Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Roflumilast for Dandruff

Increasing evidence is suggesting a positive role of Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis!

Seborrheic Dermatitis (SD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the skin that can occur in people of all age groups. It involves scaly patches and plaques on the skin with a yellow and greasy appearance.

Moreover, it is often seen with dyspigmentation and has a significant effect on the quality of life. However, the impact greatly depends upon the severity of the disease.

The typical treatment options for SD include topical corticosteroids, antifungals, and calcineurin inhibitors.

Other non-steroidal creams can also help to treat scaling and itching associated with seborrheic dermatitis.

Although all these treatments are in use, all of them come with some limitations. For instance, calcineurin inhibitors cause burning sensations and temporary warmth, and corticosteroids are not safe for long-term use due to their association with atrophy, acne, and other side effects.


Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis: 

Roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor, has anti-inflammatory properties and was initially used as a treatment option for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Still, this drug has now gathered attention for its potential benefits against dermatological disorders.

Mechanism of action of Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Roflumilast inhibits PDE-4, an enzyme involved in the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).

Roflumilast increases cAMP levels by inhibiting PDE-4, which controls the inflammatory response.

In the case of seborrheic dermatitis, lowering inflammation is critical for symptom relief and preventing flare-ups.

Roflumilast Foam and its benefits:

The primary advantage is its formulation; this topical foam is easy to apply, has a higher skin penetration rate, and has better delivery.

Moreover. the targeted approach to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines that have a prominent role in SD and decreased systemic absorption makes it a good option compared to other topical medications.

Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis 4



Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis: Clinical Trials and Evidence

Various studies have supported the positive role of roflumilast in treating different dermatological conditions.

One study 8-week study concluded that patients treated with roflumilast foam 0.3 % showed significant improvements in scalp psoriasis as compared to vehicle.

Moreover, roflumilast foam showed a similar safety profile and was reported to have the least adverse effects among the patients. [Ref]

Another study reported clinically significant efficacy rates of roflumilast cream in patients with plaque psoriasis. [Ref]

These studies highly suggest that roflumilast has a positive role in the treatment of different chronic inflammatory skin disorders.

As far as seborrheic dermatitis is concerned, in a trial, 226 patients were randomized, among which 154 were given roflumilast foam, and 72 were given vehicle foam; the results concluded that patients treated with roflumilast foam achieved high IGA (Investigator Global Assessment) scores with significant improvements in quality of life. Besides this, roflumilast was well tolerated with a low rate of adverse effects. [Ref]

Additionally, some treatment options, such as crisaborole (Eucrisa), are reported to cause site pain, which was not the case observed with roflumilast foam, even though both medications have the same mode of action.

Roflumilast foam application leads to rapid disease clearance and a significant reduction in other symptoms like itching.

Roflumilast Foam for Seborrheic Dermatitis 2



Roflumilast FDA Approval for Seborrheic Dermatitis

FDA has recently approved roflumilast for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in adults and adolescents aged 9 years and above.

This decision was based on the results of phase1 and phase 2 trials that collectively had 683 patients who showed a high success rate with rapid disease clearance and faster action against the burdensome symptoms associated with SD.

The Zoryve (Roflumilast) foam is now commercially available to be used for the treatment of SD. It is a highly effective, safe, and steroid-free foam that can be applied to all areas of the body that have been affected by the disease, including areas with hair.

Application and administration

Roflumilast foam is applied once daily in all the disease-affected areas.

Common Side Effects

Although, it is associated with the least adverse effects among all other treatment options. Some of the common side effects can be:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Nasopharyngitis


Roflumilast foam represents a novel treatment option for seborrheic dermatitis with high efficacy and a positive safety profile, making it a valuable therapeutic approach to treating chronic skin conditions.

Nonetheless, patients should still consult health care providers before starting such treatments on their own.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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