The “S” Cure – Eliminating Symptoms

First and foremost, I’d like to provide some immediate steps:

  • If you are putting any natural oils or butters on your face, coconut oil, jojoba oil, neem oil, tee tree oil, almond oil, lavender, oil of oregano, olive leaf oil, etc. (you’ll notice I mentioned many anti-fungals, and the list goes on)…STOP.
  • If you are using a soap of any kind, natural or otherwise, STOP.
  • If you are using steroid creams, cordizones, or various prescriptions with side effects too numerous to mention…for the love of God..please STOP.
  • Okay, now we can move on… 🙂

So Why Is This Happening?

Well, seborrheic dermatitis is causing your skin to flare-up because of yeast; more specifically mallassezia yeast. This yeast grows on everyone’s skin and feeds off of the sebum (oil) that your body/skin produces. With seborrheic dermatitis you are producing more oil than normal in your flare-up areas, while also overproducing skin cells. The mallassezia yeast feeds on this oil (sebum), creating a yeast overgrowth in that area. This can cause skin irritation, inflamation, and flaky skin. The rapid skin cell production, rapid oil production, and yeast production, each go hand in hand with flare-ups. With seborrheic dermatitis your skin is usually dry, but it is also oily at the same time. Strange right? Well, that is called combination skin and it is what you will find with most seborrheic dermatitis cases. Combination skin is one of the more tricky aspects of curing seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. You want to reduce the oil production by cleaning/drying the skin, but not completely deplete the moisture in the skin at the same time. Tricky, but do-able. So now that you understand that info, let’s dive a little further.

Enough With The Oils!

The natural remedy world loves oils and promoting them for skincare. While oils can be great for healthy or normal skin, they are not great for skin with a compromised skin barrier and seborrheic dermatitis. Any oil you put on your face provides a feeding ground for yeast to thrive. Various natural oils, or even creams that contain natural oils, may provide you with some relief temporarily…but you are usually taking one step forward and two-three steps back!

“Well what about oils that contain anti-fungal properties to kill yeast”?

The answer is no! There are many types of oils which have anti-fungal properties that may help kill or diminish yeast. However, you are still providing food for yeast to grow. Moreover, you are providing a lot of that food! It’s more food and yeast growth than you are eliminating a majority of the time.

Seborrheic dermatitis is also usually secluded to particular areas of the body: the face, scalp, and trunk. These flare-up locations are near the sebaceous glands. Those are the areas that are overproducing oil, while the other areas of your skin are not. So when you start applying oil to areas with a flare-up, and also to areas that have otherwise healthy skin, you are actually encouraging yeast to spread to unaffected areas of the skin. For example, if you have facial seborrheic dermatitis primarily within your T-Zone, and apply oil to the entire face, you are allowing the yeast to spread outside of your T-Zone. Just know that anti-fungal oils may hurt yeast a little bit in theory, but the amount of food you are providing for the yeast almost always out weighs any decrease from the unit-fungal. When people start putting oils on their flare-ups it’s common for them to experience temporary relief and think,

“Amazing! A cure! Let me go share the real cure with the others”!

[Deep sigh] Any immediate reductions in symptoms those individuals experienced were typically due to other factors. For example, the moisturizer they replaced with the oil contained an irritant that was inflaming their skin. So when they first start applying an oil instead the moisturizer, it feels soothing and may even reduce the inflammation since the previous moisturizer is no longer irritating their skin. However, the seborrheic dermatitis still exists, and will begin spreading to previously unaffected areas. If you want to test this for yourself, try using one of the many oils (you choose) available on your seb derm for a week and see what happens. The first 1-3 days might show some improvement. By the end of the week, the seborrheic dermatitis will be worse than before.

I firmly believe that anyone who has had success “100% curing symptoms” with oils, is simply because they unknowingly solved the cause of their seborrheic dermatitis when switching to natural oil based solutions for moisturizing. Meaning, the moisturizer was actually causing their seborrheic dermatitis all together. They may have been allergic to something in their moisturizer (ingredients, fragrance, parabens), or maybe the flare-up caused them to switch detergents, diet, etc. In that case, the moisturizer or inadvertent life change was not just an irritant, but the actual cause for their seborrheic dermatitis. The “cure” was almost definitely not the oil itself.

Steroid Creams – Yikes!!!

Prescribing steroid creams tends to be the “go-to” solution for medical professionals treating a seborrheic dermatitis diagnosis. The same usually applies for eczema and rosacea. While steroid creams can do a good job fighting inflammation and redness, they can also be very problematic. Steroid creams can weaken and thin the skin (especially with long term use). This can ultimately compromise the protective barrier of the skin and cause a vicious cycle of dependency. It is very common to see people use a steroid cream, have excellent results eliminating their seborrheic dermatitis, and then experience a massive rebound effect after they stop using it. With long term use, it is also common to see steroid creams lose their effectiveness and require stronger and stronger steroid creams to be prescribed. It is truly a horrible cycle. Steroid creams can be effective, but if the underlying cause for the seborrheic dermatitis is not addressed, the cycle begins. Another problem I see quite often is false hope resulting in no changes to lifestyle or further investigation. Meaning, many people using steroid creams see results in the beginning and start to view the cream as their solution. So the cause of their seborrheic dermatitis is never addressed and they usually don’t change anything else in their routine or lifestyle. They develop a dependency on a cream that will eventually become ineffective, while simultaneously weakening their skin’s ability to combat the skin condition without it.

I am not going to recommend or advise anyone to not listen to their medical professional if they have been prescribed a medication. However, I will say that personally I feel very strongly against the use of steroid creams. If you must use a steroid cream, please be careful, do your research, and ask a lot of questions.

Why Soaps Are No Good

Soaps are extremely drying and harsh on the skin. They also tend to clog pores and leave a residue. Have you ever heard of soap scum? Well, I encourage you to research “soap scum and hard water” and see what you find. Soap binds to the mineral deposits in hard water creating what is commonly called soap scum. It is basically a residue that builds up in most bathtubs and showers. And guess what…that residue is also on your skin and it’s a common irritant. No bueno!

Soaps are also made up of lipids, which is another food source for yeast. So when washing with soap, not only are your drying out and damaging your skin, but you also leave a layer of food for yeast. So soaps and oils (especially combined) can really have disastrous results for seborrheic dermatitis. So to cleanse the skin you want something that has no oils, no soap or lipids, no chemicals, fragrances, irritants, etc., that can still clean your skin and decrease yeast. For now, forget about soaps or shampoos that contain pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, or other ingredients. Yes, they have good anti-fungal properties that can certainly be effective. But the products they are in also have other properties and chemicals that will not work for many people, and can actually be causing or adding to the problem. Moreover, using shampoos on your face, or tar soaps, etc., can damage and strip facial skin regardless of whether you have seborrheic dermatitis or not.

It’s important to note that some seborrhiec dermatitis flare-ups are much worse simply because of irritation to the skin. When you have a flare-up, your skin is like an open wound and the protective layer of your skin has been compromised. If exposed to harsh chemicals or ingredients, chlorine, etc., you can be further damaging its protective layer and contributing to more intense outbreaks. So what do you use then, right? Don’t worry, there is a solution…

That solution…is sea salt.

Step #1 – Checking Your Water

Before we go into the sea salt solution, I’d like to discuss the foundation you have in your home. That foundation is the water you bath in. Most people don’t realize that there are many skin irritants in their tap water. The wide array of minerals and deposits found in hard water that end up binding with soaps, and the presence of chlorine/chloramines, are common causes for seborrheic dermatitis. They can both leave you with dry, flaky, itchy skin. They can also cause an itchy scalp, dandruff, dry brittle hair, and hair loss. If you would like more details read my post How Tap Water Can Effect Seborrheic Dermatitis. If you do have chlorine/chloramines and hard water, removing them can make a drastic difference for your skin and overall health. Have you ever noticed people with seborrheic dermatitis say,

”Hmmm, I went on vacation and my seb derm went away! It must have been the pool, or fruits I was eating, etc.”

