Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a common, multifactorial skin disease involving sebaceous areas of the body. It occurs in approximately 10% of the general population, and studies show that up to 70% of infants younger than 3 months experience SD at least once. Although the highest prevalence of SD is at 2 weeks to 3 months of age, the distribution is trimodal, occurring most commonly in infants, then in adolescents, and then in adults older than 50 years. Exposure to maternal estrogen in the newborn period and a surge of androgens in puberty, affecting sebum production, likely contribute to the development of SD. Hair extensions and infrequent hair oil use were significantly related to SD in a study of African American girls. Additional risk factors for SD include immunocompromised status, potentially due to impairments in cellular immunity.

The etiology of SD is unknown, but a variety of hypotheses suggest an interplay...

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