Pilot Study for the Use of Photodynamic Therapy in the Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis

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"Is photodynamic therapy more effective than topical treatments in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis?"
18 and older
Healthy Volunteers:
seborrheic dermatitis, Skin microbiome, Photodynamic therapy, Light therapy
Drug study
This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of a new treatment method called photodynamic therapy (PDT), a type of light therapy, in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that causes scaly patches and red skin on the scalp, and oily areas of the body, such as the face, upper chest, and back.

This study also seeks to determine how photodynamic therapy (PDT) alters the skin microbiome (bacteria normally found in the skin) in patients with seborrheic dermatitis before and after treatment.
This study requires

This study requires 4 visits to the clinic and takes about 3 months.

  • Wash face with only Dove soap
  • Facial photography
  • Swabs of face
  • Measurement of facial sebum production rates with SebuMeter┬«
  • Application of ALA (an amino acid) to treatment side and placebo to control side
  • Exposure to blue light per UC Davis Dept of Dermatology standard protocol
Who can participate

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have seborrheic dermatitis of the face

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects who are taking systemic corticosteroids (at doses of prednisone greater than or equal to 5 mg daily), antibiotics (PO, IM or IV) or using topical anti- fungals, steroids, antibiotics, permethrin, or calcineurin inhibitors within 2 weeks prior to the study will be excluded.

  • The exclusion criteria will also include the presence of other untreated inflammatory conditions (such as lupus, atopic dermatitis, or psoriasis) or untreated malignancies on the face (including skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma).

  • Any subjects with known or suspected hypersensitivity to any constituent of the study medication or a history of photosensitivity due to conditions such as lupus erythematosus and porphyria will be excluded.

  • Subjects who have had photodynamic therapy (PDT) to the face for any reason within the past year will be excluded as well.

  • Adults unable to consent, individuals under the age of 18, pregnant or breastfeeding women and prisoners will be excluded from the study.

You'll receive up to $60 for completion of this study. Payments are made using gift cards.
Study duration and period
4 visits to the clinic over three months
Recruitment period
From Aug. 2, 2014
UC Davis Department of Dermatology
3301 C Street
Suite 1300
Sacramento, CA 95816
Parastoo Davari, MD
Research Topic
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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