Commonly Asked Questions & Answers

If your face stings stings, it is because your skin is damaged and it’s protective layer has been compromised. This usually occurs when using cleansers that are too harsh on the skin, or from over washing. The skin in the irritated area is similar to an open wound. So any chemicals or common irritants added to the area will cause the skin to sting. It’s especially common to this a large flare up and stinging when someone decides to tests numerous products in one sitting. They end up washing the over and over to remove products they are testing. This results in bad flare ups and very sensitive stinging skin.
The same “S” Cure principles apply for seborrheic on the scalp. If you are treating the scalp for the first time, it would probably be best to make a sea salt bath. Then try to soak the scalp by dipping the head under water. If there is a lot of scaly build up, you can very gently massage and exfoliate the area with your fingers. You can also try making a jug of sea salt water and take it with you in the shower to pour over your head. I would let the sea salt solution sit on your head for a few minutes before rinsing. If you feel that you need a shampoo, I would suggest looking at more natural shampoo lines that do not contain sulfates like SLS, and hopefully no parabens, artificial fragrances, etc. You want to avoid as many possible irritants as possible with the sea salt regimen in the beginning. Once the seborrheic dermatitis has cleared up, then maybe start testing different shampoos one at a time to see your scalp can tolerate them without a causing flare up.
If your face is very dry, you are either adding to much salt, over washing, or  bathing in hard water that probably also contains chlorine. If you smoke cigarettes or drink a lot of coffee, they can both dry out your skin as well. If the climate you live in is very arid, you may want to try using Aveeno Moisturizer and add a light layer to the area after washing.
Yes. I have used both Real Salt and Himalayan salt myself on occasion, and they work fine. I do slightly question if Himalayan Pink Salt adds a dye to their salt. They’re packaging indicates that they do not use any additives and the pink color is natural, but I question the wording a bit and feel like there is a possibility they use a dye. Either way, it has not bothered me personally. Just thought I’d mention it.
The million dollar question! The answer is both. I have actually had many different seborrheic dermatitis causes that I have identified and cured at different times over the years. You see, my particular body tends to react with seborrheic dermatitis when I have an infection, something physically wrong internally, or something chemically wrong internally. Sometimes, they have been obvious, and sometimes not so obvious. I’ve also had external allergens and sensitivities over the years as causes. Some I had since childhood and I consider them permanent, where identification and avoidance is the only solution. Others were newly developed over time, and were able to be eliminated by fixing an internal problem that caused them to develop. This may be a stretch, but in a way I appreciate that I get seborrheic dermatitis. It allows me to know when something is wrong inside that I might otherwise miss. Anyway, during the times that I do have an internal problem, the sea salt regimen will keep my skin clear. If I didn’t use the regimen my skin would go nuts. Whenever the internal cause is eliminated, it does not matter as much if I stick to the “s” cure regimen or not. I’m able to use products I normally wouldn’t tolerate. I do have sensitive skin in general though, so I can’t just use anything. I simply have more flexibility. Hopefully this answers the question and makes sense.
I try not to make recommendations on these topics, especially to the masses. I think there are plenty of great detox regimens and beneficial supplements out there, and I’m quite familiar with most of them. I just feel it would be irresponsible of me to suggest anything in those categories, as everyone has a different medical status. There are plenty of normally harmless supplements and detoxes that could negatively effect someone if there is an underlying health issue (or their on medication, etc). So you should always consult your doctor or naturopath before starting any detox system or supplement. That said, I am more than happy to discuss my own experiences and thoughts on those topics in the site’s forum.
I see this a lot. I love apple cider vinegar for many things, just not for using topically on the skin. It’s incredibly acidic and can damage the skin. Even if you use ACV for wart or mole removal (great for that by the way), you should always put a layer of vaseline around the unaffected area so you don’t damage the skin surrounding the wart/mole. The “S” cure principles try to heal your skin and rebuild it’s protective barrier, not eat away at it. So I would say, no. I think putting ACV on your face or skin is a bad idea.
This question comes up often, so I wrote on article to address it. Please see: Removing Makeup With The “S” Cure

41 Comments on “FAQ”

  1. Hi Matt,

    I tried the “S” Cure a couple weeks ago and was really pleased with the results. I have SD on my eyelids and scalp. I do notice, however, that if I go even a day without soaking my head in the salt mixture, the scaly dandruff is back as bad as before. Is this something I need to upkeep indefinitely? I’ve tested my water and surprisingly, everything came back normal. I also eat very clean, whole foods and have switched to non-toxic products (like John Masters Organics) but nothing helps unless I do the “S” Cure daily which honestly can get very expensive if I’m using up a bag a week. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