Probably not the case. This is especially true if they went to a resort. There is a very good chance that their seborrheic dermatitis cleared up because the hotel had a water filtration system. So the chlorine and hard water from home was no longer irritating their skin. I see the vacation story a lot, and I believe the reason most seborrheic dermatitis clears is due to combinations of low stress, bathing in clean water, and/or swimming in the ocean. So it’s a good idea to check the water in your home and make sure the foundation you have for washing your skin isn’t causing you to fail from the start. If you’re not sure how to check your water you can use my How To Check Your Water article as a guide. And if you want to know how I soften my water and remove chlorine/chloramines you can check out my post on How To Soften Your Water And Filter Chlorine & Chloramines.

Ultimately, whether you have seborrheic dermatitis or not, there’s really no downside to filtering your water.  Nicer skin, softer healthier hair, and no (or less) residue from soap on your skin or built up in your shower. Moreover, you are no longer breathing in chlorine vapors that can cause additional health issues. So check your water, and determine if it’s a potential problem.

Step #2 – Sea Salt Cleansing

I recommend washing/soaking seborrheic dermatitis in a sea salt solution as a first step. It cleans and heals the skin similar to the effect that swimming in the ocean has on an open wound. The sea salt you want to use should be unrefined, no fragrances, pure sea salt with trace minerals. Generally the more trace minerals that are in the salt, the better. I like using  Minera Dead Sea Salt which I purchase from Amazon. Dead Sea Salt has minera dead sea saltbeen known for ages to have miraculous effects on the skin and body, curing all types of ailments. While Dead Sea Salt is petty amazing, I also use natural sea salt sometimes that you can purchase from the local supermarket or natural foods store. I get asked a lot about other brands, especially sea salts that people may already have in their home and want to test out. The main two that people ask about are Himalayan Pink Salt and Real Salt. I have used both on occasion, and they seem to work fine. The goal is to mimic natural ocean water at home, so keep that in mind and feel free to experiment.

Once you have your sea salt, mix the sea salt with fresh water and create a solution that will be as close to ocean water as possible. The general measurement for recreating ocean water is 1/2 cup per gallon of water. While that will be the the measurement a majority of the time, there are some particular salts I’ve come across that can have different measurements. So just be sure to check the packaging of the brand you buy, and make sure you have the right measurement. When in doubt the 1/2 cup per gallon is a safe bet, and also happens to be the general measurement for creating a salt water fish tank. So if it’s good enough for the fish, it’s good enough for me! 🙂

After you have your salt water solution, you want to soak your seborrheic dermatitis with it for a few minutes. Note, that if you have a flare-up, or your skin’s protective layer is compromised, this will sting. Don’t worry. The stinging will subside shortly, and as the skin heals there will be no more stinging (just like the rest of your normal skin!). Do not immediately start scrubbing and trying to wash your skin. This is a common mistake people make in skin care, regardless of regimen. You always want to allow your skin some time to soften up in the water. This way any dead skin can be more easily, and gently removed. If you begin rubbing or trying to exfoliate flaky skin immediately, it will result in irritation. Moreover, you will not be able to remove very much dead skin (resulting in “stubborn” areas) or clean the area very well. So always try and give your skin at least 5 minutes to soften with the water before any kind of rubbing or exfoliating. Once your skin has softened, you can gently rub any dead skin away with your fingers as you wash the area. Once you finish washing with the sea salt solution, make sure your rinse well with fresh water. Then pat the area dry with a clean soft towel.

Most people will see a dramatic reduction in flare ups within 24 hours, and many within just minutes or hours! While this is great, be careful not to get too carried away once you start seeing results. Too often people get excited that their seborrheic dermatitis is disappearing, and they start dumping more and more sea salt into their salt water mixture, or washing too many times a day. If you add too much sea salt to the water you will dry out your skin, which is not good. Your skin should be about as dry as it would be after going for a swim in the ocean and rinsing your face with fresh water. Keep in mind that if you have been washing your face with soap and cleansers prior to the sea salt regimen, it can take a day or two for your skin to feel less dry or tight. That is simply because your skin is already stripped from other products, and there may also be a residue on the skin. So it will take a few days to balance itself out.

Please also note, that this sea salt routine should be done with water that is free of chloramines and chlorine. If you happen to have chloramines or chlorine in your water, you should use bottled water for the entire regimen.

Okay, so once you are finished with the sea salt regimen it’s time to move on to step #3.

Step #3 – The No Moisturizers Goal

Moisturizing is great for the skin, but there are so many ingredients in them that tend to be problematic for seborrheic dermatitis. Moreover, any one of these ingredients could be the cause alone for your seborrheic dermatitis. So ideally the goal of this principle would be to not use moisturizer at all. For those with facial seborrheic dermatitis the initial thought to not using a moisturizer is,

“Are you crazy!? I can’t not use moisturizer. My face will fall off!”

Listen, I get it. That is understandable. For years, I felt that same way. I used to wash my face with Head & Shoulders shampoo and would slather on layer upon layer of Cetaphil lotion until my face felt comfortable. If I didn’t slop on huge amounts of moisturizer, my skin felt like it was so tight and painful that it was about to crack into pieces and fall off my face. So I understand your fear. However, the reason your face feels tight or burns when getting out of the shower is usually because it’s been so over stripped by harsh soaps/cleansers, or from over washing. If you have hard water the soap residue left on your face is also adding to the tightness. Once the residue is removed, and your skin balances itself a bit with a normal level of natural oils and moisture, you will not feel the same tightness and necessity to use moisturizers. Over time your skin will regain it’s moisture level and natural oil level.

That said, some people (especially depending on your environment) might need moisturizer at times. Also, if you are treating a flare up and first starting the sea salt regimen you may need a moisturizer that can provide relief. If you live in a very dry climate like myself, some form of moisturizer may be needed to prevent your skin from drying out. So choosing the right one is very important. This can be difficult because almost all the moisturizers out there contain oils (even Cetaphil), fragrances, parabens, lanolin, and a multitude of chemicals that are known skin irritants. Moreover, a lot of moisturizers help feed yeast. The moisturizer that I personally use on occasion and recommend is Aveeno. I stick to their aveeno moisturizertraditional green bottle moisturizer (this is my “go-to” I primarily use), and their Eczema Therapy Moisturizer. They are both very good, and I like them for a number of reasons. They are unique in composition in that they are oatmeal based, which tends to be very soothing on the skin. If you have a flare up or itchy burning skin, Aveeno does an amazing job at providing relief. Even during an extreme flare up, these can really take away any burning or itchy sensations.  They don’t have the same creamy consistency (from oil usually) that 99% of moisturizers do, and they don’t leave a shine on your skin. Aveeno has more of a matte finish, so you won’t have a greasy looking face, and it acts to retain moisture while protecting your skin from the elements. These are simply the best options I have found yet for seborrheic dermatitis, and I have tried pretty much every moisturizer there is on the market.

When you apply the Aveeno be sure to take it easy. To often people go crazy and start slopping on multiple layers at once. I understand the temptation, because it can be very soothing. But just slow your roll a bit, and apply one layer at a time. See how you feel, and then apply another additional thin layer if necessary. Repeat this until you feel comfortable.

My personal routine with the sea salt regimen is the following:

I wash my face with sea salt in the evening prior to going to bed, and apply a layer of Aveeno. I may add a second layer if the weather in Los Angeles is extremely dry that day/night to help my skin retain moisture. When I wake up in the morning, I take a shower in fresh water, and don’t wash my face with anything. More often than not, I then apply a light layer of Aveeno and leave the house. That’s it, and my skin is 100% clear of any visible signs of seborrheic dermatitis. The reason I might add a light layer of Aveeno in the morning is mainly due to the poor air quality in Los Angeles. The Aveeno helps add a protective barrier to protect my skin from the elements here. If I am in Miami for example, where there is a lot of humidity and the air is much cleaner, I don’t add any Aveeno.

