You'll probably first visit your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may free up time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- What are your symptoms, and when did you first notice them?
- Is this the first time you've had these symptoms, or have you had them before?
- How severe are your symptoms? Are they about the same all the time, getting worse, or sometimes better and sometimes worse?
- Have you tried any at-home treatments, such creams, gels or shampoos?
- How often do you use these treatments?
- Does anything seem to help?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms worse?
- What medications, vitamins or supplements are you taking?
- Have you been under stress lately or experienced major life changes?
What you can do in the meantime
An over-the-counter (nonprescription) antifungal cream or anti-itch cream can be helpful. If your scalp is affected, a nonprescription antifungal shampoo may ease your symptoms. Try not to scratch or pick at the affected area, because if you irritate your skin or scratch it open, you increase your risk of infection.
May 30, 2014
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=330. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=56050969. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Sasseville D, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Sasseville D, et al. Cradle cap and seborrheic dermatitis in infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Lebwohl MG, et al. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Pizzorno JE, et al. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2014.
- Ramos-e-Silva M, et al. Red face revisited: Endogenous dermatitis in the form of atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. Clinics in Dermatology. 2014;32:109.
- Efficacious and safe management of moderate to severe seborrheic dermatitis using clobetasol propionate shampoo 0.05% combined with ketonazole shampoo 2%. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2012;66(suppl 1):AB50.
- Kim GK, et al. Topical pimecrolimus 1% cream in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2013;6:29.
- AskMayoExpert. Seborrheic dermatitis (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Public health advisory: Elidel (pimecrolimus) cream and Protopic (tacrolimus) cream. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/PublicHealthAdvisories/UCM051760. Accessed Jan. 22, 2014.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 6, 2014.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Feb. 6, 2014.
- Dessinioti C, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis: Etiology, risk factors and treatments: Facts and controversies. Clinics in Dermatology. 2013;31:343.