Seborrheic Dermatitis | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes seborrheic dermatitis?

Doctors don’t know the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis. The cause may be different in infants and adults. Seborrheic dermatitis may run in families. The condition seems to be related to hormones, because the disorder often appears in infancy and disappears before puberty. Or the cause might be a fungus, called malassezia. This organism is normally present on the skin in small numbers, but sometimes its numbers increase, resulting in skin problems.

Seborrheic dermatitis has also been linked to neurologic disorders such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The reason for this relationship isn't known.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 07/95