Easy Way To Get Started With A Simple Test

Pick up a small container of unrefined natural sea salt from your local grocery store or natural foods store, and some bottled spring water (enough to fill a sink twice). If you live in the US, Aveeno is quite easy to find, even at the general grocery store. So you can pick up the small 2.5oz tube (great for traveling by the way) quite easily. Use the bottled water to mix your salt water mixture in the sink. By doing this you are ensuring that the water you are using does not have chlorine or many other common tap water compounds that can be problematic. Once you have washed your face, empty the sink and add fresh bottled water again to rinse with. Rinse your face with the fresh water, gently pat dry, and add a light layer of Aveeno if needed.

If you find that this works for you, then maybe look at purchasing some additional items to make life a bit easier with this regimen. It’s always good to test things first before you go running out and spending money on a more permanent regimen. So I encourage you to test away, and see if it works for you.

Ready For The “C” Cure

If you have questions that arise when following the “S” cure regimen, just remember one thing:  the principles here are more important than the regimen or products used. You may come up with a better regimen that falls in line with the same principles. Or maybe you live in a country where there’s a better product that still fits the same criteria. If you understand the priciples, you can tailor a regimen that works particularly for you and your situation. It might be just as effective, or maybe even more effective! Everyone is different, including their environment, so tinker away with testing and share with the rest of us! 🙂   – Check out some Testimonials

The next step is to review the information in The “C” (cause) Cure. It expands on many of the points made here, and takes a deeper look at causes for seborrheic dermatitis.

Spacer

Step #2

Spacer

I hope you’ve enjoyed the information provided thus far, and have found it helpful. Please don’t be shy, and share your feedback or experiences with others in the Forum, or comments below.

105 Comments on “Curing Symptoms”

  1. Thanks for this concept!

    It looks like you have a Forum here which looks like it could be well-used, considering all the comments. However, it is malfunctioning.

    I’ve tried the doc/meds approach with zero luck. So now I’m trying the saltwater and diet. I sleep great, have no stress, lifelong athlete, eat really good, drink a beer or two a day, 2 cups of coffee a day. But I do sometimes have candy, cookies, coke. As you say, everybody is different. My plan is to cut out the junk sugar, less beer, 1 cup of coffee. It’s a change but not big changes. We’ll see!

    I also have phlegm in my throat so that I clear my throat a dozen times a day. I’ve long had a frequently runny nose.

    I took a detailed skin-prick allergy test: nothing. However the doc said I had “rhinitis” which is a runny nose. Ha! Apparently I’m sensitive to dust and pollen — it can even make me cough. It’s basically just the particles. But I’m not allergic. I don’t know the difference.

    I’m hoping that “cutting back” on a few things will help. Hopefully it’s not a case where any presence of certain things causes my skin to fall off in those “red zones.”

    I like your approach and attitude, Matt: about acknowledging the physical difference that makes some tend to red areas which flake when in presence of inflammatories / cortisol. So maybe no total “cure” is possible but one can avoid what inflames. And when a flare-up occurs use it as a signal that one is overdoing something. …Now to figure out what that is!!!

    Thanks again.

  2. I have sebo-psoriasis on my scalp. I discovered that using 100% squalane oil, (which is not really an oil – Google it) has done wonders for my scalp. My scalp is very dry from all the dandruff shampoos, and flakes constantly. I now massage a few drops of squalane on my scalp after i dry my hair and before I style it. i use it on my face too. Once the scaling came off, it stayed off.

    1. Forgot to mention that Squalane oil does not feed the yeast that causes seborrhea. (The only other safe oil is MCT oil.) All other oils – coconut, argan, almond, johoba have the potential to feed yeast.
      And my skin and hair are left smooth and hydrated, definitely not oily.

  3. Have had seb derm my entire life (29 years.) Always in my face, sides of nose, forehead, facial hair. Been on Eucrisa over 3 weeks and can say it is the only product that has worked. Everything I have tried in the past clears it up for a few days then stops working. Eucrisa seems to be doing the opposite. Didn’t notice a ton first few days but after 3 weeks of using it one or 2 times a day I can say my skin has never been this clear. Also do not have the dry feeling like I ususually have after a shower or just in general. This seems to be both a moisturizer and dermatitis killer combined. I never have reviewed a product in my life, but because I know how shitty seb derm is I figured this could help other people out there. Also eat well!

  4. Is it correct if I mix 400ml water with 3 tsp sea salt? I converted your measurements but I think is too much. Am I wrong?

  5. Hello,
    I don’t know if I have seb derm or what but I have a thick layer of dead skin that I can’t seem to get rid of, it has been accumulating, especially on my forehead, in-between my eyebrows and on my nose. When I get out of the shower it softens up and it is much more noticeable, like a white cast on my face. When it dries it isn’t as noticeable but it has a rough texture.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I have looked it up and found others with the same problem but it always leads to a dead end. I’ve tried moisturizing with CeraVe and while doing so I sometimes rub some of the skin off and it leaves a dent, I don’t know if it’s an actual dent in my skin now or if it is just because of the removal of the dead skin but it bothered me thinking that I could be making things worse.

    This has been an an issue for many months now, anyone.. Please.

    1. J:

      You basically described the same symptoms I have been dealing with for several years. Two dermatologists diagnosed it as seb derm.

      The excess oil (sebum) production causes the thick, flaky skin in the forehead, eyebrow, and nose areas. Moisturizers don’t work for me, as the skin is already very oily and doesn’t need more moisture. I have more or less tried everything talked about on this website to try and regain balance to the skin and reduce the oil production – nothing has worked.

      The only product that keeps it under control for me is Hydrocortisone Valerate, which I apply once every 4 days. Good luck!

  6. How do you use the sea salt if your major problem area is your scalp? … I have been “washing” my hair with baking soda and using apple cider vinegar as a “rinse” for a number of years. I used to use Nizoral (both OTC and prescription) in the past. But it is so hard on your hair and made me lose a ton of hair. I had not really had problems with itching and flaking for what seems like years until recently when I had a lot of itching. I decided to try OTC Nizoral again and it seems to have made things SO much worse! I’m desperate to find something to treat the itching, flaking, and redness on my scalp (the worst it has ever been) but am not sure how to apply sea salt to it unless I used it as a “shampoo” instead of the baking soda. Have people tried this? … Does it severely dry out your hair?

    1. I have had scalp success with a shampoo called “Free and Clear” (made by a company called Vanicream).

      It is not organic, but it contains no oils, proteins, perfumes, masking fragrance, sulfates, parabens, gluten, betaine or formaldehyde. In my experience, many of the perfumes/scents in organic shampoos aggravate seb derm symptoms.

      I use the Free and Clear shampoo when I shower at night. I use Free and Clear conditioner when I shower in the morning/day. Both have worked wonders for my scalp.

    2. I put the solution in a tiny spray bottle and then part my hair and spray away. You can do this in the shower and leave it in while you wash, and then rinse.

  7. So glad I have you. I have a question.
    What do you think about this cream Nizoral?
    What do you think about apple circulation to apply a face?

    From Turkey.

