top of page

Seborrheic Dermatitis diagnosis, 
treatment and medication

Connect with an Online Dermatologist today! Medications delivered to your preferred pharmacy 

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment FAQ

Can a Dermatologist treat seborrheic dermatitis at DermCafé?

Definitely! Seborrheic dermatitis is both easily identifiable on photograph and easily treatable with medications 

What is seborrheic dermatitis?

This is a very common skin disease that causes a rash. When this rash appears, it often looks like the one shown on this page. The skin tends to have a: 

  • Reddish color 

  • Swollen and greasy appearance 

  • White or yellowish crusty scale on the surface 

One or more of these rashes can appear on the body. Sometimes, the affected skin itches.

Despite its appearance, this skin disease is not caused by poor hygiene.

What causes seborrheic dermatitis?

Researchers are still studying what causes this common skin disease. From what they have learned, it appears that the cause is complex. Many factors seem to work together to cause seborrheic dermatitis. These factors may include the yeast that normally lives on our skin, our genes, living in a cold and dry climate, stress, and a person’s overall health.

By studying seborrheic dermatitis, researchers have learned the following: 

  • It is not caused by poor personal hygiene 

  • It is not an allergy 

  • It does not harm the body

Who gets seborrheic dermatitis?

People of all cultures and ages get seborrheic dermatitis.

Many infants get cradle cap. This is a type of seborrheic dermatitis that develops in babies. Scaly, greasy patches form on the baby’s scalp. The patches can become thick and crusty, but cradle cap is harmless. Cradle cap usually goes away on its own within a few months. 

Babies also get seborrheic dermatitis in their diaper area and elsewhere. In the diaper area, the red rash often is mistaken for diaper rash. A few babies get seborrheic dermatitis that covers much of the body with red, scaly patches.

When an adult gets seborrheic dermatitis, the condition can come and go for the rest of the person’s life. Flare-ups are common when the weather turns cold and dry. Stress also can trigger a flare-up. The good news is that treatment can reduce flare-ups and bring relief.

How is it treated?

Although treatment cannot cure seborrheic dermatitis, treatment has benefits. Treatment can loosen and remove scale, prevent a skin infection, and reduce swelling and itch. 

The type of treatment a dermatologist prescribes varies with age and where the seborrheic dermatitis appears on the skin. 

Infants (scalp): Called cradle cap, this tends to completely disappear without treatment. If treatment is necessary, a dermatologist may recommend: 

  • Shampooing the baby’s scalp daily with a baby shampoo 

  • Gently brushing away the scale, once scale starts to soften 

  • Applying a medication to the infant’s scalp 


Infants (skin beyond the scalp): This, too, will clear. If treatment is needed, a dermatologist may prescribe a medicine that can be applied to the child’s skin. 


Adolescents and adults (scalp and rest of body): After infancy, seborrheic dermatitis usually does not go away without treatment. For the best results, a dermatologist will consider many factors before creating a treatment plan. Treatment may include: 

  • Dandruff shampoos 

  • Medicine to apply to the skin for short periods of time 

  • Barrier-repair cream

What is DermCafé?

Connect with a DermCafé Dermatologist today! 

We’re a Digital Dermatology Centre that aims to provide all Canadians with equitable, accessible, convenient and modern dermatology care.

Simply submit your symptom info and skin photos online and connect with an online dermatologist at your convenience.

Visit our How This Work page to learn more. 

Step 1

Submit your Symptom Info and Photos online

Step 2

Book your Online Appointment

Step 4

Access Your Online Results Anytime

Choose your preferred Pharmacy for medication delivery

Download DermCafé Info Sheets, bloodwork forms and Sick Notes, and book follow-up appointments when needed

Step 3

Audio/Video Visit with Your Dermatologist

OHIP/MSP-covered visits require a Referral by another Physician. Simply book a Video Visit with our Family Doctor first

bottom of page