Seborrheic Dermatitis (Flaky/itchy skin)

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disease that causes an itchy rash with flaky scales (dandruff). Seborrheic dermatitis generally occurs on the scalp and face, where oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands) are located, but it can appear anywhere on the body. Infantile and adult forms of seborrheic dermatitis can occur, but where infants’ conditions usually resolve between 6 months and 1 year of age, adults tend to have regular flare-ups that require dermatological evaluation. Our board-certified dermatologists are ready to evaluate and provide treatment that can reduce symptoms, mitigate flare-ups, and provide relief.

What causes seborrheic dermatitis?

While the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis (flaky skin) is not known, it appears that an overgrowth of a normal yeast found on the skin (Mallassezia yeast) can cause an inflammatory response in the skin. This inflammatory response results in skin changes such as flaky skin, rashes, itchiness, and burning. Seborrheic dermatitis may also be related to stress, genetics, and other medical conditions such as neurological conditions. This condition is not caused by an allergic reaction or a lack of hygiene. It is not contagious.

What are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?

  • Flaking skin (dandruff) that occurs on the scalp, eyebrows, upper lip/mustache area, neck and occasionally on the mid-chest.
  • Red patches on lighter skin tones and lightened patches on darker skin tones
  • Itchiness or burning

These symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and appear more frequently during cold, dry weather.

At what age can seborrheic dermatitis develop?

Seborrheic dermatitis can develop at any age, but it is most common in infants under the age of 3 months and in early adults, for whom it can be a lifelong persistence. In infants, the condition usually manifests in a form called cradle cap, which appears as crusty, scaly patches on the scalp and often resolves on its own by 1 year of age. In adults, however, the condition is usually chronic and can follow a pattern of clearing and flaring for years. With effective treatments tailored for individual skin conditions, our dermatologists are ready to help effectively manage seborrheic dermatitis and its associated symptoms.

What risk factors increase the chance of developing seborrheic dermatitis?

Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, acne, rosacea, and psoriasis can increase the risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis. Other risk factors include a weakened immune system, recovery from a stressful medical condition, and certain medications. Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in males than in females.

When should I be seen by a board-certified dermatologist?

If you are routinely uncomfortable, find it difficult to carry out daily routines, feel anxious about your skin’s condition, or suspect infection, it is important to be seen by a trusted dermatologist. Seborrheic dermatitis can appear similar to psoriasis, eczema, or allergic reactions, so it is important to be evaluated by a trained specialist when symptoms manifest. At Skin and Laser Dermatology Center, our board-certified dermatologists are ready to evaluate and design a treatment plan that works best for your skin.

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Skin & Laser Dermatology Center treats patients for all skin care concerns, including skin cancer surgery, cosmetic dermatology, sclerotherapy, laser peels, laser hair removal, hyperhidrosis, rosacea, and acne treatments.


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My eyelid surgery results for the facial wrinkles look very natural. Very skilled dermatologic surgeon.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Holly

Dr. Bajoghli always has time for his patients, you never feel that he is rushing you and after you leave if you have any concerns he is very responsive to the point of giving out his cell phone number. I can’t say enough about him and his staff.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – John

Nurse Rassmussen answers all of my questions, listens to my concerns, examines my skin, goes over my treatment protocol and gets me out the door quickly, but without feeling rushed, so that I can get on with the rest of my day. I have already recommended this practice to a couple of friends, and I will continue to do so with confidence.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Riley

I really appreciate the polite and professional service that Dr. Bajoghli’s practice provides in my dermatologic health. All of his staff make you feel welcome and are concerned for your care. Speaking as someone who neglected his skin care when I was young, I appreciate having a physician who is personally concerned for his patients.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Dennis

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