  2. Hi. Thank you for all the information. I’ve been using sea salt for a few days and it’s helping. How long can we continue. I got flare up first time in 15 years after I ate some coconut oil I also got flu symptoms ..I though it was some kind of die off. My diet is pretty clean and I’m still thinking the coconut oil was the reason. So two questions. How long can we use salt.? And 15 yeRs ago dr gave me a soap called oiladum that seemed to work. Because it went away for 15 years. Have u heard of that soap. Thanks

  3. Hi Matt,

    I have had SD off and on on my scalp for several years. Some of the issue seems to be if I don’t wash my hair enough. It is also strange because it seems to get worse in the summer, and most people’s gets worse in the winter. I get worried because my hair seems fall out a lot more when it flares up.

    If I do the sea salt treatment for my scalp, do you think I could put it in a spray bottle and let it sit on my scalp for a bit before rinsing it? Also, do you do the treatment on the scalp as often as you would do it on your face? Can I use regular shampoo and conditioner right after I do it? I have been using Nizoral shampoo and T-Sal shampoo.

    Also, if my scalp seems to get dry, I don’t want to put the Aveeno moisturizer on it. Do you have any scalp moisturizers that I could use that wouldn’t make the problem worse?

    Thanks,

    Dana

    1. Dana:

      My scalp and forehead seb derm also get MUCH worse in the Summer than Winter. I believe it is from the additional sweating (and associated oil production) that occur in the warmer months that feed the seb derm “beast”. I first noticed my forehead seb derm symptoms at the end of a long, hot Summer.

      Shampooing more often (daily) does help control my scalp seb derm in the Summer. I use the two shampoos that Matt recommends – which are the Aveda Rosemary Mint and the John Masters Organic with Zinc & Sage. I simply alternate days with those two products. The John Masters product also has a built-in conditioner to help with dryness.

      Perhaps give this process a try and see if it helps. Good luck!

  4. Hello,
    I have been following the sea salt routine meticulously for about a week. I am using Minera salt and bottled spring water, 1/2 cup per gallon. I soak my face for 5 minutes in the warm salt water, then rinse in fresh bottled water. Now my face is covered with little flakes , which don’t exfoliate off (using fingers, gently, after a 5 minute soak as per your instructions) and it seems to be getting worse. Since my face does not feel that tight I have not been putting moisturizer on because I don’t want to feed the yeast on it. I see all these raves from people who get results after one day and wonder what I am doing wrong. It still feels like there are layers of skin that need to come off in the “T” zone of my
    face. How long should I keep doing this? It is a big hassle buying all the water and especially sticking my face in water for 5 long minutes twice a day.

    1. Profile photo of Matt

      Hi Ann,

      It’s always hard for me to give suggestions without knowing the whole picture. Things like the condition of your skin, how long, persistent vs occasional flareups, environment/climate, health issues, exactly what kind of water you are using for everything (bathing, washing face, etc.) are all considerations.

      But it sounds like you might be drying your skin out from your comment. I would try only washing in the evenings and using some Aveeno afterwards. If your skin was damaged prior to using the sea salt, it can certainly flake for a bit afterwards just as a sunburn does. You need to allow your skin to heal, more than worry about yeast. The Aveeno is not going to provide much food for yeast like oils will. So I would not worry about that.

      Also, I’d double check the water you bath in. If you happen to bath in water that has chloramines or chlorine in it, your skin is still going to be absorbing all of that chlorine/chloramine. Check out this video I just posted in another comment that demonstrates just how quickly chlorine gets absorbed into the skin. Too often people forget that your skin is like a sponge. A layer of chorine or chloramines doesn’t just sit on top of your skin, it gets absorbed. Lastly, if you are only using bottled water to rinse with, I would also make sure you use it for your sea salt solution.

      If you don’t have chloramines/chlorine in your bathing water, and are having persistent dermatitis, you might want to start looking internally and read my C Cure page for information and steps you can take.

