Flaking and dryness can be treated with over-the-counter dandruff or medicated shampoos. You can buy these at the drugstore without a prescription. Look for a product that says on the label it treats seborrheic dermatitis. Such products contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc, resorcin, ketoconazole, or selenium sulfide. Use the shampoo according to label instructions.
For severe cases, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe a shampoo or lotion containing a stronger dose of selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, cicloprox, sodium sulfacetamide, or corticosteroid. A cream that contains an immunomodulator, such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus, may be prescribed. This medicine suppresses the immune system to treat inflammation.
It is thought that sunlight improves seborrheic dermatitis. In some persons, the condition gets better in the summer, especially after outdoor activities.