A Guide for Moms Dealing with Seborrheic Dermatitis

As a mother, it can be distressing to see your child suffer from any kind of skin condition.

Seborrheic dermatitis, commonly known as dandruff, is a common scalp condition that affects children and can cause flaking, itching, and scaling of the skin. While it can be uncomfortable for your child, it is important to know that it is a treatable condition and there are steps you can take to manage it. 

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin. It is not contagious and is not a sign of poor hygiene. The condition is most commonly seen on the scalp, but can also affect other areas of the body such as the face, chest, and back. 


The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis in children is not known, but it is believed to be related to changes in hormones, the immune system, and the balance of yeast on the skin. Stress, fatigue, and certain illnesses can also trigger an outbreak of seborrheic dermatitis. 

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis in children can vary, but the most common symptoms include: 

  • •Flaking and itching of the skin on the scalp 
  • •Redness and scaling of the skin 
  • •Oily, greasy patches of skin 
  • •Yellowish or white scales on the scalp 

In most cases, seborrheic dermatitis can be diagnosed based on the appearance of the skin. 

The treatment for seborrheic dermatitis in children will depend on the severity of the condition. Mild cases can often be managed with over-the-counter shampoos that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide, or pyrithione zinc. These shampoos can help to reduce flaking and itching. 

If over-the-counter shampoos are not effective, a dermatologist may prescribe a stronger medicated shampoo or a topical steroid cream. In severe cases, an oral antifungal medication may be necessary. 

Lifestyle changes that can help to manage seborrheic dermatitis in children. These include: 

  • •Reducing stress 
  • •Washing hair regularly 
  • •Using a gentle, non-irritating shampoo 
  • •Avoiding hairstyles that pull the hair tight, such as braids and ponytails 
  • •Keeping the scalp and hair clean and dry 


As a mother, it can be difficult to see your child struggle with seborrheic dermatitis. Here are some tips to help you manage the condition: 

  • •Be patient. It can take time to find the right treatment for your child’s seborrheic dermatitis. Don’t give up if the first treatment doesn’t work. 
  • •Stay calm. Children can often sense when their parents are upset or worried, so it can be helpful to remain calm and positive when discussing the condition with your child. 
  • •Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about seborrheic dermatitis and the treatments available so that you can make informed decisions about your child’s care. 
  • •Encourage good hygiene. Make sure your child is washing their hair regularly and using a gentle, non-irritating shampoo. 
  • •Avoid hairstyles that pull the hair tight. Braids, ponytails, and tight hairstyles can irritate the scalp and make the condition worse. 
  • •Try to reduce stress. Stress can be a trigger for seborrheic dermatitis, so it is important to help your child manage their stress levels. 
  • •Be supportive. Let your child know that you are there for them and that they are not alone in dealing with this condition. 


If your child is experiencing symptoms of dandruff that is difficult to manage at home, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your child. 

About The Author

Dr. Coco is a highly-educated and well-qualified primary care physician who graduated from the University of the Philippines Baguio with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. She completed her three-year residency training in Family Medicine at Brokenshire Medical Center. She passed her diplomate exams in Family Medicine, given by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in 2018. 


Dr. Coco is dedicated to providing comprehensive and holistic care for her patients. She is a primary care physician who believes in delivering continuing comprehensive health care for all. To her, patients are not just a number as she takes time to analyse how she can improve their overall health every chance they can get. 

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