Please be patient! It may take up to ONE minute to load all the Engines.
Problems? Please contact our support.
Alternative namesDandruff; Seborrheic eczema; Cradle cap
DefinitionSeborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by loose, greasy or dry, white to yellowish scales , with or without associated reddened skin. Cradle cap is the term used when seborrheic dermatitis affects the scalp of infants.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Seborrheic dermatitis may involve the skin of the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, nasolabial creases, lips, behind the ears, in the external ear, and the skin of the trunk, particularly over the sternum and along skin folds. The cause is unknown.
Seborrheic dermatitis appears to run in families. Stress, fatigue, weather extremes, oily skin, infrequent shampoos or skin cleaning, use of lotions that contain alcohol, skin disorders (such as acne), or obesity may increase the risk.
Neurologic conditions, including Parkinson's disease , head injury , and stroke can also be associated with seborrheic dermatitis. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is also associated with increased cases of seborrheic dermatitis.
Cradle cap appears as thick, crusty, yellow or brown scales over the child's scalp. Similar scales may also be found on the eyelids, ear, around the nose, and in the groin. Cradle cap may be seen in newborns and small children up to the age of 3 years, and is a harmless, temporary condition.
Cradle cap is not contagious, nor is it caused by poor hygiene. It is not an allergy , and it is not dangerous. Cradle cap may or may not itch. If it itches, excessive scratching of the area may cause additional inflammation, and breaks in skin may cause mild infections or bleeding.
Signs and tests
The diagnosis is based on the appearance and location of the skin lesions.
The goal of treatment is to reduce the symptoms.
For infants with cradle cap:
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic condition, controllable with treatment. It often has extended inactive periods followed by flare-ups.
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if seborrheic dermatitis symptoms do not respond to self-care or over-the-counter treatments.
The tendency to develop seborrheic dermatitis appears inherited. The severity can be lessened by controlling the risk factors, and by careful attention to skin care (see treatment).
Update Date: 1/16/2004Jonathan Kantor, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT