Seborrheic Dermatitis Medication

Updated: Apr 10, 2017
  • Author: Marc Zachary Handler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.

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Antifungals

Class Summary

The mechanism of action may involve alteration of RNA and DNA metabolism or an intracellular accumulation of peroxide that is toxic to fungal cells.

Ketoconazole topical

Ketoconazole topical is available as ketoconazole cream 2% (Nizoral), ketoconazole foam (Extina), ketoconazole shampoo 2% (Nizoral 2%; prescription only in United States), and ketoconazole shampoo 1% (Nizoral A-D Shampoo; over-the-counter in United States). It is an imidazole broad-spectrum antifungal agent. It inhibits the synthesis of ergosterol, causing cellular components to leak, resulting in fungal cell death.

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Corticosteroids

Class Summary

Corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. They also modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Betamethasone topical (Valisone)

Betamethasone is a medium-strength topical corticosteroid for body areas. It decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability. Betamethasone affects the production of lymphokines and has inhibitory effects on Langerhans cells.

Desonide

Desonide is used for inflammatory dermatoses responsive to steroids. It decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability.

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Keratolytics

Class Summary

Keratolytics cause cornified epithelium to swell, soften, macerate, and then desquamate.

Coal tar shampoo (DHS Tar, MG217, Theraplex T, Psoriasin); Scytera foam

Coal tar shampoo inhibits deregulated epidermal proliferation and dermal infiltration; it is antipruritic and antibacterial.

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Immunosuppressants

Class Summary

Immunosuppressants exert anti-inflammatory affects by inhibiting T-lymphocyte activation. They are safer than topical steroids for prolonged use or in skin folds.

Tacrolimus ointment (Protopic)

Tacrolimus ointment is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent. It should not cause steroid-type skin atrophy. It is currently indicated only for atopic dermatitis in immunocompetent patients aged 2 years and older.

Pimecrolimus (Elidel cream 1%)

Pimecrolimus is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent. It should not cause steroid-type skin atrophy. It is currently indicated only for atopic dermatitis in immunocompetent patients aged 2 years and older. Use cream sparingly to avoid maceration in skin folds.

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