Seborrheic dermatitis: an update

Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2012;20(2):98-104.


Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disorder clinically characterized by scaling and poorly defined erythematous patches. The prevalence of adult seborrheic dermatitis is estimated at 5%. Although the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis has yet to be understood, Malassezia yeasts, hormones (androgens), sebum levels and immune response are known to play important roles in its development. Additional factors including drugs, winter temperatures and stress may exacerbate seborrheic dermatitis. A variety of treatment modalities are available, including antifungal agents, topical low-potency steroids and calcineurin inhibitors (immunomodulators). This review summarizes current knowledge on the etiopathogenesis and therapy of adult seborrheic dermatitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Comorbidity
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / metabolism
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / microbiology
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / therapy*
  • Dermatomycoses
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Malassezia
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Phototherapy
  • Sebum / metabolism


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors