are classified according to the active component they contain :

  • Pyrithione zinc (DermaZinc, Head & Shoulders, others), also sold as bar soap
  • Selenium sulfide (Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue, others)
  • Ketoconazole 1% (Nizoral A-D)
  • Tar (Denorex Extra Strength, DHS Tar, others)
  • Salicylic acid (Denorex, DHS Sal, others)

How much you shampoo or apply other antifungal products will depend on your hair-grooming practices and symptoms. Medicated shampoo can be used once a day or 2 to 3 times a week for respective weeks. After your symptoms clear up, use a medicate shampoo just once a workweek or once every two weeks. This will help prevent a backsliding. Shampoo that contains pitch or selenium sulfide can discolor light haircloth .
sometimes a shampoo that has helped loses its potency over prison term. If that ‘s the case, try alternating between two or more types. Be surely to leave your shampoo on for the entire recommended time — this allows its ingredients to work. then rinse. These shampoos may be rubbed lightly on the face, ears and breast and rinsed murder well .

Other home remedies

The follow nonprescription treatments and self-care tips may help you control seborrheic dermatitis :

  • Soften and remove scales from your hair. Apply mineral oil, peanut oil or olive oil to your scalp. Leave it in for 1 to 3 hours. Then comb or brush your hair and wash it.
  • Wash your skin regularly. Use warm, not hot, water and a gentle soap or nonsoap cleanser. Rinse thoroughly. Pat dry and apply a moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
  • Apply a medicated cream. First try a mild corticosteroid cream, foam, ointment or oil (Scalpicin Scalp Itch) on affected areas, keeping it away from the eyes. If that doesn’t work, try the antifungal cream ketoconazole.
  • Don’t use styling products. Stop using hair sprays, gels and other styling products while you’re treating the condition.
  • Don’t use skin and hair products that contain alcohol. These can cause the disease to flare up.
  • If you have a beard or mustache, shampoo facial hair regularly. Seborrheic dermatitis can be worse under mustaches and beards. Shampoo with 1% ketoconazole daily until your symptoms improve. Then switch to shampooing once a week or once every two weeks. Or shaving might ease your symptoms.
  • Gently clean your eyelids. If your eyelids are inflamed or scaly, wash them each night. Use a few drops of baby shampoo mixed with two capfuls of warm water. Wipe away scales with a cotton swab. Warm, damp cloths pressed to your eyelids also may help.
  • Gently wash your baby’s scalp. If your infant has mild cradle cap, wash the scalp with a mild baby shampoo once a day. Gently loosen the scales with a cloth or an infant hairbrush before rinsing out the shampoo. If scaling persists, first apply mineral oil or olive oil to the scalp for an hour or two. Cradle cap usually disappears in a few weeks or months.

Alternative medicine

many alternative therapies, including those listed below, have helped some people manage their seborrheic dermatitis. But attest for their effectiveness is n’t proved. It ‘s always a effective idea to check with your health caution supplier before adding any alternative medicines to your self-care routine .

  • Tea tree oil. A shampoo with 5% tea tree oil may be used on the affected area. Some studies suggest that tea tree oil can trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Aloe. Apply aloe vera gel to the affected area. Aloe is an ingredient in many products, or you can use it directly from the leaf of an aloe plant.

If you ‘re considering dietary supplements or early option therapies, talk with your health worry provider about their pros and cons .

Preparing for your appointment

You ‘ll probably beginning visit your primary manage provider. Or you may see a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and discussion of hide conditions ( dermatologist ) .
here ‘s some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your date, list your answers to the following questions :

  • What are your symptoms, and when did they start?
  • Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms?
  • What medications are you taking, including those you take by mouth as well as creams or ointments?
  • What treatments have you tried so far? Has anything helped?

What to expect from your doctor

Your health care provider is probable to ask you a few questions. Being cook to answer them may free up meter to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your health wish supplier might ask :

  • What are your symptoms, and when did you first notice them?
  • Is this the first time you’ve had these symptoms, or have you had them before?
  • How severe are your symptoms? Are they about the same all the time, getting worse, or sometimes better and sometimes worse?
  • Do your symptoms affect your quality of life, including your ability to sleep?
  • Have you tried any at-home treatments, such as creams, gels or shampoos?
  • How often do you use these treatments?
  • Does anything seem to help?
  • Does anything seem to make your symptoms worse?
  • What medications, vitamins or supplements are you taking?
  • Have you been under stress lately or experienced major life changes?

What you can do in the meantime

A nonprescription fungicidal cream or anti-itch cream can be helpful. If your scalp is affected, a nonprescription antifungal shampoo, foam or other intersection may ease your symptoms. Try not to scratch or pick at the moved area. This increases your risk of infection .

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