ZocdocAnswersSeborrheic Dermatitis - Do exfoliating treatments work for seborrheic dermatitis?

Question

Seborrheic Dermatitis - Do exfoliating treatments work for seborrheic dermatitis?

I'm a guy in my 30s and I've had seborrheic dermatitis for too long now. At one point, my a beautician I met recommended exfoliating treatments to help fight the dermatitis. But would that work? It doesn't seem like it's a problem of blocked pores in the first place, and I'm worried the irritation would increase.

Answer

Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common types of skin condition. Fortunately, it can usually be treated with common remedies. Your primary care doctor or your dermatologist would both be qualified to discuss this issue with you. Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that affects the 'greasy' parts of the skin, such as the hairlines, scalp, and forehead. It is characterized by itching, flaking, and scaling. Most cases respond to simple measures such as hygiene, the avoidance of scratching, and a dandruff shampoo. More persistent cases may require topical anti-itch and anti-inflammatory steroid creams, which can be prescribed by your physician. Sometimes, thick scaly plaques can build up and these may be softened up with a product containing salicylic acid, tar, or other chemicals. This may be what your beautician was referring to as a 'exfoliating treatment.' Occasionally, treatment for possible fungal infection might be part of the treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. In these cases your doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream or even antifungal oral medications. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.