How To Wash Seborrheic Dermatitis Scalp?

How To Wash Seborrheic Dermatitis Scalp?

Table of Contents

Seborrheic dermatitis on clothes and hair is one of the undesirable things that many men and women face. Even after washing and drying the hair, scales often appear on the head and between the hairs and cause an unpleasant feeling.
Many people suffer from dry scalps. Most of us have had seborrheic dermatitis intermittently and mostly seasonally, especially in the winter season, because in the winter season, due to the dryness of the air and the decrease in humidity, the skin of the body becomes dry in all areas, and the scalp is no exception to this rule.

In this valuable article from drhealthandbeauty, we will first discuss what seborrheic dermatitis is, and then we will suggest solutions to treat and get rid of seborrheic dermatitis.

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The difference between seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff

Many people think that seborrheic dermatitis is the same as dandruff. If these two problems are not the same, a different reason causes each one. Although seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff have similar symptoms, they are complications caused by different issues.
It is essential to understand the difference between seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff because to choose the correct treatment method, shampoo, and methods should be used according to the disease so that the treatment is effective and recovery is achieved. 

( you may also be interested in “How Can I Remove Dandruff Permanently? Home Remedies“)

Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as seborrheic eczema, is a type of skin inflammation that usually occurs in places with many oil-producing glands, such as the scalp, face, upper chest, and back of the body.

Dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. This disease is also common in infancy, which is called “Cradle Cap.” Cradle caps usually fall off between 8 and 12 months of age.

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Who is susceptible to seborrheic dermatitis?

Doctors still do not know precisely why some people get this disease. However, some factors increase the risk of contracting this disease in people who have a family member with this disease.

Other factors that increase the risk of contracting the disease include:

  1. obesity
  2. Low skincare ( it is recommended to read the article “Skin Cycling Routine Morning And Night” )
  3. Stress
  4. Environmental factors such as pollution
    Observing other skin problems, such as acne
    Using certain skin care products, especially products that contain alcohol
  5. Some diseases, such as HIV and Parkinson’s
    Medicines such as psoralen, interferon, and lithium
  6. Hormonal changes
    Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are not permanent; Symptoms come and go and may worsen during certain seasons, such as winter.
    Some diseases related to nerves, such as Parkinson’s, also increase the risk of developing this condition.
skin Seborrheic Dermatitis

Most common causes of seborrheic dermatitis:

The leading cause of this disease is unknown, but according to doctors, two main factors play a role in this disease.

  • The first factor

Excessive production of oil on the skin. Too much oil can irritate the skin and cause the skin to become red and oily.

  • The second facto

Malassezia is a type of yeast that exists naturally in the skin’s sebum. This yeast can sometimes multiply abnormally, leading to an inflammatory reaction in the skin and excessive sebum secretion. In this case, excessive oil production will lead to seborrheic dermatitis.

When your skin lacks moisture, it dries out. As a result of dryness, your scalp becomes irritated and may become flaky.

 If your scalp is dry, there is a possibility of dry skin in other parts of the body, such as arms and legs, and as we mentioned before, one of the ways to distinguish dandruff from dandruff is this.

Seborrheic Dermatitis diagram

Less common causes of seborrheic dermatitis:

  • cold weather

Cold weather and living in cold regions make you susceptible to dandruff. Because the cold dries your skin and reduces its fat and moisture, seborrheic dermatitis can worsen if you do not take care of it.

  • age increasing

One of the things that has a significant effect on the formation of the scalp is aging. 

As we age, the growth and reproduction of our body cells decrease. The scalp is no exception to this rule, and this interrupts the cycle of cell death and their replacement with new cells and causes seborrheic dermatitis. 

The scalp in old age is the same dead cells that have not yet been replaced by new cells.

aging nd Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • skin diseases

Sometimes the formation of the scalp is due to skin diseases, which sometimes we do not even know about until the initial symptoms develop, Like skin dermatitis. 

This disease occurs when we irritate the scalp and damage it due to the use of inappropriate cosmetics or even shampoos and detergents. The result of this incompatibility will be flaking of the scalp and hair loss.

Related: “Home Remedies For Hair Fall And Regrowth

skin diseas avnd Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • vitamin deficiency

One of the main issues in creating a scalp is the lack of vitamins and nutrients necessary for the body due to having an improper diet, as a result of which the body does not receive enough vitamins and minerals, and the skin becomes dry and damaged. Scaling of the head can be one of its symptoms.

