Seborrheic Dermatitis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 4/12/2021

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common, chronic skin condition resulting from inflammation of the skin. Oily skin may be a risk factor associated with seborrheic dermatitis. Furthermore, many of those affected by seborrheic dermatitis have an abundant growth of normal skin yeast (Pityrosporum or Malassezia) in the affected areas. Seborrheic dermatitis affects people of all ages.

Signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include a red, scaly, oozing rash or eruption of the skin that often occurs on the scalp. In babies, it has been referred to as cradle cap. Other common locations include the eyebrows, mid-face, ears, mid-chest, and mid-back. Other associated symptoms and signs can include

  • itching and
  • yellow or white flaky scales.

Cause of seborrheic dermatitis

The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown.

Other seborrheic dermatitis symptoms and signs

  • Itching
  • Red, Scaly, Oozing Rash or Eruption of the Skin That Often Occurs on the Scalp
  • Yellow or White Flaky Scales


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.