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Seborrheic Dermatitis
September 2003

Q. What are the causes of seborrheic dermatitis and how can it be treated with diet?

A. Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition which appears as red, flaky or scaly skin. It occurs most commonly on the scalp and eyebrows but can affect other areas as well. This dermatitis can occur in infancy, and also after age 30, affecting more men than women.

The cause is not known, but genetics may play a role and often several family members are affected. There is no single cure, so treatment is aimed at controlling the symptoms. For the scalp, this usually involves non-prescription dandruff shampoos, and prescription medications if these are not sufficient.

Active ingredients in these shampoos include salicylates, selenium, tar, and zinc. Diet changes have not been shown to be an effective treatment.



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