Which drugs may be used to treat seborrheic dermatitis?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Marc Zachary Handler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Early treatment of flares is encouraged. Behavior modification techniques in reducing excoriations are especially helpful with scalp involvement.

Pharmacologic agents that may be used include the following:

  • Topical corticosteroids (discouraged except for short-term use and at risk for tachyphylaxis when used as monotherapy)

  • For skin involvement, ketoconazole, naftifine, or ciclopirox creams and gels [4, 5, 6] ; alternatively, calcineurin inhibitors (ie, pimecrolimus, tacrolimus), [7, 8, 9] sulfur or sulfonamide combinations, or propylene glycol [10, 11, 12, 13, 14]

  • For acute flares, class IV or lower corticosteroid creams, lotions, or solutions

  • For severe or unresponsive lesions, systemic fluconazole [15]

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