The Mayo Clinic states that seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap) is a chronic condition that causes dry, red, flaky skin on the scalp, face, chest and back. Seborrheic dermatitis causes excessive dandruff too. The condition may present as greasy skin patches with white scales.
Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition is incurable, but several remedies can help relieve the stubborn red patches. Although the cause of the disease is unknown, doctors have linked the fungus malassezia as a potential trigger. The condition is usually worse in the winter when skin is prone to dryness. Antifungals and steroids are often prescribed for treatment.