A Solution for Seborrhea

December 31, 2006

A recent Dermclinic case featured a teenaged girl with seborrheic dermatitis thatmanifested as a scaly, slightly itchy rash on her upper eyelids (CONSULTANT,April 15, 2002, page 611).

A recent Dermclinic case featured a teenaged girl with seborrheic dermatitis thatmanifested as a scaly, slightly itchy rash on her upper eyelids (CONSULTANT,April 15, 2002, page 611). I have seen this condition frequently, especially inolder patients.I recommend that affected patients liberally apply a solution of baby shampooand water to the eyelid margins and eyebrows and then rinse thoroughly withwater. The baby-shampoo-and-water solution can be swathed on with an applicatoror rubbed on the lid margins and eyebrows with a face cloth when bathing orshowering.Because seborrheic dermatitis is a lifelong condition, this treatment needs tobe repeated regularly. If it is incorporated into the patient's daily hygiene regimen,recurrences will be rare and easily managed.
-- Bonnie Faherty, PhD, APRN, BC
    Northridge, Calif
Good hygiene is essential for treatment of sehorrhea, because theinflammatory component of the condition appears to be related tothe density of the Pityrosporum ovale yeast population. However,while washing with nonmedicated shampoo may be effective forsome patients, others require therapeutic intervention, such as amild corticosteroid or antifungal cream, or tacrolimus ointment. Another, newertherapeutic option is sodium sulfacetamide 10% facial wash, a gentle cleanserthat is as nonirritating as baby shampoo yet also contains the antibiotic approvedfor treatment of P ovale, the suspected causative agent in seborrhea.
-- David L. Kaplan, MD
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology
    University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine
    University of Kansas School of Medicine
    Kansas City