  8. I have had seb seen for almost a year now and it was very depressing in the beginning however I am learning through research and forums how to stay positive and control it as we all know we will be stuck with it for ever. We must stay positive as stress definitely can cause it to flare up and in addition make us depressed and that’s just not a life to live. I am 25 and I have never had any issues with my skin up until this problem. I always have had clear skin with a small pimple every few months that would go away in a few days and only in my face. When I started having symptoms it was in my scalp and it was really confusing. All the sudden I was having either really dry or really oily scalp with itching and discovered acne like bumps. I unknowingly and stupidly scratched and tried to remove the flakes but didn’t realize that that helps spread it. I thought it was dandruff at first and started using selsun blue shampoo and had a little relief and symptoms seemed to diminish at first however it only worked for a short time. Instead of seeing a doctor about it right away which I wish I would have now looking back. Oh well. Anyway I also wasn’t sure what was the cause and thought maybe it was the hair product I was using..it probably didn’t help. I was using cheap mousse because I was on a extreme budget and I have curly unmanageable hair unless I put something in it. I have always used product in my hair for years but never understood the impact it had in my hair. Anyway nothing was working. I used apple cider vinegar after some research thinking maybe it was a fungus and it worked but I read you can only put that in your hair every once in a while as it strips your hair, so the symptoms went away for a few days and then quickly came back. Then I started breaking out on my forehead really bad. I was so frustrated I didn’t know what was going on. It spread to my arms and my leg and I knew something wasn’t right because again, I never had acne. I went to the dr and he diagnosed me with seb derm and staph. ( the staph was caused by my attempt to get rid of the “pimples” by popping them but it wasn’t really pimples. After two months of antibiotics my breakouts finally started to actually heal. Then I started noticing my eyebrows releasing white stuff from my hair follicles. It was gross. I felt gross. It seemed to be like flakes of skin coming out of my hair follicles and was scary. After tons of research I found out about white vinegar. I really wanted to stay away from steroids because I knew they aren’t good for you so I gave it a try. White vinegar has been a huge relief in my seb derm. I apply it and let it sit on my scalp about once a week and shampoo my hair only every other day and I definitely use conditioner on my scalp. I went through a trial of no conditioner and that didn’t help and also of no shampoo and neither did that. Also, I rinse with cold water before I get out of the shower to close my pores. In addition, occasionally I use aloe vera soap to help moisturize. I started cleaning my washer and dryer every so often with bleach and added borax to my laundry soap in the washer. I also started taking probiotics and drinking a detox tea daily. I switched my hair product to an organic one that’s very gentle and doesn’t cause buildup or contain alcohol. When I get out of the shower I take a cotton ball with vinegar and a lil water and clean my face and other seb derm areas. I only moisturize my face so that I can prep it for my makeup to hide my scars caused by the past breakouts. In addition I pay more attention to cleaning my makeup brushes often and making sure I don’t put dirty or oily things on my face. I believe in white vinegar as it has been my best friend since. I also rub it on any areas when I feel a flare up coming on and it seems to instantly make it go away. I barely get flakes too. When i do, I take a warm washcloth with vinegar on it and lay it on my face to release dirt and oils from my face,. The white vinegar leaves a thin film on my face that prevents feeding the yeast. I know diet is important but I love my carbs so I use the detox tea and probiotic yogurts and pills to help control and balance me internally. Hope this story can help someone. Stay positive and hopeful. I believe a lot of the issue is caused by environmental factors we cannot control and it seems to be a common thing in a lot of people.
    Here’s a summary of what has helped me:
    Shampooing hair only every other day
    Drinking organic detox tea
    Limiting sugar intake
    Switching hair product to organic
    White vinegar scalp soaks every week
    Cold water rinse before getting out of shower
    Applying white Vinegar on seb derm areas after shower DAILY
    drinking more fluids
    Aloe Vera to moisturize occasionally and using cetaphil moistiring lotion in face daily
    Cleaning washer and dryer
    Adding borax to laundry soap in every load
    Limiting stress or trying to
    Getting more sleep
    Staying positive!

    1. Aubree:

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and success with white vinegar. I have been dabbing organic white vinegar (diluted 50% with distilled water) two times/day on my forehead, temple, and sides-of-nose seb derm areas for about a week after showering (morning and night), and I have noticed that my skin is much smoother and less flakier since doing so.

      Do you think it is OK to apply the vinegar twice/day or just at night? My skin gets much oilier (particularly in T-zone area) during the day, so I have also been applying it in the mornings.

      Do you mind me asking which facial cleanser you use? Recently, my dermatologist convinced me to try AquaNil cleanser, which only contains7 ingredients (purified water, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, SLS, and xantham gum). It caused so much flaking and dryness all over my face that I had to discontinue using it after 10 days.

      The white vinegar has not yet allowed me to stop using Hydrocortisone Valerate cream every 4-5 days or so to combat the redness and lesions, but I am now using that cream less often than before. Will definitely keep trying the white vinegar, which I believe acts like a mild anti-fungal to help stop the growth of the yeast.

      Also, I have had scalp success with a shampoo called “Free and Clear”. It is not organic, but it contains no oils, proteins, perfumes, sulfates, parabens, gluten, betaine or formaldehyde. In my experience, many of the perfumes/scents in organic shampoos aggravate seb derm symptoms.

      Thanks again!

  9. Hi! I an realt suffering from seb derm. I read your article about maybe weeks ago. I tried to apply dead sea mud mask on my face for twice a week, i wash my face with sea water (literally i went to the beach very sunday to bath myself and get a container of sea water) every morning and before going to bed, letting it dry on to my face. I dont use soap either.
    Got some good result on some days but intching and swelling keeps on staying on my face i cant handle it and so i apply clobetasol on itchy and swelling areas.
    My face gets dry since im afraid to apply moisturizer again 😭
    Im working and most of the time the weather is hot here in philippines, im afraid my face will get damage because i dont apply sunblock anymore. It sucks and im tired of this seb derm 💔. Please help me on this 😪

  10. Hi i just bought dead sea salt mud pack. It says that you have to apply it just once a week. Im suffering from seb derm, is it possible to be cured when i can apply it just once a week? Thanks alot!

  11. I tried everything for my daughter for her serb derm and allergies… its been months and nothing has worked. found this blog, and its changed our lives. Dead Sea salts… who knew, why is this infor not available more readily. Thank you from both of us!

  12. So far one of the best decisions I have made. I simply take a 500ml bottle of still water and add the Minerva sea salt. I poor 3 or 4 capfuls in each morning into my hands and evening to rinse my face and let my skin air dry, no moisturiser as I have oily skin naturally. Made a massive difference. Drink lots of water, exercise and cut back on coffee and alcohol. Balanced diet…nothing complicated

  13. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I’ve only started doing this three days ago, but my skin is not burning and I have ZERO (!!) flakes. I don’t want to celebrate too soon, because it’s still red all over my nose, chin and onto my cheeks, but it’s definitely a start. I’ve been dealing with seb derm since I was 14 (now 21) and this is the first time I’ve seen or felt results like this. I do have a few questions though if you don’t mind.

    The first is about the exfoliating, when I just do it with my fingers it doesn’t really work unless I rub which hurts quite a bit. So what I’ve been doing is soaking a bit of oatmeal until they’re soft and then gently rubbing those in circles which really works and leaves my skin feeling very soft and clean. I was just wondering whether this is okay or if there’s something in oatmeal that’s not good?

    The second question I have is about how often I should be doing this. I’ve been doing it once a day for now in the morning, but in the afternoon my skin starts itching again and it gets worse at night and the next morning. So should I be doing it twice a day? Or maybe use ACV which used to help against the itching? Or better sea salt? I use bottled water and aveeno eczema cream.

  14. Hi,
    I have had this condition for many years. I recently ordered Minera dead sea salt to give it a try. I only did it two days in a row and ignited a vicious flare. I’m still dealing with this flare several days later. Do you think I used too much salt? Or if I was already in the beginning stages of a flare I caused it to get worse? I think the dead sea salt wash is a good idea and I would really like for it to work. Seems like it works for so many people….

