Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatments

Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) is a very common skin disease among adults ages 30 to 60 that causes a rash that can itch and can come and go throughout a person’s life. It is more prevalent in men. Seborrheic dermatitis in an infant is called cradle cap and generally disappears by one year of age. It’s also sometimes described as seborrheic eczema or seborrheic psoriasis. Though generally harmless, the risk of infection increases when seborrheic dermatitis is irritated or scratched. If a rash shows signs of infection, becomes painful, swollen, or drains pus, see a dermatologist.


  • Causes: Genetics, overall health, stress, cold dry climates, and yeast that lives on normal skin may contribute to the occurrence of seborrheic dermatitis. The risk also increases alongside acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eating disorders, depression, alcoholism, HIV, recovery from stroke or heart attack, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and taking certain medications. Thus, there is everyday dandruff as well as concurrent skin and medical conditions that can elevate this disease and its symptoms into something truly miserable. There are also a few myths associated with this condition. Most notably, dandruff is NOT caused by allergy or poor hygiene.


  • Symptoms: Generally, pale-yellow scaly patches that can look greasy and can flake off to reveal reddish skin characterize seborrheic dermatitis. It can itch or burn, especially on the scalp or in the ear canal. The condition can also be found on the eyelids, on the skin beneath the eyebrows, in the center of the face, on the upper back, armpits and chest, and under breasts, around the navel, on the buttocks, and in the groin.


  • Diagnosis and Treatment Plan: Seborrheic dermatitis can generally be diagnosed with a close examination of the skin and rash, though a biopsy may be taken to rule out other similar skin conditions. Other tests may be done to determine if seborrheic dermatitis may be a sign of a related underlying or medical condition. With treatment, scale can be loosened and removed, swelling can be reduced, and skin infection can be avoided.


  • Treatment Procedures, Recovery, and Prevention: Treatment plans and procedures may include medicated shampoos, topical or oral medicines, barrier creams and lifestyle changes. The best plan truly depends on the severity and individual history with this skin condition. Prescription-strength creams, shampoos or ointments can be very effective with minimal risk—but only when used on a temporary basis. Stronger topical and oral antifungals are also available for more persistent forms of seborrheic dermatitis.

Why Choose Zel for Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Although the condition may last for years, clearing and flaring up without warning, treatment can control it. Don’t avoid seeking out this treatment. Again, while it’s generally harmless, it’s not a pleasant condition when exacerbated by other skin conditions, mental health disorders, compromised immunes system, or side effect of prescription medication for a different illness or injury.

Staying on top of seborrheic dermatitis symptoms as much as you reasonably can will make things much easier if you encounter some other health issue. Take the next step in getting your dandruff under control. Get help from an experienced and trusted dermatologist.

Contact us to schedule an appointment at our Downtown Minneapolis, Edina, or Plymouth dermatology practice. You can also make a virtual visit for online access to basic consultation and diagnostic services.

*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.