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Skin Care and Diseases

Dandruff-Like Condition on Face

06/30/2011

Question:

My husband is 67 years old and has MS. He has started to develop a dandruff like condition on his face. Is that due to increasing oil being excreted from his body? First his skin is red and then white scales develop. Can this be treated? What kind of specialist should we consult?

Answer:

Seborrheic dermatitis is a cause of dandruff on the scalp, and a common cause of scaling in oily areas of the face, especially in people with neurological disease.

The oil supports extra growth of normal yeast that usually live on the skin in smaller numbers.

A dandruff shampoo that kills yeast like ketaconazole or zinc pyrithione (both available over the counter) can be used as a face wash to help with this. Over the counter hydrocortisone is often suggested, but should be used on the face for only very short intervals (e.g. one or two days a month) for severe flares. If over-the -counter treatments don't work, consult a dermatologist.

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Response by:

Susan T Nedorost, MD Susan T Nedorost, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University