  15. Gonna try this. Just one question… if i wanna do this in a smaller bowl i guess i can divide the “1/2 cup per gallon (wich is 16cup) ” per 2…. so 1/4cup of salt in a 8cup bowl of water ? I dont see the point of using so much water(1 gallon) just to wash my face so thats why 😛

  16. I’m confused, I’ve had dd for years now and have used a sulfer cream and cetaphil oil control face wash. I had to switch recently to another cream to keep it under control but my question is, do I wash my face with the sea salt remedy and then normal face wash at all? Do I continue to use my creams or do I just dive right into the sea salt. I know my skin will feel horrible at first not using a bunch of moisturizers because it’s so stripped due to years of having this. I’m 22 and I’ve had it since I was in 8th grade.

    1. This is my routine, its what works for me. I mixed my sea salt and water in a fine mist spray bottle. After washing my face, I pat it dry, let it air dry for a few seconds and use my PChoice SA (to help with the flaky skin) and then I use my SS solution and spray my face or scalp, it did sting the first time (just on my face) but its to be expected and it will subside. You don’t want your skin to dry out and I know for myself my skin is very dry so I have to have some moisture.
      I use Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb not alot but enough so I don’t feel like my face will crack. You can also use Candex, take 2 caps empty them into some water and and use it like you would a toner. I know several people who have used this and it seems to work great….for me I can tell a big difference in my skin texture so far. I also have to be careful what products I use on my skin due to being allergic to Formaldehyde Releasers.

      1. Hello Debbie:

        What do you use to wash your face in your routine? Are you using a cleanser and if so, which one?

        Can you tell me exactly what is the “PChoiceSA” you are referring to for flaking? I have tried the Sea Salt solution in several forms (full forehead wash, dabbing on forehead with clean cloth and rinsing off with distilled water, etc.), but it always causes my skin to flake massively. I always have to then discontinue using the sea salt. Your mist spray bottle solution sounds very promising!

        Currently, I sparingly use Dr. Dennis Gross’ Oil Free Moisturizer on my forehead whenever the flaking gets too intense. It seems to mildly help. Right now, the ONLY product that truly helps keep my forehead seb derm under control is Hydrocortisone Valerate – which I apply once every four days. I would love to finally get off it, as I have been using it for nearly 6 months.

        You also mentioned Candex – do you also take that as a supplement to control candida yeast? I am currently researching whether or not to supplement with Caprylic Acid by Pure Encapsulations, which is a brand I trust to help control Candida yeast. Your toner idea using Camdex also sounds interesting.

        Thanks!

        1. It is Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, I love this cleanser, very gentle, no burning or irritation and has a hint of smell (which I think smells wonderful) you can get a sample of it @ Sephora to make sure you like it before you buy.

          The Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant that has Salicylic Acid, my skin does not tolerate the AHA acids very well but the BHA acids are fine. Did not cure me of SD but at least it helps with the flakes and I can wear alittle makeup again….woot woot!!! I have just recently starting putting it on a cotton pad and dabbing it on my scalp to see if it will help with the flaking as I can’t use H&S or nizoral, or tar shampoos due to it containing FReleasers, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed so far so good. I shampoo 2x a week with Salicylic Acid shampoo by Neutrogena and use Vanicream shampoo and conditioner on the other days.

          I have (and it was hard) totally got away from the steroids all together as it can make things worse after you stop using them…like I stated before this is what works for my skin and I have had to build up using the SA due to my skin being so sensititive to everything in the beginning. I have yet to try any of Dr Dennis Gross products but I have heard and read some great reviews.

          And about the Candex, I tried taking it orally and it caused me to have alot of nausea, bloating and stomach pain so thinking I will give it another try in the near future but in a smaller mg dosage…. What I will say, is topically I have seen a change with the texture of my skin, which is awesome… I have read that it breaks up the biofilm of the yeast which if this is true thats very promising. I do believe that whats in your water does contribute to being a constant irritation to the skin, and I am looking into testing and possibly getting the waterstick myself.

        2. Debbie:

          Thanks so much for the feedback. I am going to give that Korres cleanser a tryout. I have tried several cleansers (natural/organic and conventional) since I was first diagnosed with seb derm 2 years ago, but all of them make my forehead burn, irritate, and crack.

          The only one that doesn’t is the one I have been using for years – Obaji Offects Hydrating Cleanser (Normal to Dry Skin). However, my dermatologist has asked me to discontinue using this product, as it does contain urea – an ingredient he feels is detrimental to those with seb derm.

          I have been able to really cut down on any scalp flaking and itching by using the 2 shampoos that Matt recommends – John Masters Zinc & Sage (3 days) and Aveda Rosemary Mint (4 days). I do feel that if you have scalp and forehead seb derm, you must shampoo daily to breakup the oil.

          For anyone that has seb derm on or behind their ears, I was able to completely eradicate it by discontinuing the use of any cleansers, moisturizers, etc. on those areas. I just gently rinse them with distilled water and a clean cloth after showering. The itching, redness, and irritation has been gone for a year on and behind my ears. Amazing. However, this process doesn’t work on the forehead, due to massive build-up of sebum if you don’t use some type of cleanser.

          Anxious to try your Candex home-made toner – and thanks again for the feedback! And thanks to Matt for providing such a great website and forum for these ideas.

        3. Debbie:

          I have used the Candex “toner” at night for 2 weeks now, and the results have been very good. My forehead has not itched the entire time I have been using the Candex – first time I have had relief from daily itching in 2 years! The peeling has also subsided, although I do still get small amounts of that “white sand” effect that many seb derm areas get. I haven’t been able to eradicate the redness, but it does look better.

          I have already been able to reduce my use of Hydrocortisone Valerate to once every 5 days (from 2 times/week). Eventual goal is to get off it for good.

          Question: Do you use the Candex toner every morning and evening, or just at night? Do you let it sit on your facial areas all day and night, or do you rinse it off after an hour or so? Thanks so much for your feedback!

          Unfortunately, the Korres Cleanser was too harsh for my skin and I had to stop using it. I can understand why many women like it as a makeup remover and cleanser, as it did seem to do a very good job of cleansing. It just made my skin feel real dry and cracked as it almost seemed to clean too well.

        4. Robert,

          So glad to hear that its working for you, and yes I use morning and night and I don’t wash it off.
          Sorry to hear about the cleanser (even if its been used Sephora will take it back just an FYI) so far I am really liking it, and love the smell. When I first started my skin wouldn’t tolerate nothing, major red face, peeling …it was horrible.

          Have you ever had a patch test done to see what your may be allergic to, just a thought.

          It took me a little while to work up to the acids I use, ( will never be without them) I believe I started with spot testing every couple of days for 2 weeks and then just moved it up… but my tomato face is gone and its helping so much
          with the flaking…woot woot!!!! Keep me updated on how its going and I will keep checking back, and if you run into any great products please let me know.

          Have a great day !!

      2. Hello Debbie:

        I have recently purchased some of the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant with Salicylic Acid and am trying to add it to my seb-derm fighting skin routine. I have read a great deal about it and it does seem to be a high-quality product which helps control sebum overproduction, shrink large pores, and reduce redness.

        Do you use Paula’s product everyday – morning and evening – or just evening? It does tend to go on somewhat oily, even though the product has no oil.

        Do you apply it all over your face or just do spot treatments where you have peeling, redness, or small red lesions? I’m trying to decide where and how often to use it on my forehead. Currently, I am only using it sparingly at night.

        So far, it seems to be helping better control the peeling and redness, which tends to show up for me every 5 days (like clockwork).

        My routine currently consists of washing my face, rinsing in distilled water, adding the Candex toner to my forehead (I mix Candex capsules with distilled water and apply with a soft cloth), and then sparingly applying my forehead with Paula’s Choice Exfoliant with SA (but only in the evening).

        Everything you have recommended has really worked well for me so far – my skin hardly itches anymore and I no longer have that stinging pain feeling when I wake up. My extreme seb-derm breakouts are happening much less often.

        Thanks so much for all your help!