Of course, apart from these cases, there are other reasons for seborrheic dermatitis scalp, which many people probably face.

Long-term use of solid shampoos that contain many chemicals.
Types of fungal infections
Using hard water (water that has many salts such as calcium and magnesium) for washing and bathing
Excessive use of hair conditioners
Not taking care of the hair, including not using all kinds of hair masks and suitable oils and…

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disease that requires time to heal. However, following the treatment process with a specialist doctor, daily skin care and diagnosis, and trigger removal can effectively control the disease.

vitamin deficiency and Seborrheic Dermatitis

What are the clinical symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?

The signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are aggravated by stress, fatigue, or the change of season.

Symptoms of seborrheic

  • dermatitis in infants

Infantile seborrheic dermatitis causes cradle cap (diffuse, oily scaling on the scalp). The rash may spread and affect the axillary and groin folds; pink spots may peel. In babies, seborrheic dermatitis does not cause itching; Therefore, the baby is often not bothered by the rash, even when it is generalized.

dermatitis in infants
  •  seborrheic dermatitis in adults

As mentioned, seborrheic dermatitis usually affects areas of the skin that produce a lot of sebum, such as the scalp, nasal folds, eyebrows, beard, ears, skin behind the ears, sternum, and other skin folds. Typical features include:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard, or mustache
  • Pinkish-orange, thin, scaly, ill-defined spots in the skin fold on both sides of the face
  • Petal or ring-shaped scaly spots on the hairline and anterior part of the chest
  • Rashes in the armpits, under the breasts, in the groin folds, and genital folds
  • Malassezia folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles) on the cheeks and upper trunk
  • Combination of oily and dry skin in the middle of the face
  • Rashes may appear darker or lighter in people with brown or black skin and redder in people with fair skin.
  • Ring-shaped rash in cases called petaloid seborrheic dermatitis Most of the time, it is minimally itchy.
  • Blepharitis: scaly red eyelid margin

If you are a person who cares about her skin It is advisable to read the article “Stages Of Skin Rejuvenation

symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis

How severe are the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis?

The progress and severity of seborrhoeic dermatitis symptoms, each person’s response to treatment, and the time interval between the subsidence of the symptoms and the relapse, or even the likelihood of relapse, are different in different people and depend on several factors. As:

  • Sebum secretion rate (natural skin fat)
  • The strength or weakness of a person’s immune system
  • Skin barrier integrity (epidermal health level)
  • Skin microbiome (the population of microorganisms that naturally live on the surface of human skin.)
  • The population and condition of the Malassezia fungus on the surface of the skin (this fungus is naturally present on the skin of all people, but in some cases, its population becomes significant and problematic.)
  • Hormonal conditions and the body’s nervous system

Environmental factors

The occurrence of secondary infection if not treated!
If a person has more severe seborrheic dermatitis, he may also see erythematous plaques on his scalp and hairline, which are prominent and solid patches of thickened skin. 

If this disease is not treated, these plaques become thicker, yellow, and greasy and cause secondary infection.

Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis

In teenagers and adults, seborrheic dermatitis usually does not go away on its own without treatment. 

The treatment type depends on the affected body’s area and the symptoms’ severity. The goal of treatment is to reduce the visible symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis and itching and redness

For teenagers and adults, the primary treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is medicated shampoos, creams, and lotions.

Your doctor may suggest that you try home remedies before using medical treatments. 

For example, anti-dandruff shampoos are usually recommended for treating scalp seborrheic dermatitis. It is better to use this shampoo every day to achieve the desired result.

secondary infection

Are there any natural remedies for sebaceous dermatitis scalp treatment?

  1. Use of anti-itch and antifungal creams
  2. Use of soap and hypoallergenic detergents
  3. Wash off shampoo and soap thoroughly after use
  4. Complete correction of beard and mustache
  5. Wear loose cotton home clothes to avoid skin irritation
Complete shaving of beard and mustache

What are the best shampoos for a sebaceous dermatitis scalp?

Shampoos and ointments suitable for seborrheic dermatitis contain hydrocortisone, fluocinolone, and desonide. 