  5. Hi Matt
    I’m Jess, i’m 14 and i’ve had seb derm. all over my face and scalp for almost 2 years now. I found your website in January and immediately tried out the sea salt wash and lugols Iodine (don’t know if you mentiones iodine) and within a week my skin was almost back to normal. I then went on a five day holiday with my family and i don’t know if it was the rubbishy food or what but when i got back my skin gradually began to get worse again even though i carried on doing the salt and iodine routine, day and night and it hasn’t gotten better since. I’ve now gone gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free to try and boost and support my immune system. I’ve also illiminated all limonene products and chlorine from my day to day life, and I’ve stopped using oils on my skin. And i’m going on long walks each day. All of this isn’t making much of an effect. Do you have any advise or tips for me to go on with?
    Thank you.
    Jess

    1. Profile photo of Matt

      Hi Jess,

      Sorry to hear about the seb derm you’ve been experiencing. I am wondering how your seborrheic dermatitis was while you were away on your trip? Did it start while you were on the trip, or start when you got back? Also was there any stress involved there or when you got back?

      .

  6. Hello Matt, thanx for answering I have one more question, is the next routine good?
    1. Take a shower in chlorinated water.
    2. After shower rinse face with Pure Water(which is cold) that contains Dead Sea Salt.
    3. Wait for the water on your face to soak and then cleanse/rinse with Pure Water(cold) again.
    4. Immediately pat my face with a clean towel.

    Is ok how i’m doing it?I saw some improvements but still the dermatitis didn’t disappear completely :(.
    Thank you.

    1. Profile photo of Matt

      Hi,

      Yes that routine would work. I wouldn’t be too concerned whether you are washing with the sea salt before or afterwards. Even if the shower is chlorinated, at least you know that you’re completely rinsing salt water off your face. It’s harder to thoroughly rinse in the sink obviously. Anyway, when you get out of the shower, you just want to make sure you are rinsing your face with fresh water. I don’t use cold water for rinsing, I use room temperature fresh water.

      My personal preference is to only wash my face in the evening, and in the mornings I simply take a shower (not washing my face with anything), and after the shower I use fresh/purified water as a second rinse. This keeps my skin quite balanced and very clear all day. Everyone’s skin is different, but I think too many people over wash and cause irritation.

      I actually don’t have to do this anymore because I now have soft water in my home that is chloramine and chlorine free. But it’s pretty easy to do if you don’t have that situation. Also, when I would rinse in the pst, I don’t fill the sink with fresh water. I actually had a small plastic bowl that I kept in the bathroom. I would put it next to the sink and fill it with fresh water. I would keep taking cups of that water in my hands and rinse over the sink.

  7. Hello Matt,
    thank you very much, my skin already looks better but the problem didn’t completely disappeared, I suppose this will happen in time…. while tying to find the CAUSE and get rid of it.
    However, after I wash my face with sea salt( I use 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup of sea salt) my reddines calms down but my skin has some type of sand on it, or skin peel(I think) but in realy small particles.Any idea about this, is my skin way too dry? that might be the problem?I don’t use any moisturizer because Aveeno I currently use makes my skin even more red, if you want I can come with a picture If needed.

    1. Profile photo of Matt

      Hi Cristi,

      I’m not sure what type of salt you are using so hard to say. You can always lessen the salt amount too. Also, are you washing and rinsing with FRESH water? I would make sure you’re only wash your face with bottled water purchased from the supermarket? If you happen to take a shower in hard or chlorinated water, immediately rinse your face with fresh water afterwards (bottled, or Zero water, etc.).

      I’m also not sure what kind of climate you live in, but if it’s an arid one, you’ll have additional challenges. So you need to achieve balance in your regimen and use best practices for skin health/moisture. For example, drinking enough water during the day, eating foods that help keep skin moisturized, not smoking, exercise, going to a sauna or steam room ever so often, etc. Each one of those examples increase or decrease the dryness levels of your skin.

      This comment is for everyone: I can’t tell you how many times people don’t really follow the advice of using FRESH water. It boggles my mind a bit. While salt water serves numerous purposes and will heal a wound, adding salt to hard chlorinated water is counterproductive and certainly not recreating ocean water in your home. There’s no chlorine or chloramines in the ocean folks.

  8. Hello Matt:

    Have you ever heard of (or considered) using narrow band UVB photo therapy for treating seb derm on the face? There is a very well respected company called Daavlin (http://www.daavlin.com/) that manufactures full body and hand-held products that utilize UVB light for very short periods of time (less than a few minutes/day for 3 days per week) to help control skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, and seb derm.

