Letters to the Editor

Management of Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis


Am Fam Physician. 2007 Mar 15;75(6):807.

to the editor: The article on seborrheic dermatitis in the July 1, 2006, issue of American Family Physician was an excellent review of a common topic.1 However, it is usually unnecessary to prescribe medications for cradle cap, which is a benign self-limited condition that generally resolves within six to eight weeks. Simple measures such as daily shampooing and application of olive or mineral oil will suffice to treat most infants with cradle cap. This first-line therapy limits the need for topical steroid medication and its risks, such as cutaneous atrophy.

In older children and adults, other non-pharmacologic measures that may be beneficial include limiting hair spray, gel, and sunlight exposure. Evidence supporting the effictiveness of a particular medication regimen should not cause physicians to deemphasize simple lifestyle changes that also can assist in the management of a disease.

Author disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


1. Schwartz RA, Janusz CA, Janniger CK. Seborrheic dermatitis: an overview. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74:125–30.

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This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



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