Can seborrheic dermatitis look like acne treatments?

Six weeks after the start of the treatment. Almost complete resolution on the cheeks and to a lesser extent the chin.

If your baby has cradle cap, shampoo their scalp daily with warm water and baby shampoo. A dandruff shampoo could irritate their skin, so talk to your pediatrician about medicated shampoos before you try one. To soften thick patches, rub mineral oil onto the area and brush gently with a baby hairbrush to help peel the scales off.

The many treatment options available for acne can be very overwhelming for patients trying to manage their symptoms on their own. In general, if you are experiencing acne it is best to consult with a dermatology practitioner to guide you on the best topical maintenance plan for you.

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As an adult, you can get seborrheic dermatitis on your face, especially around your nose, in your eyebrows, on your eyelids, or behind your ears. You might develop it on your skin under your beard or mustache. It can show up on other parts of your body, too:

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Tips to help manage seborrheic dermatitis symptoms

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that can be managed best by having a consultation with a dermatologist. They should be able to make an appropriate diagnosis and provide you with adequate treatment.

There are many different risk factors that can contribute to developing acne on your skin.

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Acne can affect the face, chest, back, neck and sometimes more extensively over the body. Acne lesions can often lead to scarring and dark marks on the skin even long after the active acne has resolved. That is why it is so important to prevent and control acne to prevent these permanent scars and marks.

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Antifungal creams (such as ketoconazole, ciclopirox, or clotrimazole) are effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis when the condition is associated with yeast overgrowth 7 . Ketoconazole is clinically proven and widely used for this condition and it is part of the reason we understand seborrhea’s relation to yeast. Ketoconazole 1% shampoos can be found over the counter in brands such as Nizoral.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disease that can cause a rash anywhere on your body. (Photo credit: istock/Getty Images)

Some seborrheic dermatitis triggers include:

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The association between isotretinoin and different dermatological side effects affecting the face has been documented in the literature. These side effects include angioedema [1-2], urticaria [2], perioral abscess [3], and lip abscess [4]. To our knowledge, seborrheic dermatitis-like eruptions have been narrowly described in the literature. One study done by Barzilai et al. in 2012 described five patients who presented with yellow, greasy scales on the cheeks that resembled seborrheic dermatitis during or after the course of isotretinoin for acne [5].

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Seborrheic Dermatitis Risk Factors

For infants, treatment options are limited because of their very delicate skin. Regular washing of the scalp and face is important. Petroleum jelly can be applied to areas of thick scaling to help gently remove with a warm wet washcloth. If you are having trouble managing your infant’s cradle cap it is always best to consult with your practitioner to guide you on age appropriate treatment options.

Seborrheic dermatitis shampoo. Your doctor might suggest you use a medicated shampoo with 2% ketoconazole or 1% ciclopirox (Loprox). But be aware that ketoconazole can make your hair more dry if it’s tightly coiled or chemically treated. In that case, use the shampoo no more than once a week and use a moisturizing conditioner. You can use other medicated shampoos once a day, or two to three times a week, for several weeks. Let it sit on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing. When your symptoms go away, you can use it every week or two to help prevent a relapse.

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Use lukewarm water and a gentle, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic facial cleanser to wash your face. Dr. Williams recommends gentle skin cleansers such as “foams” for oily skin and “hydrating formulas” for drier skin types. Avoid using hot water and harsh soaps or cleansers that can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate dryness. Many people who do not regularly bathe or wash their hair suffer from this condition simply because the yeast do not get removed regularly enough from the skin from gentle cleanser and water.

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In our case, the patient developed itchy, adherent yellow, scaly plaques on her cheeks shortly after the initiation of isotretinoin for her acne. She has never experienced any similar dermatological manifestations before. To our knowledge, only a few cases with more or less a similar presentation have been documented previously in the literature. A retrospective study published in 2012 by Barzilai et al. presented five patients aged between 18 and 23 years who experienced a similar rash. The rash had flat-topped or spiky, tiny, yellow, adherent, greasy scales that were predominantly on the cheeks. It was defined as seborrheic dermatitis that developed during or after the start of the isotretinoin course [5]. As this study in the literature has a very similar dermatological presentation to our case, the report of this study is in line with our report that isotretinoin could lead to a seborrheic dermatitis-like drug eruption. We approached our patient accordingly and the lesions completely resolved in 2 months.

Seborrheic dermatitis is typically caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental influences. The primary trigger often involves an inflammatory response to an excess of Malassezia yeast, which is a naturally occurring microorganism on the skin’s surface. The overgrowth of Malassezia can trigger an exaggerated immune response, leading to a fungal infection and changes in the skin 3 .

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