    I have a brother that has a 25-year history of psoriasis and is no longer able to take any drugs/prescriptions for his condition due to a compromised liver. He has a full body Daavlin machine (similar to a tanning booth) installed in his home and he says it is the only way he keeps his psoriasis under control. He previously took injectable Enbrel, as well as many pills, creams, steroids, etc. over the years and only the Daavlin machine has worked.

    The UVB light supposedly creates changes in the skin cells that causes them to behave more normally, thus reducing or eliminating the symptoms of the disease. It is probably one of the most natural products you can use for skin disorders.

    Since I have tried many of the facial solutions recommended on your website (and from my dermatologist) with limited success, I am considering a hand-held photo therapy product for pesky seb derm on the oily parts of my forehead (T-zone). I am hoping that you had some knowledge of these products or are aware of anyone that has tried them for controlling seb derm.

    Thanks again for all you do for us!

  9. Hello Matt:

    Is there any more “natural” facial moisturizer you would recommend for us besides Aveeno? My facial skin (especially the forehead) is especially sensitive to any facial moisturizer that contains either cyclomethicone or dimethicone (which is contained in Aveeno).

    Any product with either of these two ingredients often results in many red-like pimple breakouts, as the dimethicone not only locks in moisture, it also seems to lock in excess oil/sebum, skin production, and bacteria.

    Aveeno works wonderfully on my hands, feet, etc. but not on the face.

    Thanks for all you do! Changing my shampoo to Aveda Rosemary Mint has more or less cured any scalp dandruff. Thank you so much for that recommendation.

    1. Profile photo of Matt

      Hi Robert,

      I’m glad the Rosemary Mint shampoo got rid of your scalp dandruff. I see that a lot. Really is great stuff. Are you sure about cyclomethicone or dimethicone being the problem? The science behind it “locking in oil/sebum, skin production, and bacteria” doesn’t exactly sound right. I’m not a scientist or MD, but I don’t think that would be the case (especially is skin is clean when applying). Anyway, I am just wondering if you have checked your water, and are not bathing in hard water? I’ve talked a lot about the effect of hard water and chlorinated water on the skin, and for good reason. Hard water can leave a layer of mineral deposits on your skin (some which people can be sensitive to), and if you happen to be using any soap products it can leave a layer of soap scum on your skin that you may not realize. Just my initial thoughts, but everyone is different and maybe those types of products (2 types of moisturizing types for those not aware: locking moisture vs not locking) don’t work for your particular skin. Either way here are some thoughts on “more natural” moisturizer alternatives:

      1.) A moisturizer I have not mentioned on this site but is a favorite of mine is also in the Aveda line. It’s Aveda All-Sensitive Moisturizer. I really like this moisturizer because it has primarily (97% I believe) all natural plant based ingredients, has a VERY light consistency (love that), and does a good job moisturizing (my skin feels very soft/nice when using it). Not sure how to explain it, but it’s one of the “cleanest” feeling moisturizers I’ve ever used. It also does really well in a dry climate and my skin never dried out. However, what I don’t like: It does have some olive oil extracts in it, the plant based ingredients could potentially cause reactions for those with environmental allergies, it uses a lavender extract which could be a skin irritant, and it’s expensive at $34. The reason I don’t mind recommending it is because of it’s very different than most moisturizers out there. It’s one of those products that IF it works for you and your skin has no reactions, it’s a great find and something you could fall in love with. Anything unique like that I think is worth trying. Considering the price, I would try and sample it first or take advantage of their generous return policy. You can go to an Aveda store or order it online. If you go to the store you can grab a sample at least to try before buying.

      2.) Home remedies – I’ve tried almost all the typical home remedies (avocado, honey, etc) for “natural” moisturizers and have yet to find one that is effective. I’ll mention one in particular that I know a lot of people talk about and like using, which is honey. Personally, I definitely don’t like honey for moisturizing for the following reasons: very messy, don’t like the feeling of honey sitting on my face for 10-15 minutes, left a unpleasant feeling/residue on my skin after rinsing, my skin dried out after an hour or two, and my skin became red and blotchy. I’ve tried different types of raw honey over the years, and all had the same result. Almost all other natural home remedies or concoctions require some type of oil to penetrate the skin, so I’m obviously not a fan.

      I will be creating a few posts soon that will give some additional moisturizer alternatives/suggestions/reviews, and also one for the scalp and shampoos. Hope this helps in the meantime.

