Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disease that occurs in red itchy skin on the scalp, face or chest. It is a rash, usually developing in small children and adults. In children, it affects the scalp skin or on areas covered with diapers. In adults, it is in the mid-face, eyebrows, scalp skin, scrotum, and beard or mustache in men.

It is also called dandruff or seborrheic eczema.



The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. Sometimes it is related to:

  • excessive growth of a yeast-like organism that exists on the skin surface under normal condition;
  • psoriasis, as inflammatory response
  • seasonal changes, early spring or winter
  • stress or other disease.



The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are the following:

  • Crusty red patches of inflamed skin, usually with yellow crust
  • Crusting of the eyelids
  • Excessive dandruff on the scalp, eyebrows, beard, hair
  • Occasional itching on the affected areas.

The rash can occasionally appear in a period of a few months, but it can last for several years.


Risk factors

There are several risk factors for developing seborrheic dermatitis:

  • Parkinson’s disease, depression, diabetes, alchoholic pancreatitis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Some drugs
  • Compromised immune system
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Scratching the facial skin