  17. Would aloe be a safe moisturizer instead of oils? Also, would a sea salt honey mask potentially be a safe way to moisturize and get the salt on the skin? Or do aloe and/or honey feed the yeast the same as the oils do?

    1. My personal experience with aloe is that its great for moisturizing the skin (try to use fresh aloe) and the honey has antibacterial properties. From what I have researched honey can feed the yeast if it is diluted, so me personally I would just stick to using honey as a mask. I would do a honey mask then use the SS solution like you would use a toner dip a cotton pad into it and wipe on your face…..just make sure you have your ratio of SS to water right because (it would take alot) but you can get to much Magnesium. Any and all comments are from personal experience or from research that I have done due to having SD for the last 4 yrs and being allergic to formaldehyde releasers.

  18. I absolutely love this site and have learned so much. I just have a question about the actual application of the salt water solution to my face. I understand the ratio, but how can I best apply the fluid to my face. My SD is most located in my mustache, chin and nose.
    Can a simply dip a wash cloth in the solution and hold it on the affected areas for a few minutes, then splash cold, filtered water on my face?

    Thank you for your time, patience and compassion.

    Best,

    David

  19. It s me again. In addition to the Nizarol, acv and white vinegar, what is your opinion on Nioxin scalp therapy shampoo ? It is supposed to clean the scalp, followed by nioxin scalp conditioner then scalp serum. I have an appt. coming up with a dermatologist
    Thank you in advance .

  20. It s me again. In addition to the Nizarol, acv and white vinegar, what is your opinion on Nioxin scalp therapy shampoo ? It is supposed to clean the scalp, followed by nioxin scalp conditioner then scalp serum.
    Thank you in advance

  21. Hi. Matt,
    Great blog. Your opinion on Nizarol shampoo? I have Sd on my scalp. Have been prescribed antibiotic, kerakytazole shampoo, nizarole shampoo, 1% ivermectin cream and nothing works, I have used organic shampoos free of sls, parabens and now I noticed it has coconut oil. So I will cut that out. But if it is the malazeeia yeast, won’t act or white vinegar make it worse.?
    I will try the salt water tomorrow .

  22. Matt,

    I’ve had this condition for years on my face and it has usually only been redness but the last 4 days has erupted into my face weeping fluid which dries into scales. Moisturiser actually can trigger this as well. Have you had this occur and did you use the dead sea salt cleansing routine when it reached this level?

    1. Hi Chris,

      I’m not sure what you mean exactly. There are some default filters on this site to prevent spam, but I don’t see any blocked comments or anything. Can you provide me with more info?

      1. What a remarkable amount of research here! I am ready to start soaking my scalp with the sea salt mix. Then do I shampoo with the master’s zinc and sage shampoo or this that a separate event?
        Thanks

  23. Hi, I used the sea salt and soaked my face in it for about five minutes and then started to rub away the scales on the adjoining cheek right next to my nose. After I rubbed away the scales that portion of my face is now left bright red. I did this about two days ago and was wondering if this was the dermatitis underneath the scales or if I really irritated my skin. It’s very noticeable and I’m hoping you can tell me if I rubbed to hard and the redness will go away or if this is from the dermatitis underneath and what I can do to get rid of it

    1. Hi Natalie,
      It’s hard for me to say if you exfoliated too much and caused irritation because I wouldn’t really know if you did or not. I can say that if you are rubbing away scales, the skin could certainly be red. I would try and be gentle, and also consistent in cleaning the area to prevent scale build up. I would also apply Aveeno moisturizer generously for a while to protect the skin and allow it to regain it’s protective barrier. I don’t know if you are using any other products, or fresh water, or type of salt and measurements, etc…but (assuming you are following the regimen suggestions on this site) I would discontinue the regimen if you experience increased redness or discomfort.

  24. I have seb derm on my scalp. Should I soak my head in a sink of sea salt? Is the sea salt used in place of shampoo? Or should I shampoo after I soak my head?

    1. I would like to know the answer too,

      sea salt soak works great on my face but it does not work on my scalp, still itchy and scaly

    2. have you tried leaving olive oil on scalp ?

      just tried it, worksss wonder, no more scaly scalp and minimum itchiness

  25. Hi,

    my self Hanumant, i have seborrhoeic eczema on my head, if i use Sea salt treatment on the head, is there any chances to became here in white??
    pls advise !!!!

  26. Argan oil is what worked for me. Specifically, I used the Somaluxe Argan Oil and let the oil soak into my scalp. I used to wash it off, but I found it heals the dermatitis better if you leave it on!

  27. Hi! Thanks for the great information! Can’t wait to try the sea salt wash this evening.
    Question though…what about women with makeup? How do we wash off the makeup? Does the sea salt take care of it too?

    Thanks!

  28. I’ve tried countless face and hair treatments and consulted with hair dressers and dermatologists, no one has been able to give me any worthwhile advice or product suggestions for SD. I came across a lush sea salt shampoo product and googled sea salt out of curiosity and this website came up. There’s extensive, practical information here that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. I just want to say THANK YOU!!! My SD has been an added stressor and no one seems to have knowledge about it or understand the problem. It’s a relief to finally find some expert advice on this condition! TY! TY! TY!

    Just one final comment, I saw a mention of Aveda above. One product I tried was their scalp therapy shampoo (did not work for me). Someone recently mentioned that Aveda hair products have sulfates in them. I thought that was a big no no and I didn’t expect it from a company like Aveda. I checked the label and did find a word with “sulfa” in the ingredients. This is all hearsay, so I’m just curious to hear your take on it. Thanks!

    1. HI Jane,

      Glad you liked the site and info. I’ve actually heard that Aveda’s Scalp Benefits did not work for others too. I don’t have personal experience with it. So I would lean towards not recommending it to people for both those reasons.

      Aveda doesn’t use SLS or SLES in their products from my knowledge. Products that have a sulfate in them are plant based from things like coconut. That’s at least what I remember a store representative telling me a long time ago. I know they also have a number of products that are sulfate-free. Hope that helps.

  29. Yes I agree matt, is the regime I mentioned for washing my face ok or should the water be warm?

    Also do you still occasional flare-ups or are 100% cured?

  30. Hey i hope you reply to this.
    First off thanks for putting this together andvim gonna try the seavsalt wash. But how big of a cup do you mean? Sorry im not from america so i dont really understand.

  31. Hi Matt,

    I have Seb derm which started about 4 months ago. I never had any skin issues. I did grow a beard for about 6 months late last yr and I do facial hair. This condition started on one side in the summer that past but wasn’t anything bad until winter started. I have gone to a dermatologist that prescribed steroid cream and other stuff which I used for about 2 months but I stopped using these steroid cream about 2 months ago as I didn’t wa t them to cause long term damage. I started washing my face with the sea salt about 5 weeks ago and it immediately worked within 24 hours. My routine is as follows:

    1. wash face with bottled water for about 30 seconds
    2. I mixed half a cup of sea salt to a gallon of filtered water I have in my kitchen then splash my face with it for about 2 mins
    3. Then lastly I rinse my face with cold filtered water for about 30 seconds then pat dry with towel.

    I play semi pro soccer, so I train 3 times a week and play a match on the weekends. When I started this regime 5 weeks ago, I was injured so I didn’t train therefore my skin improved about 90% within 24 hours of using this regime. This lasted for 5 weeks. My Seb derm had improved a lot. However when I played my first game from injury last weekend my face flared up like before especially on both cheeks. I only wash my face with the sea salt after training nights and games so it’s not every night so I don’t think I’m over washing it. I also have been eating very clean diet in the last 2 months and have cut out coffee and processed foods along with sugar foods. The only time I eat sugar is once a week for a cheat dessert meal. It always flairs up after I train or play a soccer match. Is the sea salt regime I’m following correct? Can my skin become use to this regime and stop working? Lastly do you think that me playing soccer is affecting my skin because I’m sweating a lot?

