Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin problem usually affecting the lipid-rich areas of the skin.  It is commonly seen on face (nasolabial folds and eyebrows), external ear canal, scalp, and chest and less commonly seen on axillae, umbilicus areas and groin.

Seborrheic dermatitis affects around 5% to 10 % of total population. The mild or initial form of seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff.  Seborrheic dermatitis most frequently occurs during winter. It is harmless, chronic, superficial, inflammatory disease characterized as flake like red, scaly patches associated with burning or itching. The scales often are yellow or greasy in appearance.

Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Most of the mild cases can be treated with normal shampoo if applied in sufficient quantity. If normal shampoo doesn’t respond, you can easily get some of those over the counter medicated shampoos which are available in most of the local stores or pharmacy. Shampoos containing Zinc Pyrithione (Head and shoulders), Selenium Sulphide (selsun Blue), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), ciclopirox, Salicylic acid and Sulphur (Sebulex) and Tar derivatives are good and well tolerated. Just make sure your shampoo contain any of these ingredients.  For better outcome, use the shampoo at least 4-5 times a week. Most treatment fails because people don’t give continuity after the symptoms has subsided. Once the symptom subsides, keep using the shampoo for at least 1-2 times a week for few weeks then every week for few months and so.  This way you get complete control on your Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Moderate seborrheic dermatitis involving other areas besides scalp can be treated with topical creams and lotions like those containing corticosteroids and anti-fungal agents like miconazole, ketoconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine, butenafine and ciclopirox. Long term use of corticosteroids is not suggested.

If this preparation is not working as expected, consult a dermatologist. Seborrheic dermatitis treatment may vary with individuals. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis (as other conditions might also resemble seborrheic dermatitis) and prescribe you the best medications accordingly. For some unresponsive cases your dermatologist may prescribe some stronger medications with or with out combination with some oral antifungal medications. There is no permanent cure for seborrheic dermatitis. Be sure to take proper hygienic and preventive measures to avoid further recurrence.