April 2017
Peer Reviewed

Photo courtesy of Sandra Sargent, DVM, DACVD


What is the difference between primary and secondary keratinization disorders?   


Chronic seborrheic skin disease is aesthetically displeasing and can adversely affect the human–animal bond. Nonspecific descriptive terms such as seborrhea oleosa, seborrhea sicca, and seborrheic dermatitis are commonly used to describe seborrhea, but there is confusion around these terms. In veterinary medicine, seborrhea sicca is used to describe focal or diffuse scaling of the skin with the accumulation of white nonadherent scales and a dull dry coat. The opposite, seborrhea oleosa, refers to greasy skin and hairs.1 Many patients, however, have both flaky and greasy skin; thus, although these terms are descriptive, they may not be particularly helpful, as the conditions can be caused by a large number of underlying diseases. 

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