    Thank you

    1. Hey Costa,

      I can certainly relate to what you’re saying, because I played soccer myself for many years along with other sports. I always had the same problem where sports and extreme sweating would make my face red and irritable. However, even though I felt like my skin was having that reaction because I had SD, I always felt it was more symptomatic of sensitive skin vs SD. Meaning, I didn’t necessarily classify them as the typical SD flare-ups. Do you feel the same when you think about it?

      To the day, I can do normal work outs or light exercise without any skin problems. But if I’m ever intensely working out playing something like soccer, my skin will definitely be red. I don’t know the exact reason for this, but I’ve always figured it’s the combination of blood circulation flushing the face, excessive sweating, high heart rate, and sensitive skin.

  32. Very good article.
    I noticed nobody has had this question, so there must be a fairly simple answer which will make me look stipid, but: how do you wash your face in salt water? Stick it in the sink or a bucket? Because I can handle a waterboarding but five minutes is really stretching it. Amy ideas?

  33. Hi,
    I just scrolled through looking for shampoos, could you list them again?
    Thanks,
    will the sea salt burn on the scalp?

  34. What about scalp?
    What kind of shampoo, or do you use Sea Salt to clean hair?
    My son’s is horrible!
    I have tried everything, I feel sorry for him….
    thanks for any suggestions

    1. I’ve had moderate success with cinnamon, very little is needed and I put it only on the crest not the whole scalp. This is the cinnamon you sprinkle on pancakes. Wash off at night.

  35. Matt:

    I live in southern Nevada and have a salt-water (no chlorine!) swimming pool that I use almost daily during the warmer summer months when it is 100+ degrees here. After being in the pool for 15-20 minutes or so, I often rinse my face with bottled distilled water to remove any salt and impurities left on my skin that are in the pool water. My face always feels too “tight” if I forget to do so.

    Since my face and overall skin is exposed extensively to salt water in the summer months due to the swimming pool, do I still need to do the Minera Dead Sea Salt Wash again at night? I do realize that a filtered salt water pool is clearly not the same as salt water from the ocean.

    However, I feel like I am “over-washing” with sea salt since I get so much exposure to salt water from the swimming pool. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Robert,

      No, I don’t think you need to be washing in the evenings at that point. If your skin begins to feel dried out then you need to ease up on washing with sea salt (or any product) to gain some moisture balance in your skin.

      I almost never wash my face during the day or mornings with anything other than fresh water (bottled, purified, etc.). At night I alternate a bit these days. Sometimes I just wash with fresh water and sometimes I wash with sea salt. It really depends on if I feel my face needs to be washed and how my skin looks and feels.

      Keep in mind that many things can add to skin dryness like smoking, drinking things like coffee, being dehydrated, going swimming in the ocean all day, etc. So your routine should always be flexible and adjusted to your skins needs that day.

      Lastly, another thing I’d like to point out that is that even a salt water pool could potentially have chloramines in it. I haven’t really researched the salt water pool/chloramine topic too much, but if there are chloramines in someones water supply, then it would obviously be in the water used to fill the pool. Considering that chloramines barely evaporate I would assume they would stay in the water for quite some time. I’d be interested to see someone check to see if their salt water pool has chloramines in it. I think if I had a salt water pol and found chloramines, I’d simply dump a container of vitamin c crystals (can buy them at Trader Joe’s) in the water to get rid of it.

      Anyway, hope this helps.

      1. Matt:

        Thank you so much for the advice on salt-water pools and potential chlorine content. I did purchase the Clorox Pool Smart Strips and tested my pool. You were correct – the Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine amounts were not only present, but “off the charts” high! My Total Chlorine (parts per million) registered between 5-10, where 3 is ideal. Free Chlorine registered 5, where 3 is ideal. Wow!

        My pool maintenance guy feels that my pool filters need to be replaced, which should help get the chlorine content under control. If not, I plan on adding the Vitamin C Crystals, although I don’t know how much one box will do for a 30,000 gallon pool. Thanks for that tip, and I hope all those who follow this website realize that salt water pools may have dangerously high levels of chlorine which can trigger and aggravate any seb derm symptoms.

        When I recently told my dermatologist that my salt water pool seemed to trigger and/or irritate my seb derm symptoms, she basically laughed at me (a few months ago I put a new water softener in my home which filters out all the chlorine when showering – so I knew my home’s water wasn’t any potential cause).

        There are likely very few dermatologists that even understand the harmful relationship between chlorine and adverse skin conditions, including seb derm. With this condition, one really needs to “take charge” of your own health.

        Thanks again!
        Thanks again!

  36. CURAD SILVER SOLUTION GEL : morning & night is helping my facial dermatitis.

    Will try the Aveda shampoo and white vinegar w/w distilled water as a rinse for hair.

    THANK YOU FOR THE ADVICE ! I’ve searched for advice and have a 1′ STACK OF PRINT
    OUTS – Yours by far is the BEST !

    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH !

  37. Hi

    Thank you for this piece.
    Will it help to use epsom salt instead of sea salt? I realise they have different compositions. But I would get epsom salt easier than I would sea salt.

    AA

    1. Hi,

      Epson salt is quite different than sea salt and I have seen people have adverse results with it. So I stay away from it personally and do not recommend it.

  38. Thank you so much for all the info! ive been having seborrheic dermatitis for more than 14 years now and i was completely helpless trying all kind of diff stuff that worked for a while and then nothing, im going to try everything you say my only question is i also have it in my scalp so i know how to apply sea salt but what kind of shampoos can i use besides sea salt? Cause i dont want to give more “food” to the yeast in my scalp and i dont know what kind of shampoos are good for that!

    Thanks again for everything!! its very important what you shared and its been really useful and only people like us that have this know the struggle we have to go through!!

    1. Hi,

      Thanks Fabian! I’ve recommended a number of shampoos on the site and one of my favorites has always been Aveda’s Rosemary Mint shampoo line. As far using sea salt on your scalp, there’s really no set routine for this as the scalp can be a bit of a pain to wash with sea salt. However, many people have had success using using a pitcher of sea salt water in the shower, or soaking their scalp in the tub.

      Just realize that your goal is to give the area a good soak. If you have scaly build up on the scalp soaking is even more important. you really want to loosen up the scales so they can be cleaned and removed.

  39. Hello,

    I am a middle aged woman and have had SD for about two years now. I thought and thought about what changed around the time it started and I now think it started shortly after I had to be on antibiotics twice in under a month. That’s the only change I can think of in my life that would have precipitated this. So as you said, the gut and even though I have done everything to build the flora back up, the SD has persisted. I tried all the usual stuff, rosemary oil, olive leaf oil for the skin, and as you said, they always helped for a little while and then the SD came roaring back. But I have to go to work every day and look somewhat human, so in desperation I resorted to using hydrocortisone on a fairly regular basis in recent months but have never been comfortable with it because of the potential side effects. Still, my SD became more and more chronic, even just one day without the cortisone and boom, I was red as a beet and flaking. Your salt remedy took two full weeks to clear my skin but I could see progress every day and now it’s completely normal and soft as a baby’s! Here are my questions: I live in a high desert climate and really do need to put a little something on my skin on a regular basis or it gets too dry. How soon after my skin has cleared up can I start using something? Will using a skin cream make the SD come back? My regular skin cream is not oily at all. Should I continue to do the salt wash daily but maybe just once a day to prevent another flare-up or can I stop now and just restart if and when I have another flare-up? Is there a down side to washing once a day with the salt? Thank you very much for this remedy and this website. I am so grateful to finally have some control over this problem. The worst with health issues is when you feel you have no idea what causes them and no control whatsoever over them.