These drugs can also be used directly in the desired area. While these drugs are very effective for treating this skin condition, they can also have side effects if used for a long time.

Antifungal gels, creams, lotions, foams, or shampoos are replaced with another drug for mild cases. Your dermatologist may suggest that you try a product with 2 percent ketoconazole or 1 percent ciclopirox (Loprax) or two or more products periodically. 

Ketoconazole can aggravate the dryness of strong or chemically treated hair and increase the risk of breakage; To reduce this effect, use it only once a week with a moisturizing conditioner.

How often you shampoo or use other antifungal products depends on your hair type and symptoms. Medicated shampoos can be used once a day or 2-3 times a week for several weeks. 

Let the product sit on your scalp for a few minutes to take effect, then rinse. Once the symptoms are gone, use a medicated shampoo only once a week or once every two weeks. This will help prevent recurrence.


Related: “What Is The Most Permanent Method Of Hair Removal?

shampoos for a sebaceous dermatitis

For moderate to severe cases of seborrheic dermatitis, Creams, lotions, shampoos, or ointments that control inflammation. Your doctor will likely prescribe a solid corticosteroid on the scalp or other affected areas.

These include hydrocortisone, fluocinolone (Capex, Synalar), clobetasol (Clobex, Temovate), and desonide (Desowen, Desonate). These drugs are efficient and easy to use.

It is better to use them only until the symptoms disappear; If used for weeks or months without a break, they can cause side effects such as loss of skin color, thinning of the skin, and the appearance of lines or lines on the skin.

Creams or ointments with calcineurin inhibitors, such as tacrolimus (Protopic) or pimecrolimus (Elidel), may also be effective. One of their advantages is that they have fewer side effects than corticosteroids. 

However, these treatments are not the first choice because the FDA is concerned about a possible cancer link. In addition, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus cost more than mild corticosteroids.

For severe cases of seborrheic dermatitis, oral antifungal medication or phototherapy (a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light to reduce inflammation in the skin) is prescribed.

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Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in infants and children

The cradle cap is usually treated when the baby is between 8 and 12 months old without any specific treatment, just daily washing with a mild baby shampoo.

 After each shampoo, massage or brush the scalp with a soft brush several times daily. Be careful not to scratch the skin, which can lead to infection.

Call your pediatrician or dermatologist if the problem persists or the child is uncomfortable scratching the scalp. Your doctor may prescribe a prescription shampoo or lotion. Other affected skin areas are usually treated with a mild steroid lotion.


Can changing my diet improve my sebaceous dermatitis symptoms?

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory disease, and its symptoms, like any other disease caused by inflammation, decrease or increase by changing the food intake.

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Some methods to control the diet suitable for seborrheic dermatitis:

1) Yeast elimination diet
These diets are based on eliminating bread, cheeses, wine, beer, excessive carbohydrates, and other foods made of yeast or fungi.
While following this diet, you can maintain a population of healthy bacteria and yeast in the gut (natural gut flora) by taking high-quality probiotics.

2) Anti-inflammatory diet
In this diet, inflammatory foods such as red meat, processed/packaged foods, and dairy fats are limited as much as possible.

Evidence shows that an anti-inflammatory diet, in addition to helping to control inflammatory skin diseases and seborrheic dermatitis, reduces the risk of diseases such as many cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and asthma. 

Also, positive results have been reported for controlling problems such as chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and osteoporosis.

The omega-3 needed by the body can be obtained from foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), flax seeds, and walnuts. If you cannot access these foods, an omega-3 supplement is also helpful.

anti-inflammatory diet

3) Vitamins and minerals
During the research, biotin was used in babies with seborrheic dermatitis both by direct treatment of the baby and through treatment with the mother’s milk.
You can get the biotin you need through supplements or, better yet, through natural sources.

Dosage of biotin supplement: maximum 5-10 mg per day
Food sources: egg yolk, salmon, liver, avocado, carrot, banana, cauliflower

Lifestyle changes and home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis

You can control your seborrheic dermatitis through lifestyle changes and home care. Some of the most important things to follow are as follows:

Avoid contact with chemical pollution, smoke, and dust as much as possible.
Do not smoke or be exposed to its smoke.

Modify your diet today. We have discussed this in detail below.
Control your stress and anxiety. In two other articles titled Stress and Anxiety and stress treatment without Drugs, we have discussed this issue and how it is done.

