Patients with seborrheic dermatitis (SD) are not at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, data from a letter to the editor published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology suggests. Although immune dysregulation is theorized to play a role in the pathogenesis of SD, a retrospective cohort study found no increased risk for hospitalization, supplemental oxygen therapy, or death in patients with SD at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis.

Investigators reviewed medical records data from patients treated for COVID-19 at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. All patients had received standard-of-care dermatologic examination at intake. Sociodemographic data were compared in patients with and without a diagnosed skin disorder. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify correlates of severe COVID-19 outcomes. Models were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance status, smoking history, and comorbid medical conditions.

The analytic cohort included 430 adults with COVID-19, among whom 9.1% had a diagnosis of SD. In regression models, SD was not associated with the risk for hospitalization due to COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-0.86; P =.17), nor with the risk for requiring oxygen therapy (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.06-1.09; P =.23). Patients with SD were not more likely to have severe/critical COVID-19 compared with patients without SD (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.27-1.90; P =0.79) and did not have longer hospital stays (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.03-4.08; P=0.79). Also, no evidence suggested that patients with SD were at increased risk for lingering COVID-19 symptoms or death (both P >0.99).

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Study limitations include the lack of data on SD characteristics; further study of COVID-19 outcomes in patients with dermatologic conditions is warranted.

The data suggest that SD does not increase risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, despite its underlying association with immune dysregulation, the investigators wrote.


Rakita U, Kaundinya T, Guraya A, et al. Lack of association between seborrheic dermatitis and SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. Published online November 22, 2021. doi:10.1111/jdv.17825