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JAMA Dermatology Clinical Evidence Synopsis
February 2015

Topical Anti-inflammatory Agents for Seborrheic Dermatitis of the Face or Scalp: Summary of a Cochrane Review

Author Affiliations
  • 1Social Insurance Institute of Finland, Regional Office for Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  • 2Department of Community Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
  • 3Cochrane Occupational Safety and Health Review Group, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Kuopio, Finland
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(2):221-222. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.3186

Clinical Question  Are there differences in effectiveness between topical anti-inflammatory treatments (steroids, calcineurin inhibitors, or lithium salts) and placebo or azoles in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the face and scalp in adults?

Bottom Line  The topical anti-inflammatory treatments were more effective in achieving total clearance of symptoms than placebo by 1.4-fold to 8.5-fold, but there are no considerable differences in the anti-inflammatory topical treatments or in comparison with azoles for short-term treatment. There is no evidence of treatment effects in long-term, continuous, or intermittent use of these compounds despite the chronic nature of the disease.