Healthy and sufficient sleep is more effective than you think in controlling the symptoms and preventing the recurrence of inflammatory diseases and seborrheic dermatitis. By following sleep hygiene tips, you can gradually increase the quality of your sleep.


Dermatitis means skin lesions that are red and inflamed and cause itchy skin; Seborrheic means that these skin lesions appear in the oily areas of the skin (where sebaceous cells exist), such as the face, scalp, and middle of the chest.
Seborrheic dermatitis scalp is a prevalent condition; many people have it without knowing it. 

In general, 4 percent of the entire population suffers from seborrheic dermatitis, and half of the adults also suffer from dandruff, a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. 

This problem may occur at any age after puberty, which is more common in men than women. Of course, babies may also develop a kind of seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp and in the areas that are in contact with the diaper, which resolves after a few months.

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Author and specialist

Dr. Majid Zahrabi,


  • Board Certified Neurosurgeon
  • DHA certificate holder
  • Plantation certificate holder, France
  • Certified holder of Discogol, France
  • A pioneer in the non-surgical treatment of disc herniation in the Middle East and CIS countries.
  • Under the training and coaching of Professor Jacques Theron (founder of Discogel Therapy) since 2008
  • More than 400 successful cervical and 1300 lumbar discogel injections
  • Trained and certified several neurosurgeons and spine surgeons in the Middle East and CIS countries for the treatment of Discogel
  • Strong belief in patient-centered care planning and participation
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Imam Khomeini and Amir Mazandarani Hospital, Sari, Iran, with more than 430 surgeries annually, 2000-2011
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Farmaniyeh, Nikan and Yas Sepid Hospital, Tehran, Iran, with more than 400 surgeries annually, 2011-2012
  • Neurosurgeon at Iranian Hospital, Dubai, 2022-2023
  • Since 2015, he has been working as a reference doctor for the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with Discogel and has trained many doctors of spine-related specialties in various countries of the Middle East and CIS in person/practically and online.



  • Individual training sessions under the direct supervision of Professor Jacques Theron in Discogel treatment, 2008-2020
  • Training sessions under the supervision of Professor Thierry Boye on spinal implants, 2007
  • Participation and presentation in several national and international medical and neuro-spinal conferences
  • Board certificate by Iran Neurosurgery Board, 2001
  • Neurosurgery assistant training course, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, 1996-2001 (In 2001, he graduated from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with the first rank in the country.
  • His thesis the titled:The Application of human amniotic membrane in repair of dura matter in dogs.” ( It was happening for the first time in the world. )
  • General medical education, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, 1984-1993


Published books:

  • CT scan of the brain for doctors
  • Etiology and treatment of painful spine disorders
  • Atlas of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of spine disorders
  • The most common mistakes in the treatment of spinal disorders
  • Reading brain CT scan in simple language (3rd place in the book of the year)
  • Treatment of head and spine injuries

Publications and articles:

  • Bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of DISCOGEL® (https://www.researchgate.net/)
  • Muscle recovery, reduction of pain, and improvement of movement strategies in patients with lumbar discopathy after injection of Discogel.
  • The article on the initial results of the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection, which won the second-best poster rank at the Pan Arab International Congress of Interventional Radiology (March 14-16, 2015) and was accepted for presentation at the Chicago Pain Congress.
  • The use of human amniotic membrane in dura mater repair in dogs, a study for the first time in the world.



  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2019
  • Chicago International Pain Congress, 2019
  • Iran International Pain Management Congress, 2018
  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2018
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Armenia for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2017
  • First Live Workshop and Seminar on Minimally Invasive Disc Therapy (DISCON), 2017
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Azerbaijan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • Seminar of Iranian official managers, 2016
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Tajikistan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • International Neurological Intervention Congress in Iran, 2014
  • Educational seminar for nurses on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Educational seminar for general practitioners on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Speech at the Retraining Seminar for General Practitioners and Specialists in Dubai (Discon) in 2017
  • Speech in the internal retraining courses of Irani Hospital, Dubai
  • Holding lecture sessions and practical workshops on the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Oman, and Armenia during the years 2015 to 2021.
  • Giving a lecture and holding a practical workshop for neurosurgeons in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh City University in 2023

Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.