Does seborrheic dermatitis get worse in winter?

Flares of seborrheic dermatitis common in winter

Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a close cousin of 'dandruff' and is due to a yeast known as Malassezia that is extremely common in the scalp.

Triggers of SD

There are many triggers of SD 'flares' including stress, dry and cold weather, certain medications. 

Flares of seborrheic dermatitis are very common in winter. For 5 % of individuals who experience seborrheic dermatitis and the occasional scalp dryness, itchiness and redness that accompanies the condition, the winter months can problematic. 

Treatments for SD

I advise the vast majority of my patient to reach for shampoos containing zinc pyrithione (i.e. Head & Shoulders), selenium sulphide (Selsun Blue), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or ciclopirox (prescription Stieprox) at least once per week in the winter months. There are many myths surrounding these shampoos and they are undoubtedly one of the best kept secrets for great hair.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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