Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
The following over-the-counter treatments and self-care tips can help you control and manage seborrheic dermatitis.
- Wash your hair with a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo according to the recommended schedule. If you don't see results, try a shampoo with a different active ingredient.
- Use an over-the-counter antifungal cream. Application of nonprescription-strength ketoconazole may be helpful.
- Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. A short course of a nonprescription hydrocortisone cream containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone can temporarily relieve itching.
- Avoid harsh soaps and detergents. Be sure to rinse soap completely off your body and scalp.
- Wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. This will help keep air circulating around your skin and avoid irritation.
- Shave off your beard or mustache. Seborrheic dermatitis can be worse under mustaches and beards. If this is the case for you, shaving might ease your symptoms.
- Avoid scratching whenever possible. Scratching can increase irritation, making you more uncomfortable and increasing your risk of infection.
Cradle cap usually clears up on its own within a few months. In the meantime, wash your baby's hair once a day with mild baby shampoo. Loosen the scales with a small, soft-bristled brush before rinsing off the shampoo.
If the scales don't loosen easily, rub a few drops of mineral oil or olive oil onto your baby's scalp. Let the oil soak into the scales for a few minutes, and then brush and shampoo your baby's hair as usual.
If cradle cap persists or seems severe, your doctor may suggest a medicated shampoo, lotion or other treatment.
- Berger TG. Dermatologic disorders. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2010. 50th ed. New York City, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=747. Accessed March 29, 2011.
- Datner A. Complementary and alternative medicine in dermatology. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3005766. Accessed March 29, 2011.
- Plewig G, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2951940. Accessed March 29, 2011.
- Naldi L, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009;360:387.
- Stefanaki I, et al. Therapeutic update on seborrheic dermatitis. Skin Therapy Letter. 2010;15:e1. http://www.skintherapyletter.com/2010/15.5/1.html. Accessed March 29, 2011.
- Morelli V, et al. Alternative therapies for common dermatologic disorders, part 1. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:269. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/article/body/238184569-2/jorg=journal&source=&sp=23315271&sid=0/N/747943/1.html?issn=0095-4543. Accessed March 29, 2011.
- Weston WL, et al. Overview of dermatitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 29, 2011.
- Dattner AM. Seborrheic dermatitis. In: Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier. 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html. Accessed April 2, 2011.
- Public health advisory: Elidel (pimecrolimus) cream and Protopic (tacrolimus) cream. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/PublicHealthAdvisories/UCM051760. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Pielop JA. Benign skin and scalp lesions in the newborn and young infant. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Fish oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed April 3, 2011.