Philippine Dermatological Society


  • Can occur at any age
  • More common in the following:
    • Infants (0 to 3 months old)
    • Teenagers
    • Older persons (50 years old and older)
  • Occurs slightly more often in men than in women


  • Red, greasy, scaly areas on the skin
  • Itching or burning may be felt in the affected areas
  • Often occurs in areas that are oily
  • Rashes may come and go
    • Affected areas may include one or more of the following:Scalp
    • Face (eyebrows, eyelids, nose creases, and/or forehead)
    • Outer ears
    • Skin behind ears
    • Chest
    • Armpits
    • Skin under the breasts
    • Skin between the buttocks
    • Groin
  • In infants, scales may cover the scalp (“cradle cap”). The diaper area may also be affected


  • Certain microorganisms such as the yeast Malasezzia furfur
  • Nutritional deficieny: zinc, niacin, pyridoxine
  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Weak immune system
  • Certain medical conditions such as Parkinson Disease and HIV/AIDS
  • It is not due to poor hygiene or allergies


  • To soften scales: Baby oil / mineral oil or other plant oils. The scales may be brushed off gently afterwards
  • To decrease redness, inflammation and itching: steroid creams, ointments or lotions for short periods of time
  • Medicated shampoos with zinc, tar, salicylic acid, or other antifungals
  • Combining medications may be necessary to achieve best results.
  • Patients with severe symptoms may need to take oral medicine or undergo light therapy (phototherapy)
  • Do not pick or pull the scales to avoid traumatizing your skin or causing an infection


  • No exact cure for this condition. Maintenance shampoos and creams may be prescribed by your doctor to prevent the reappearance of the condition.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis may recur, even with treatment


  • The disease is chronic and has tendency to recur. Wrong or inadequate treatment may result in complications such as infection or hair loss.
  • Appropriate treatment plan may require combining two or more medications for best results. Your dermatologist can create a plan tailored to your condition.
  • More serious conditions such as psoriasis and some forms of cancer may look like or produce signs like seborrheic dermatitis. These conditions require a different treatment plan. A dermatologist may request certain tests to rule out other diseases or identify underlying medical conditions. A board certified dermatologist can correctly diagnose your condition and provide appropriate treatment