      1. Matt:

        Thank you so much for the reply. I live in the extremely dry climate of southern Nevada, and have a water softener in my house. The water is so “softened” with salt that it almost feels like oil when showering or washing your face. However, I will run a chlorine test on the water to see if that chemical is the culprit.

        The lavender in the Aveda facial moisturizer you mentioned would likely irritate my skin; I can’t even put anything with lavender in it on my hands as they inevitably get dry/irritated within a day.

        Definitely looking forward to the future posts from you that recommend additional facial moisturizer alternatives and suggestions!

    1. I would not be quick to dismiss your water as a potential problem. Moreover, I’d be a little suspicious of it since you said this started with a “waxy” feeling in your hair. Water from wells can be extremely hard, and wells are also quite susceptible to contamination. Minerals and deposits in hard water bind to soap products and create a residue or “soap scum”. Contamination could also cause a myriad of health issues. Just something to consider.

  10. Hi Matt
    I’ve had seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp for about a year now. Before last year I had never had any problems with my scalp at all then one day my hair just felt waxy at the roots it wouldn’t wash out and it all kinda just went down hill from there. The first doctor I went to said it was just mild seborrheic dermatitis and prescribed me Nizarol that got rid of the waxiness but then the nasty yellow patches showed up and I started flaking like crazy it also migrated behind my right ear. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me ketoconazole shampoo, salicylic acid shampoo and told me to rotate between them everyday well that helped the yellow patches clear up but my entire head is flaking so bad if I turn my head too fast it looks like its snowing. Will the dead sea salt cure this? Can I still use conditioner or will that just make it worse? What shampoos should I avoid? What other things can I do to help clear this up?

    1. Hi Paige,

      Somewhat stating the obvious here, but I would really try and take a deep look at any changes that might have happened when this started out of nowhere. This could be a change in products (clothing detergents, hair styling products, shampoos, etc), life changes (stress, health, diet, etc), environmental changes like moving to a new state or a new home, and even things like buying a new mattress. I would certainly try using the sea salt regimen for at least a few days to a week and see if there are any improvements. By doing this, it can help you identify if it is an ingredient in the shampoos you have been using. If you see a positive change, you could then start looking at natural shampoo lines. Could you try switching to a natural shampoo right away? Sure. However, if there is a specific ingredient in shampoos that are causing the problem it could make it more difficult to identify. If there is nothing that changed when this all started, and there is no sensitivity to ingredients in hair products, then I would start zeroing in on internal possibilities and follow up with a doctor for a check up.

  11. Matt:

    Thanks so much for the reply on Aveeno, and your website in general. I don’t believe there is another person on the planet who knows more about SebDerm than you, and that includes dermatologists , MDs, etc. One of the best pieces of advice you give on you website is to get off coffee in order to alleviate SebDerm symptoms (my dermatologist laughed at me when I mentioned coffee and caffeine as a trigger for SebDerm).

    Although the caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be brutal for a few days/weeks, the SebDerm on my forehead looked much better and the intense itching after a morning cup of coffee was immediately alleviated once I substituted organic, caffeine free, antioxidant-rich tea for that morning cup of coffee.

    Thanks again for all you do!

  12. Hello. I’ve had SD off and on since about college years. I’ve noticed some connections- stress, wheat in my diet, etc. I went gluten free for almost 3 years and then put it back in my diet due to allergy food testing and I think it’s what made it flare up. I haven’t been able to get it to go away so I’ll gladly try the sea salt as we cook/eat with it as well. Question I have is what type of shampoo is best – I thought a goat’s milk bar might help but not sure as my hair quickly becomes greasy. Also, do you apply sea salt pure to the SD spots directly? Many thanks! -Amy

  13. Hello Matt:

    You have recommended the Aveeno line of daily moisturizers extensively due to their ingredients. However, the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains “petrolatum” as its 4th listed ingredient. This substance is basically petroleum jelly and is an oily byproduct obtained from petroleum.

    I notice that when I use that Aveeno product to moisturize the skin behind my ears that has seb derm outbreaks, that skin often will itch even more later that day or the next morning. Isn’t the oil from petrolatum actually feeding the potential yeast on the skin behind the ears?

    The only other thing I can think of that might be causing the itchy irritation is the dimethicone, which is the active ingredient in Aveeno and many other moisturizers and shampoos/conditioners that works by “locking in” moisture. Have you had followers who have had reactions to dimethicone in Aveeno?

    Thanks for all you do!

