What is seborrheic dermatitis?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Marc Zachary Handler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Seborrheic dermatitis is a papulosquamous disorder patterned on the sebum-rich areas of the scalp, face, and trunk (see the image below). In addition to sebum, this dermatitis is linked to Malassezia, [1] immunologic abnormalities, and activation of complement. Its severity ranges from mild dandruff to exfoliative erythroderma.

Seborrheic dermatitis may affect any hair-bearing Seborrheic dermatitis may affect any hair-bearing area, and the chest is frequently involved. Courtesy of Wilford Hall Medical Center Dermatology Teaching slides.

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