Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis? An itch by any other name

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common rash characterized by redness, scaling or flaking, or itching. It mainly affects the skin on the scalp (as dandruff), face, chest and joints. When adults get seborrheic dermatitis, the condition can come and go for the rest of their life. Flare-ups are common with weather changes, and other factors such as stress can also be a trigger. Proper treatment can reduce flare-ups and bring relief. In this video, Dr. Hermenio Lima talks about the different causes and treatment options for seborrheic dermatitis.

Learn the answers to the following questions:

  • 1:35 - What is seborrheic dermatitis?
  • 5:44 - What are some other similar terms?
  • 10:07 - What causes seborrheic dermatitis?
  • 15:27 - What are the treatment options?
  • 24:27 - What about other types of dermatitis?
  • 28:24 - When should you see a specialist?

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  1. McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. In people with seborrheic dermatitis of the face or scalp, short-term use of topical steroids reduces symptoms. (n.d.). Accessed January 14, 2022. Available from: https://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/full-article/es/people-seborrheic-dermatitis-face-scalp-short-term-topical-steroids-reduces-106
  2. Kastarinen H, Oksanen T, Okokon EO, et al. Topical anti-inflammatory agents for seborrhoeic dermatitis of the face or scalp (Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;5:CD009446.
  3. Berk T, Scheinfeld N. Seborrheic dermatitis. P T. 2010;35(6):348-352.
  4. Dessinioti C, Katsambas A. Seborrheic dermatitis: etiology, risk factors, and treatments: facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2013;31(4):343-351.
  5. Sinikumpu SP, Jokelainen J, Haarala AK, Keränen MH, Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi S, Huilaja L. The High Prevalence of Skin Diseases in Adults Aged 70 and Older. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020;68(11):2565-2571


This work is supported through the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging and funds provided by the Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

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