Adult Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
Many preparations are available from your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to clear up the rash and keep it under control. But, before treating it, see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.
Treatment options for adult seborrhoeic dermatitis
Adult seborrhoeic dermatitis
Use a medicated shampoo to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis on the scalp. Those designed to treat dandruff may be sufficient if the scaling is mild. They work by reducing the number of yeasts living on your scalp.
Shampoos containing tar, and sometimes salicylic acid, are often more effective, these include Capasal and T/Gel shampoo.
For a shampoo to be effective you should use it regularly, following the instructions on the bottle or sachet – this often means leaving the shampoo on the scalp for a few minutes before washing it off. Do not rub your scalp too hard when washing your hair as this can aggravate the condition.
Nizoral shampoo is a powerful anti-yeast treatment which is often used if scaling does not improve after using a medicated shampoo for a few weeks. For the best results, it should be left on the scalp for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off and used twice a week for 2-4 weeks.
Nizoral is available from the pharmacy and can also be obtained on prescription from your GP. Once the course of treatment is finished it is best to use a medicated shampoo to help prevent the condition from returning.
A mild steroid cream or ointment may be prescribed if the eczema is very inflamed and itchy. If scaling is severe, an ointment containing a combination of mild steroid plus sulphur or salicylic acid may be prescribed.
Several antifungal creams, with or without a mild steroid, are also available to treat seborrhoeic eczema on other parts of the body. In severe cases, when a rash won’t clear, your doctor may give you an anti-yeast medicine to be taken by mouth. A factsheet on adult seborrhoeic eczema by the National Eczema Society is available to download from the related documents to the right of this page.