Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disorder that varies in severity between individuals and with time. Although the exact cause of this disease is not well understood, there is increasing understanding of the etiopathogenesis. Seborrheic dermatitis is a multifactorial disease. Both endogenous and exogenous predisposing factors are involved in its development. Presence of these factors leads to reproduction of the saprophytic opportunistic pathogen Malassezia spp. The inflammatory reaction against Malassezia yeast is considered basic in the etiology. The mechanisms via which these yeasts cause inflammation remain controversial. The current therapeutic approach is based on the wide range of topical antifungal formulations, keratolytics, and anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents, which provide safe, effective, and flexible treatment options for seborrheic dermatitis. Significant improvement can also be achieved by systemic antifungals and phototherapy. It should be kept in mind that severe and therapy-resistant forms of seborrheic dermatitis can be a predictor of some serious conditions such as HIV infection.
KeywordsSeborrheic dermatitis Malassezia yeast Antifungal treatment Calcineurin inhibitors Corticosteroids Zinc pyrithione Metronidazole Lithium salts Phototherapy
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