What are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis generally begin as minor dandruff and can go through periods of getting better before worsening again. Infants younger than one month can develop a particular form of seborrheic dermatitis called cradle cap, named for the thick, crusty rash that develops over the whole scalp. Older sufferers of seborrheic dermatitis generally manifest symptoms on the scalp along the hairline and near or in the ears, and on the oilier parts of the face such as around the eyebrows and nose. Symptoms can range from persistent, itchy dandruff to flaky scales white or yellow in color (sometimes with greasy red skin underneath) to thick, patchy crusts on the scalp that comes off in large flakes. Symptoms can also appear across the chest or in the armpits, groin, or any other area of skin folds.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are flaky and itchy skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is commonly known as dandruff, but it can affect other parts of your body besides your scalp. It happens when oily patches of skin meet up with a little yeast called malessizia. This causes the skin to form scales and flake off from the body.

Besides finding these flakes on your scalp or your shirt, you may see it on your eyebrows or eyelids, in your nose creases, or on your lips. It can also be found behind your ears and in the middle of your chest. Infants often have a form of it that shows up as yellow scaly patches on their scalp, a condition called cradle cap.

Continue Learning about Skin Disorders

5 Questions and Answers About Hidradenitis Suppurativa
5 Questions and Answers About Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition that can cause boil-like nodules and abscesses, and can lead to scarring (sometimes severe s...
Read More
What are the most common genetic skin conditions?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
A number of rare skin disorders have been linked to certain genes. However, some very common ski...
More Answers
All-Access Guide to Five Common Skin Conditions
All-Access Guide to Five Common Skin ConditionsAll-Access Guide to Five Common Skin ConditionsAll-Access Guide to Five Common Skin ConditionsAll-Access Guide to Five Common Skin Conditions
Get to the root of common skin disorders, including triggers, treatment and more. 
Start Slideshow
What Causes Age Spots?
What Causes Age Spots?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.