What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a scalp condition that includes scaly patches, inflammation, and dandruff. It can also extend to other body parts, especially oily places on the face, like the sides of your nose, eyebrows, beard, or behind the ears. Some have it in their chest hair as well. It can be itchy, painful, and uncomfortable.

Learn more about seborrheic dermatitis to receive the proper treatment and care.


While dandruff is a well-known symptom of seborrheic dermatitis, it may also include the following on the scalp, face, or chest:

  • Dandruff that won’t go away or keeps coming back
  • Greasy patches of skin covered in white flakiness
  • Patches that often look dark on darker skin and red on lighter skin
  • Ring-shaped rashes known as petaloid seborrheic dermatitis
  • Itchiness
  • Flareups that coincide with stress or exhaustion

Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. However, some may be suffering from excessive oiliness or yeast, which are treatable. Certain risk factors can increase the chances you develop this condition and may make it worse, such as:

  • Prolonged stress
  • Physical or mental exhaustion
  • Winter weather
  • Parkinson’s disease and other nervous system disorders
  • Mental health conditions, especially clinical depression or anxiety
  • Immune disorders such as HIV
  • Recovery after a severe medical event such as a stroke or major surgery

When To See Your Doctor

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may come and go. It’s important to know when seeing a doctor is necessary. Dr. Vivian Bucay recommends you make an appointment if:

  • It distracts your daily life (work, family, friends, sleep, etc.)
  • You feel stressed or embarrassed because of it
  • You notice a bacterial or yeasty smell on your hand after touching the area, which could suggest infection
  • You feel like you’ve tried home remedies, and nothing’s working
  • It’s getting worse each year

Depending on the cause, you may need stronger medicated shampoos or antibacterial/antifungal treatments.

Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Bucay

If you’re suffering from symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis or severe dandruff in San Antonio, TX, schedule an appointment at Bucay Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics by calling 210-692-3000 or using our online form. We have locations in La Casita and Sonterra/ Stone Oak.

Schedule A Consultation



01. Get to know Dr. Bucay, Dr. Bhandari and Dr. Noorily.

02. Help her understand you and your goals.

03. Learn about our services and specialties.

“Very comfortable environment, all staff very were very professional, and Dr. Bucay was a delight. She is an artist with the skills and compassion that focus specifically on the clients needs. Dr. Bucay is amazing.”

–Jorie K.


* All indicated fields must be completed.

Accessibility Toolbar

Se habla espanol!

Talia Noorily MD

A Message from Dr. Bucay: Champions for Change Gala

This year I am honored to join the committee for the Champions for Change Gala, taking place on May 10, 2023 at Ziegfield Ballroom in NYC.

Champions for Change Gala
Scroll to Top