Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Seborrhea or Dandruff

Flakiness of the skin (seborrhea) or excessive fatty secretions (oily seborrhea) is a common response of the skin to a variety of underlying conditions. Primary seborrhea is rare and probably has a genetic basis. Secondary seborrheas are a response to skin allergy, contact irritation by substances, bacterial and fungal infection, and immune skin diseases.

Treatment requires management of the underlying cause and usually also includes some treatment of the flakiness. In some cases, it is very difficult to know the underlying cause. In those cases, seborrhea is treated symptomatically with antiseborrheic shampoos and nutritional supplementation. Antiseborrheic shampoos usually contain sulfur, coal tar, and/or salicylic acid.


By promptly addressing and treating underlying conditions, seborrhea never appears or disappears promptly.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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