An overview on seborrheic dermatitis and its treatment (allopathy and homeopathy)


  • Ch. Nagateja Pharm.D, Sir C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • G. Padmasree Pharm.D, Sir C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • B. Jaya Madhuri Pharm.D, Sir C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • K. Sailaja Department of Pharmacology, Sir C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India



Seborrheic dermatitis, Scalp, Sebum secretions, Malassezia yeast, Scaling, Steriods, Antifungals, Homeopathy


Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, chronic inflammation of the skin, characterized by the appearance of red, flaking, greasy areas of skin, most commonly on the scalp, nasolabial folds, ears, eyebrows and chest. The incidence of the disease has two peaks: one in newborn infants up to three months of age, and the other in adults of around 30-60years of age. The exact causes of seborrheic dermatitis are not completely understood, multiple factors appears to be involved in the pathophysiology of the disease. The principle three factors involved are: sebum secreted from sebaceous gland, presence of Malassezia yeast, and the immune response of the host. Currently allopathic treatment and prophylaxis regimens usually include antifungal agents, most often azoles, mild topical steroids, immunomodulatory activity of topical calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus and other agents such as selenium sulfide, sulfur, metronidazole and coal tar. Homeopathy offers an excellent treatment for seborrheic dermatitis during all stages. Various homeopathic medicine used to treat seborrheic dermatitis are kali sulphuricum, thuja occidentalis, natrum muriaticum and more. The objective of this review is to discuss and provide information about seborrheic dermatitis and its epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, symptoms, diagnosis and its treatment in allopathy and homeopathy.

Author Biography

Ch. Nagateja, Pharm.D, Sir C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India

Pharm.D, Sir C. R. Reddy College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.


Cheong WK, Yeung CK, Torsekar RG, Suh DH, Ungpakorn R, Widaty S, et al. Treatment of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in Asia: A Consensus Guide. Skin Appendage Disord. 2016;1(4):187-96.

Kim GE, Mun KH, Song JY, Kim BG, Jung JK, Lee CS, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis treatment with stellate ganglion block -a case report. Korean J Anesthesiol. 2016;69(2):171-4.

Araya M, Kulthanan K, Jiamton S. Clinical characteristics and quality of life of seborrheic dermatitis patients in a tropical country. Indian J Dermatol. 2015;60:519.

Valia RG. Etiopathogenesis of seborrheic dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2006;72:253-5.

Victoire A, Magin P, Coughlan J, van Driel ML. Interventions for infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis (including cradle cap). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014;11:CD011380.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis - Clinical review By Dr James Powell on the 19 September 2017. Available at: article/1181296. Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Tamer F. Relationship between diet and seborrheic dermatitis. Our Dermatol Online. 2018;9(3):261-4.

Elgash M, Dlova N, Ogunleye T, Taylor SC. Seborrheic Dermatitis in Skin of Color:Clinical Considerations. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(1):24-7.

Dessinioti C, Katsambas A. Seborrheic dermatitis: Etiology, risk factors, and treatments::Facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2013;31(4):343-51.

Borda LJ, Wikramanayake TC. Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review. J Clin Investigat Dermatol. 2015;3(2):10.

Burkhart CG, Burkhart CN. Therapeutic Implications of Chemically- and Biologically-Altered Sebum Being One Cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis. Open Dermatol Jl. 2008;2:1-4.

Thomas D. Malassezia globosa and restricta: Breakthrough Understanding of the Etiology and Treatment of Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis through Whole-Genome Analysis. The journal of investigative dermatology. Symposium Proceedings. 2007;12:15-9.

Picardo M, Ottaviani M, Camera E, Mastrofrancesco A. Sebaceous gland lipids. Dermatoendocrinol. 2009;1(2):68-71.

Argirov A, Bakardzhiev I. New Insights into the Etiopathogenesis of Seborrheic Dermatitis. Clin Res Dermatol Open Access. 2017;4(1):1-5.

Zarei-Mahmoudabadi A, Zarrin M, Mehdinezhad F. Seborrheic dermatitis due to Malassezia species in Ahvaz, Iran. Iran J Microbiol. 2013;5(3):268-71.

Kamamoto CSL, Nishikaku AS, Gompertz OF, Melo AS, Hassun KM, Bagatin E. Cutaneous fungal microbiome: Malassezia yeasts in seborrheic dermatitis scalp in a randomized, comparative and therapeutic trial. Dermatoendocrinol. 2017;9(1):e1361573.

Bukvic Mokos Z, Kralj M, Basta-Juzbasic A, Lakos Jukic I. Seborrheic dermatitis:an update. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2012;20(2):98-104.

Faergemann J, Bergbrant IM, Dohse M. Seborrhoeic dermatitis and Pityrosporum (Malassezia) folliculitis:characterization of inflammatory cells and mediators in the skin by immuno histochemistry. Br J Dermatol. 2001;144:549-56.

Kim GK. Seborrheic Dermatitis and Malassezia species: How Are They Related? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2009;2(11):14-7.

