Seborrheic dermatitis is a common scaling rash that occurs in infants, teenagers, and adults. Dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis may also occur on the eyebrows, eyelid edges, ears, the skin near the nose, and places where there are skin folds, like the armpits and groin.
What causes seborrheic dermatitis?
The cause is not known, although recent studies suggest an overgrowth of yeast is to blame. Seborrheic dermatitis is not related to diet. It cannot be spread from person to person. Stress and illness tend to make it worse, but do not cause it. It often clears up in infants by 1 year of age. It is common in teenagers and, especially, in adults. It may get better or worse for no clear reason.
What is the treatment?
There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis but we can keep this problem under control. The treatment depends on what part of the body is involved. Dandruff can most often be controlled by washing the child’s hair often with medicated shampoos as prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes, cortisone solutions or salves are needed or over the counter anti dandruff shampoo. Anti-yeast medicines can also be used.
Once seborrheic dermatitis is under control, slowly use your child's medicine less and less. You may be able to stop the medicine completely. Treatment may be needed from time to time. If the seborrheic dermatitis is not controlled by the treatment prescribed, please return to the doctor.
UW Dermatology Department
1 S. Park St 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715
Clinic: 608 287-2450
American Family Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Dermatology Specialty Clinic
1675 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53792
Clinic: 608 263-6420
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/23/2013
Copyright © 01/23/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6481
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