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Robert,

      You are correct that petrolatum is basically petroleum jelly, commonly known as Vaseline. However, petroleum jelly/mineral oil is not the same as various oils like coconut oil, almond oil, etc. Mineral oil is also considered relatively inert, stable, and resistant to thermal degradation. It should not support microbial, bacterial, yeast or fungal growth. Over the last few years I have seen articles here and there saying that mineral oil or petrolatum is bad. These articles are usually trying to grab a headline, and really stretching the truth/facts. The usual “stretch” claim is trying to link a potential cancer connection to petrolatum. The only cancer connection to be found is with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in unrefined petroleum. However PAHs are completely removed in the refining process for cosmetic grade and food grade mineral oil (yes it’s even in your food and FDA approved/monitored). So those claims are quite bogus and trying to make a connection that’s not really there for the sake of gaining viewers. I am not pushing mineral oil/petrolatum or anything, but for years mineral oil has been proven to be one of the safest, non-irritating, hypo-allergenic, non-carcinogenic, non-acnegenic, non-invasive, stable, inexpensive and effective lubricants in creams and lotions.

      I mainly recommend Aveeno moisturizer due to the oatmeal base, minimal ingredients list (only 9 ingredients, and one of them is water), matte finish, and moisture locking ability. It’s usually quite soothing, and I find it to be the least likely of all moisturizers to cause any kind of reaction to ingredients. However, there is no product or ingredient in the world that can guarantee no negative reactions for everyone. I have never had anyone tell me about a negative reaction to Dimethicone (skin protectant). But that’s not to say that someone can’t be sensitive to it just like any ingredient. If that is the case, you should certainly discontinue using it and try something else.

  14. Hi Matt.. Thanks very much for your information..
    I just wondering what shampoo are you using?
    I got SD on my nose sides and I’ve been in sea salt regiment for a month, the flare up subsides a little but the SD still there.. now its getting worse to my cheek and forehead.. i am still trying with my diet.. i know i should be patient for better result.. i got dandruff in my hair so i am using organic sea salt shampoo but it contains coconut oil.. i am just afraid it will also affect my SD cure process as you said no any kinds of oils for the cure even i soak my hair to sea salt water after using the shampoo. Its so hard in my country to find organic shampoo without natural oils.

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Irma,

      Well, I suggest the sea salt regimen for treating the scalp at first, mainly because it helps someone to see if they have a sensitivity to ingredients in shampoos (like SLS). The scalp is funny in that I have seen many cases of people who have severe dandruff, and by switching to a natural shampoo the problem was solved completely. I’ve also seen the same situation with hair loss. In those cases, they are most likely sensitive to parabens, SLS, etc., that are found in many shampoos. However, if there isn’t a sensitivity to ingredients or negative reaction, I would recommend using Nizoral shampoo or Head & Shoulders. Nizoral has Ketoconazole, which is an anti-fungal, and as a bonus, it’s also a DHT blocker for hair loss prevention. Head & Shoulders has Pyrithione Zinc which can also work well for dandruff. For more natural shampoos, my favorite is Aveda’s line. They use all plant based ingredients, and almost all of their product are pretty great. I know many people (including myself) who swear by Shampure line or their Rosemary Mint shampoo. I also like Avalon Organic’s line of shampoos but i wouldn’t say they do wonders for the hair itself.

  15. Hi Matt, thanks for sharing this information! I have use the sea salt and it seems to help, but it will take about 8 days to clear. In the process, my skin gets really flaky and tight. My flare ups happen more often during the winter time, do you know why that is? Do you continue to wash with sea salt once it’s clear up?

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Jimmy,

      If you’re face gets very tight, something is overly stripping your skin. That could be too high of a concentration of salt in your mixture, maybe hard water or chlorine in your water, very hot showers, or possibly using soaps or cleansers of some sort? Winter is notorious for seb derm flare ups and creating dry skin. Whether someone has seborrheic dermatitis or not, it is always important to pay attention to skin care basics and make sure your skin is balanced. Seborrheic dermatitis sufferers are not the only ones to get dry irritated skin, especially during the harsh winter months. I would try to cleanse in the evening and add a good layer of Aveeno at night. If you can do this with fresh water (not hard water, or chlorinated) it will make a difference. When showering in the morning I would not wash my face with anything but pure water, and simply apply a layer of Aveeno. Pay attention to your skin and it’s overall tightness, then adjust the regimen as needed. Remember your skin should be cleaned, but not striped so it feels like it’s overly tight and cracking. Hope that helps.

