FPIN's Help Desk Answers
Topical Medications for Seborrheic Dermatitis
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Mar 1;95(5):329.
What is the most effective topical medication for adults with seborrheic dermatitis of the face or scalp?
Steroids and antifungal agents can be used to effectively treat seborrheic dermatitis. Calcineurin inhibitors are as effective as steroids, but have a higher incidence of short-term adverse effects. (Strength of Recommendation: A, based on systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials [RCTs].)
A systematic review (36 RCTs, N = 2,706) compared topical therapies for seborrheic dermatitis in patients older than 16 years.1 Three trials comparing potent
1. Kastarinen H, Oksanen T, Okokon EO, et al. Topical anti-inflammatory agents for seborrhoeic dermatitis of the face or scalp. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014(5)CD009446.
2. Apasrawirote W, Udompataikul M, Rattanamongkolgul S. Topical antifungal agents for seborrheic dermatitis: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Med Assoc Thai. 2011;94(6):756–760.
Help Desk Answers provides answers to questions submitted by practicing family physicians to the Family Physicians Inquiries Network (FPIN). Members of the network select questions based on their relevance to family medicine. Answers are drawn from an approved set of evidence-based resources and undergo peer review. The strength of recommendations and the level of evidence for individual studies are rated using criteria developed by the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group (http://www.cebm.net/?o=1025).
The complete database of evidence-based questions and answers is copyrighted by FPIN. If interested in submitting questions or writing answers for this series, go to http://www.fpin.org or e-mail: email@example.com.
This series is coordinated by John E. Delzell Jr., MD, MSPH, Assistant Medical Editor.
A collection of FPIN's Help Desk Answers published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/hda.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions