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Treatment Of Seborrheic Dermatitis In The Equine

Updated: May 8, 2023

Seborrhea is a skin condition that results in the scaling of the skin covering the neck and mane. As this condition worsens, the skin will become oily and may have a rancid odor. Later, the skin will be thick and crusted.

Seborrhea is believed to be due to either an overproduction of sebum (an oily substance secreted by the skin), or to abnormal keratinization (skin production). It is usually secondary to another dermatitis.

Since seborrhea is frequently secondary in nature, the original skin condition must be treated first to effect a cure. The horse will require good, general nursing care, particularly since this is a condition that requires treatment over an extended period of time.

The crusts resulting from seborrhea should be removed, and the horse bathed frequently with a medicated shampoo containing one or more of the following medications:



coal tar

selenium sulfide

salicylic acid

The shampoo should remain on the affected skin for 10-15 minutes before rinsing for maximum benefit.

After bathing, wet dressings should be applied to the exudating areas, and a mild antibiotic ointment may be applied to the skin between shampooings. Liberal applications of a cream or lotion (such as Alpha-Keri), covered with plastic wrap, may be effective in treating large areas. The medications and bathings may have to be continued for several weeks or even months.

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