By Gary M. White, MD

Pityriasis amiantacea

Pityriasis amiantacea, also known as tinea amiantacea, is a benign condition of the scalp where thick sheets of scale form. It has similarities to both seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis of the scalp.


Thick, sheets of scale--like asbestos--adherent to the scalp and the bases of the hair is characteristic. Children are usually affected.


Daily use of a medicated shampoo should be recommended and may be combined with a keratolytic preparation or a salicylic acid-containing shampoo. A topical steroid solution applied after shampooing may be beneficial as well in case there is inflammation. Soaking the scalp overnight with an oil preparation may be helpful (e.g., simple oil or Derma-Smoothe/FSĀ® 0.01% fluocinolone acetonide).


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