Home » Medical » Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common, scaling rash that tends to occur in areas where the skin is oily, such as the scalp (dandruff), eyebrows, eyelids (blepharitis), ears, nasal folds, armpits, and groin. It is a chronic skin condition that usually appears in adults ages 30 to 60, fluctuates in severity, and may persist indefinitely. When it affects infants, it is often referred to as “cradle cap”. Cradle cap usually goes away on its own within a few months.Seborrheic dermatitis is usually caused by an overabundance of an otherwise harmless skin yeast called Malassezia. When it’s overproduced, the yeast produces toxic substances that cause the immune system to overreact to it, resulting in skin changes. Common triggers include stress, cold and dry weather, harsh detergents or soaps, and hormonal changes or illness.On the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis appears as dry pink or flesh-colored patches with a yellow, scaly surface. The patches may spread to the entire scalp and can also affect areas next to the nose, forehead, back, and chest.


You may be able to prevent or minimize your seborrheic dermatitis by using products like dandruff shampoos, or by washing your face regularly with mild soaps. However, we recommend having an expert examine your skin first to ensure that you’re following a treatment plan that’s best for you.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Treatment options for seborrheic dermatitis include topical steroids, tar cream, and antifungal agents, often in the form of medicated shampoos. For infants, cradle cap can be treated by using daily shampoos with a gentle cleanser and massaging the affected area with mineral oil, although some cases require a prescription topical medication. Your Provider may prescribe these treatments individually or in combination for better results.You can schedule an appointment to get your seborrheic dermatitis examined by Alaska Center for Dermatology Providers.