      1. Hi Matt, I really appreciate all your help!!! I wash my face only with water and nothing else. When my skin flare up, I am afraid to put any lotion or cream on my face even with Aveeno (blue bottle/Eczema). It provide relieve in the beginning and it would feel worst. I recently had a flare up and I have been using sea salt for about 10 days(only at night). It is finally feeling better, I think the warm weather is helping. Anyhow, I will take your recommendation and try adding a little less of sea salt for wash. Can there be issues for long term use of sea salt?

        Thanks again for your time and effort!
        Jim

  16. Thanks so much for all your information. Sea salt makes my face is very dry. So that can I moisturize 2-3 times a day?
    And can I makeup?
    Thanks you for listening

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      It’s hard for me to answer this, as I don’t have the complete picture. Sometimes people try washing with the sea salt solution and they feel that their face is dry at first. For those reading this…if you have been washing your face with soaps and cleansers prior to the sea salt, it will take a few days for your skin to not feel as dry or tight. That is usually because your skin is already stripped and probably has a layer of residue from soap scum and hard water. Ask yourself this; when you go swimming at the beach does your skin feel tight like it does coming out of the shower? While your skin can be a little dry after swimming in the ocean (because you have a layer of salt on it), it’s usually normal once you rinse it with fresh water. The key word there is “fresh” water. Hard water or chlorinated water will make your skin dry and irritated (even for those without seborrheic dermatitis). So sometimes it’s the water itself and not necessarily the sea salt, sometimes it’s using too much sea salt (general measurement is 1/2 cup per gallon), sometimes it’s from previously over stripping the skin and soap residue, and sometimes it’s from over washing. As far as makeup goes, I would try to use makeup in moderation, at least in the beginning or during a flare up. If you need to use moisturizer 2-3 times a day (Aveeno I assume?), just see how your skin reacts. Ultimately try to balance your skin in your cleansing routine, so it’s not as dry and requiring 2-3 applications of moisturizer a day.

  17. Hi!!
    Thanks so much for all your information. The sea salt has really helped! What kind of cleanser do you recommend?

    Thank you

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Hannah,

      If you wish to use a cleanser there are three cleansers that I have used with success, and sometimes use on occasion. They are Dove’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Bar, Aveeno’s Moisturizing Bar, and Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser. I like each of them for different reasons and they are each quite different. Dove’s cleansing bars are quite calming and more of a milky type of feel, Aveeno’s Moisturizing bar is also very calming and oatmeal based like their basic moisturizer, and the Neutrogena one is similar to Cetaphil’s daily cleanser except but better in my opinion. I think the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser has a higher potential to be irritating for some, but is one of the least drying cleansers of it’s type that I have tried. I think the Aveeno and Dove bars are probably the most gentle (and combine quite well with Aveeno moisturizer).

  18. Hi Matt,
    When you are curing your SD, did you watch your food or go on any diet plans? Sugars always make my skin oily and I’ve been trying to keep away from it, but I’m worried about whether eating sugars would make SD come back even if it’s cured? What’s your experience?

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Kim,

      I would say my experience with food and diet has boiled down to two conclusions. Particular foods effect your skin’s moisture levels and oil/sebum production, and your overall diet absolutely effects the overall appearance of your skin. Someone with “normal” skin can break out or get blotchy skin from diet and overall health just as easily as someone with seborrheic dermatitis. When someone does have seborrheic dermatitis, the result can be flareups. Foods also effect the skin in different ways. For example, high salt content may dry your skin out (even making it puffy), while greasy foods may cause it to be more oily causing breakouts. Both can cause redness, and increase flareups. So it’s important to recognize those changes in your skin care routine. It’s also important to pay attention to other factors as well…like smoking. If someone quits smoking for example, within a few days/week their skin will change. It will be less dry, and maybe even more oily. They may need to change their skin care regimen a bit as a result.

      Ultimately, the healthier you are with diet and exercise the better your skin and seborrheic dermatitis will be. I believe if someone gets healthy, exercises, and has a BALANCED diet, then having sugars in moderation or “gut related yeast” problems will not be an issue. Balance is key in general.

  19. Hi Matt,

    First, thank you for posting your story and sharing your experience! I’m currently using the sea salt method that you mentioned. I wonder how long did it take for you to completely cure the SD? I know everyone is different, but I just want to get a general idea of the time it will take. Thank you!