Leung AKC, Barankin B. Seborrheic Dermatitis. Int J Pediat Health Care Adv. 2015;2(1):7-9.

Seborrheic Dermatitis/ National Eczema Association. Available at: https://nationaleczema. org/eczsema/types-of-eczema/seborrheic-dermatit-is/. Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Seborrheic Dermatitis:What is it, Diagnosis and Treatment. Available at https://my.clevelandclinic. org/health/diseases/14403-seborrheic-dermatitis. Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Berk T, Scheinfeld N. Seborrheic dermatitis. P T. 2010;35(6):348-52.

Del Rosso JQ. Adult seborrheic dermatitis:a status report on practical topical management. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2011;4(5):32-8.

Victoire A, Magin P, Coughlan J, van Driel ML. Interventions for infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis (including cradle cap). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;3(3):CD011380.

Fleischer AB Jr. Diagnosis and management of common dermatoses in children:atopic, seborrheic, and contact dermatitis. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2008;47(4):332-46.

Clark GW, Pope SM, Jaboori KA. Diagnosis and treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Am Fam Physician. 2015;91(3):185-90.

Pierard-Franchimont C, Pierard GE, Arrese JE, De Doncker P. Effect of Ketoconazole 1% and 2% Shampoos on Severe Dandruff and Seborrhoeic Dermatitis:Clinical, Squamometric and Mycological Assessments. Dermatology. 2001;202:171-6.

Shuster S, Meynadier J, Kerl H, Nolting S. Treatment and prophylaxis of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp with antipityrosporal 1% ciclopirox shampoo. Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(1):47-52.

Gupta A, Bluhm R. Seborrheic dermatitis. J Euro Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2004;18:13-26.

Chowdhry S, Gupta S, D’souza P. Topical antifungals used for treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. J Bacteriol Mycol Open Access. 2017;4(1):1-7.

Stefanaki I, Katsambas A. Therapeutic update on seborrheic dermatitis. Skin Therapy Lett. 2010;15(5):1-4.

Ortonne JP, Nikkels AF, Reich K, Ponce Olivera RM, Lee JH, Kerrouche N, Sidou F, Faergemann J. Efficacious and safe management of moderate to severe scalp seborrhoeic dermatitis using clobetasol propionate shampoo 0•05% combined with ketoconazole shampoo 2%:a randomized, controlled study. Br J Dermatol. 2011;165(1):171-6.

Bikowski J. Non-steroidal, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory Cream for Seborrheic Dermatitis. Practical Dermatology; 2009.

Maria A. Corticosteroid and Antifungal Alternative Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis: A Review. FABAD J Pharm Sci. 2020;45(1):77-89.

Schwartz RA, Janusz CA, Janniger CK. Seborrheic dermatitis:an overview. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(1):125-30.

Cook BA, Warshaw EM. Role of topical calcineurin inhibitors in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis:a review of pathophysiology, safety, and efficacy. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2009;10(2):103-18.

Barak-Shinar D, Green LJ. Scalp Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff Therapy Using a Herbal and Zinc Pyrithione-based Therapy of Shampoo and Scalp Lotion. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(1):26-31.

Marks R, Pearse AD, Walker AP. The effects of a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione on the control of dandruff. Br J Dermatol. 1985;112(4):415-22.

Arnold WP. Tar. Clin Dermatol. 1997;15(5):739-44.

Chowdhry S, Lokhande A, Souza PD. To Compare the Efficacy of Different Therapeutic Agents in Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis. J Derma Pigm Res. 2007;1(1):104.

Das J, Majumdar M, Chakraborty U, Majumdar V, Mazumdar G, Nath J. Oral itraconazole for the treatment of severe seborrhoeic dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol. 2011;56:515-6.

Baysal V, Yildirim M, Ozcanli C, Ceyhan AM. Itraconazole in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis:a new treatment modality. Int J Dermatol. 2004;43(1):63-6.

Seborrheic dermatitis cured with homeopathy. Available at: Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Top rated homeopathic medicines for seborrheic dermatitis. Available at: https://www.drhomeo. com/homeopathic-treatment/homeopathic-medi-cines-for-seborrheic-dermatitis/. Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Bhadoriya Y. Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes, Symptoms and Treatment: Homeopathic Perspective. WJPMR. 2017;3(5):237-9.

Effective Homeopathic Medicines for Seborrheic Dermatitis by Dr. Vikas Sharma, MD. Available at: Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Smith SA, Baker AE, Williams JH. Effective treatment of seborrheic dermatitis using a low dose, oral homeopathic medication consisting of potassium bromide, sodium bromide, nickel sulfate, and sodium chloride in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Altern Med Rev. 2002;7(1):59-67.

Best Homeopathic Treatment for Seborrheic dermatitis in vasant kunj treatment in delhi. Available at: Accessed on 3 June 2020.

Seborrheic dermatitis diagnosis and treatment. Available at Accessed on 3 June 2020.






Review Articles