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Internal Antifungals

As discussed earlier, medical treatment of seborrheic dermatitis typically involves either topical anti-fungal or corticosteroids. When these treatment approaches do not produce significant improvement, some medical professionals/researches have attempted treatment through the use of oral antifungal therapies.

The most studied oral antifungals have been itraconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole and terbinafine. Results for these oral therapies have been mixed, with improvement rate varying from 58.6% to 93.0% [1]. The most significant improvement was seen in a study that used itraconazole therapy for a period of 12 months where a complete cure rate of 68% was reported. However, even with such prolonged antifungal treatment, some patients failed to show significant improvement [2]. On the other end of this spectrum, ketoconazole actually seemed to show the least effectiveness out of the examined oral therapies, and patients who underwent this treatment showed the most relapses.

The biggest difficulty with this approach is the questionable and frankly unknown long-term effects that such a treatment may have on the immune system as a whole. Initial safety data and the general lack of side-effects reported by individuals seems to indicate that therapy may in fact be safe [3]. However, many aspects remain unclear due to the complexity of our bodies.

References

  1. A K Gupta, M Richardson, M Paquet "Systematic review of oral treatments for seborrheic dermatitis." Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV 28.1 (2013): 16-26. PubMed
  2. Vahide Baysal, Mehmet Yildirim, Cagnur Ozcanli, A Murat Ceyhan "Itraconazole in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis: a new treatment modality." International journal of dermatology 43.1 (2003): 63-6. PubMed
  3. Chia-Hsuin Chang, Yinong Young-Xu, Tobias Kurth, John E Orav, Arnold K Chan "The safety of oral antifungal treatments for superficial dermatophytosis and onychomycosis: a meta-analysis." The American journal of medicine 120.9 (2007): 791-8. PubMed
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About Michael Anders

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

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