Medical Q&As

Seborrhoeic dermatitis - what is it?

I was wondering if you have ever heard of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis? Can you explain what it is?

Terminology is a little confusing here because there are two separate unrelated conditions that bear the name seborrhoeic dermatitis. Infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis usually presents in infants less than three months of age. It is an acute self-limiting inflammation of the skin that results in scaling of the scalp, which is commonly referred to as cradle cap and scaling of the eyebrows, face and body creases. The cause of the condition is not known. Secondary infection of the skin with thrush is very common. Remission is usually accelerated through the use of a mild steroid and antibiotic cream. It does not persist beyond early infancy. Adult seborrhoeic dermatitis occurs in adult males but is less frequently seen than in the past. The rash predominantly affects the scalp, face and chest and is considered to be due to infection of the skin with a particular yeast called Pitysporum ovale. The treatment of choice is an antifungal cream. Adult seborrhoeic dermatitis tends to recur unlike the infantile form that resolves in infancy and does not persist.