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, there is no way to give a time table on how long it will take. There will be a good amount of people that simply have sensitivities or allergic reactions to ingredients/parabens/SLS/etc in products they are using while bathing or washing. Even the water they are bathing/washing with could also be a cause (regularly bathing in highly chlorinated hard water can make anyone’s skin red, itchy, flaky). For those people with an external trigger, the sea salt regimen with clean water eliminates the irritants causing the reaction and quickly heals the skin. Poof! Their seborrheic dermatitis is gone and they’ve eliminated the condition practically overnight. For others with something internal that needs to be addressed, the sea salt regimen is one of the best ways to heal a seborrheic dermatitis flare up very fast. After the flare up subsides, it’s an excellent routine to eliminate or significantly reducing visible signs of seborrheic dermatitis until the internal problem can be addressed.

  20. Thanks for your advice. The sea salt helps a lot. Not completely but i am much better and will continue to use it.

    My serbdem disappears in dry weather, especially when i can get sun on my face. I don’t have one episode during a dry summer. Once the humidity and rain returns, it’s back with a vengeance. Any thoughts why this would be? Thank you.

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi Chris,

      Glad to hear the sea salt regimen is helping you. Obviously it’s hard to give any thoughts not knowing the full picture. Maybe something environmental effecting your skin, Vitamin D (sun), or maybe just a change in skin care regimen is needed according to weather and environment? Something to keep in mind is that high humidity can promote growth of bacteria, mold, dust mites, yeast, etc. Mallassezia infections often appear during high humidity periods. So proper skin care and making sure you are not damaging your skin during these times/months would be quite important.

  21. Hi Matt,

    I’ve been struggling with facial seb derm for two years now and it’s getting worse, I had a nasty car accident in which I broke my jaws and other bones. Whilst I was in hospital my seb cleared right up I’m not sure why must be some food allergy or intolerance as all I was on was water, soup and protein shakes, no solid food for 3/4 weeks. Once I left hospital within a week it was back again and worse than ever. I was eating toast and cereal when I left, I had an intolerance test done and I had a strong reaction to wheat, do you think this could be my cause ?

    Also what was your cause ?

    Many thanks
    James

    1. Profile photo of Matt (Admin)

      Hi James,

      I’m sorry to hear about the car accident and hospital stay. That must have been tough to go through. I think you answered your own question about the wheat. If there was a strong reaction to an intolerance test, then that could absolutely be a cause! If I were in your shoes, wheat would be my first experiment. Common sense would lead me to think about three things right off the bat: 1.) something either gut/food related, 2.) something possibly related to a change in external “cause” factors at home vs. the hospital (e.g. difference in products used, environmental difference, or even the water – hospitals use advanced filtration systems.), and 3.) daily habits or routines that you couldn’t do in the hospital (e.g. smoking cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, etc). The wheat is an obvious starting point, and I’d probably keep my entire regimen at home the same while eliminating wheat for at least a week. That way it can be checked off the list without wondering if other factors influenced results. If it’s not the problem, you at least have a relatively narrow search to work with from there. I’d probably also follow up with a doctor and check for celiac disease/gluten intolerance.

      Regarding my own cause, I talk about them in one of the FAQ questions above. The short answer is that I’ve had many different causes over the years (internal, external, and some overlapping). It would take a long time to go through them, as some are a bit complex and just saying something like “vitamin D deficiency” wouldn’t really be accurate. However, two external allergen/sensitivity causes worth mentioning (mainly because they’re common, but tend to go under the radar) have been: wool/lanolin (lanolin is wool byproduct found in many moisturizers), and chlorine. Wool especially took a while to figure out for myself. I always knew that wool made my skin feel itchy and could eventually feel a bit raw and rash like. However, I just thought wool felt scratchy to everyone and it was no big deal. I finally realized that when I’d wear wool all day I’d also get headaches by the end of the day, and my skin/seb derm would gradually get worse. Since the reactions weren’t immediate and major in nature, it was difficult to see the connection. I’ll still wear wool here and there since it’s more of a slow reaction, but not like I used to, and definitely not all day. Chlorine also goes under the radar too often and I talk about it quite a bit on this site. It’s not just an irritant and harsh on skin, but you can also have a sensitivity to it. Apparently, even as a baby my skin would break out in a rash from chlorine in diapers. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear that story until much later in life, after having to figure it out the hard way. But at least it served as confirmation. So for those with newborns having skin issues or rashes, it’s something to keep in mind.

      Cheers,

      Matt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *