Preparing for your appointment

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 as 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.

July 11, 2017
References
  1. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 6, 2017.
  2. Clark GW, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. American Family Physician. 2015;91:185.
  3. Pizzorno JE, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis. In: Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  4. Sasseville D. Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  5. Dandruff: How to treat. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-and-scalp-problems/dandruff-how-to-treat. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  6. 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.
  7. Dessinioti C, et al. Seborrheic dermatitis: Etiology, risk factors and treatments: Facts and controversies. Clinics in Dermatology. 2013;31:343.
  8. AskMayoExpert. Seborrheic dermatitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  9. Public health advisory: Elidel (pimecrolimus) cream and Protopic (tacrolimus) cream. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm153941.htm. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  10. Okokon EO, et al. Topical antifungals for seborrhoeic dermatitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008138.pub3/full. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  11. Ferri FF. Seborrheic dermatitis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 4, 2017.
  12. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Dermatologic disorders. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2017. 56th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed April 4, 2017.
  13. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Seborrheic dermatitis. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed April 4, 2017.