• Sebhorrhoeic eczema is a skin condition that causes itching, redness and flaking of the skin
  • 5% of the Dutch population has sebhorroic eczema
  • Sebhorrhoeic eczema is caused by a yeast
  • Sebhorrhoeic eczema often occurs with HIV infection




Almost 5% of the population has sebhorrhoeic eczema. It is more common in men than women and mainly in young adults. The eczema comes in stages, but can also disappear completely. Often the eczema will worsen again if a well-functioning treatment is stopped.


Sebhorrhoeic eczema is a form of eczema that is very mild and causes itching, redness and flaking of the skin. It mainly occurs on the face, around the eyebrows and at the hairline. In addition, it can also occur on the scalp, then it is called dandruff. The flakes can sometimes be yellow in color.


Sebhorrhoeic eczema is caused by the yeast Pityrosporum ovale. This yeast occurs on everyone's skin. People with sebhorrhoeic eczema generally have more of this yeast on the skin. The immune system reacts to this yeast, causing the skin to become inflamed. Tension and cold and dry air can worsen the eczema, while sunlight can actually reduce it.

Risk group

There are no risk factors for getting sebhorrhoeic eczema. It is, however, more common in people with HIV infection.

HIV and sebhorroic eczema

The yeast pityrosporum can cause a severe skin reaction in case of an HIV infection. Because the immune system is reduced in an HIV infection, the body cannot clear the yeast properly. This allows the yeast to overgrow and cause skin inflammation.
HIV indicator conditions are conditions or symptoms that occur more often in people with an underlying HIV infection than in people without an HIV infection. Sebhorrhoeic eczema is one of the HIV indicator conditions. If you have or have had Sebhorrhoeic eczema and have not been tested for HIV, it is advisable to ask your doctor or general practitioner for an HIV test. Find it difficult to ask for an HIV test? You may download a call card that will help you formulate your question.