  40. I wish I could try this.
    But I don´t really know what is happening to my skin, expecially aroung the mouth area and jaw. A little bit on the cheeks and the forehead between the eyes. Normally it is a bit oily, but now It is so flaky (a lot of white small and bigger flakes just covering me up). I suspect there may be yeast.
    I have had issues with seborreich on the scalp before. But not my face like this.
    I also are prone to breakouts, and sodium chloride (which is what you recommend for wash) is really acne-aggrevating and also skinirritating. And the aveno cream is totally comedogenic. A shame for me. I have to use sunscreen daily, with high SPF, because I have a lot of acne mars and hyperpigmentation, and pimples flaring up specially now when summer is near. AND of course I have to wash this off at night. Which I only use water for and a some cellulose-wipes to take off. I really don´t know what to do. Should I call the doctor to find out what is really happening to my skin, or should I wait and try something….else? I really don´t use medication and doctor prescriptions. Personally I like natural treatment. But I`m afraid for how this will end.

    Kindly regards, Erica from Norway

    1. Hi Erica,

      Sorry to hear the issue you’re having. I can certainly understand. The Aveeno moisturizing lotion is non-comedogenic, so I’m not sure where you see that it’s comedogenic? As far as salt and sodium chloride goes, I haven’t really hear of anyone being sensitive to it before. But if you are, I would obviously suggest staying away from it. For those not aware what “sodium chloride” is in all salts, even in ocean water. Just wondering, do you normally have skin issues when going swimming in the ocean?

      You mentioned that you had seborrheic dermatitis on your scalp before, but never on your face like this. Also that your face went from a bit oily, to flaky all of a sudden. I’m not a doctor, but it sounds like you might be right about it being yeast overgrowth. I’ve noticed that seborrheic dermatitis usually appears for people in three ways: a chronic/daily type of condition, seborrheic dermatitis that comes and goes somewhat regularly, and seborrheic dermatitis that shows up out of nowhere once in a blue moon. It sounds like yours is maybe the “once in a blue moon” type? When that’s the case it could be a simple a yeast overgrowth/infection on the skin which can be treated with topical anti-fungals or steroid creams etc.

      So I would certainly see a doctor or dermatologist and see if they can help. You might be able to have it treated quickly and it will be gone. If your doctor prescribes steroid creams just be careful with it, and make sure you ask your doctor a lot questions. Hope that helps a bit.

      1. Thank you for your answer.
        The doctor I had to come to urgent, didn´t think it was yeast. He said that maybe it could be a beginning for rosacea, but maybe it just was pimples and dry skin (obviously did not have so many clues). He was not sure. He told me to try rosex, and if that helped it was roscea. That maid me vere insecure. I don´t want to put the stuff om my skin 🙁
        I have a proper doctor sheduled at the end of next week. Hope to get a more concret answer.

        Only way I even go to doctor is to find out what this is, so I can cure this natural, and not by medicine, which really messes up a lot (my experience).

        The Aveno lotion contains ngredients: Active Ingredient: Dimethicone 1.25% Inactive Ingredients: Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Benzyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Petrolatum, Sodium Chloride, Water.

        Sodium chlorid and Isopropyl palmitate is higly comedogenic (top on the scale). Cetyl Alcohol is medium comedogenic and irritating. And dimethicone is low on the comedogenic scale. And oat is irritating for people that have strong coaliac (my experience, I react to oat when ingesting). So it´s too many comedogenic and irritating ingrediens just in one product, for me.

        Any other suggestions?
        And what sunscreen do you recommend? 🙂

  41. Thanks for you reply!

    Recently im trying to wash my face in clean water with daed sea salt.
    I think its working for my flare-up but My redness on my face is getting worse than before. Um.. Do you think i should stop the method or keep om doing untill my face gets better?

    How I washed is

    1. Wash my face in warm cleadned-water to open my pores.

    2. Whsh my face in 1/2cup of salt with gallon of water.

    3. Stay for few mintutes to dry littel.

    4. Rinse my face in cleaned-water.

    5. Pat dry and put Aveeno.

    1. Hi Moon,

      It’s really difficult to say what the issue might be for a number of reasons. You mentioned in your first comment that you have psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. You also said that the psoriasis was all over your body (legs, elbows, etc.). There were also lots of changing factors going on in your life when this started at 20 years old (moving countries, military service, etc). It also seems that you’ve been doing many things at once to try and solve the problem (i.e. like taking lots of medicines and supplements). The sea salt wash/soak regimen works very well to heal/clean the skin and also tries to accomplish the goal of external trigger elimination (chemicals in products, stripping the skin with harsh products, chlorine, hard water soap scum, etc). However, if the problem is internal or something else environmentally, the sea salt regimen will usually simply do the best job of maintaining the skin’s appearance and preventing flareups.

      If I hear that someone has skin issues effecting the body, my first thought is usually an internal cause. It’s not always the case, but I tend to shift my focus there more. When there is an internal problem causing a skin condition, the body is sort of like a pot of water boiling over and the cause is the flame. Considering that you are experiencing redness with the sea salt solution (assuming you are doing it correctly and using purified water), AND that you have psoriasis on your body, my focus would be more on potential internal causes. You may also want to try using nothing at all on your face but purified water. So no moisturizer/Aveeno or washing with sea salt solution at all. I’d try this for at least 3-4 days and see if your face remains red. If it’s still red, I’d really focus on internal causes.

      That said, I would first see a primary care physician or naturopath and check your overall health. Read the C Cure for the most efficient way of identifying potential internal causes. Simply guessing and experimenting with herbs and supplements is not a good idea, especially if you don’t know your general health status (I am assuming you don’t).

      If your overall health is okay and there are no major underlying issues, I would take things step by step. Maybe I am misreading your comments, but it seems like you might be doing too many things at once. Throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks almost never works when when trying to identify a cause for seborrheic dermatitis. You mentioned a relatively big list of supplements you’re taking. I have learned that when it comes to supplements or medications, you should really only take one at a time and see how it effects you for at least a week or more. Otherwise you won’t know how your body reacts to each supplement and whether it is helping or hurting the situation. I can tell you from personal experience that supplements can trigger seborrheic dermatitis and other health symptoms as well (headaches, fatigue, dizziness, etc.). So I would be careful with that.

      Lastly, and this goes for everyone…balance is key. Making sure you have a balanced diet, balanced lifestyle with sleep, stress levels, etc., and balance in your skin routine (i.e. not stripping your skin, over-washing, or even just allowing your skin to sweat in a sauna to release toxins if you live in an arid climate, etc.). That may sound cliche, but it’s very true with seborrheic dermatitis and skin conditions in general. So try to take a balanced approach to things, and take things step by step in a logical way. Eliminating potential external causes with the sea salt solution in purified water is the the most logical first step do do this. For many people the problem ay be solved right there. For others, it will be an excellent skin maintenance routine making their skin comfortable while they take next steps in identifying internal causes.

    2. Hi and after reading things all over the internet I find people have food allergies and not SD which is yeast growing on you. All SD people talk more about the scalp itching. You talk about the whole body. Stop all bread and soda and see if you improve. If you do, read up on food allergies.

  42. Wow. Reading this give me hope again that my skin will heal. I was never told by the dermatologist that I have seborrheic dermatitis. He told me that I had contact dermatitis but couldn’t figure out the source of the break outs. I will definitely try this method out.

    How do you feel about HEPA filters? I just bought two for my house called Oransi Max to help my sever dermatitis. I need to buy a portable one for my office but unsure on what brand is best. Just curious on what you think about using one

    1. Hi Ashley,

      I think HEPA filters are great. Especially if you live in an area with poor air quality. It’s also good to make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter so it doesn’t kick up allergens in the air when vacuuming. I’ve had environmental allergies myself most of my life and know that the air quality effects my seborrheic dermatitis and general health a lot. I’ll say that when I lived in South Florida my health was never better. I had no environmental allergies what so ever and skin was excellent. The air being so clean there and lack of environmental allergens made a huge difference.

      Living in Los Angeles – if I could afford it, I’d probably put a HEPA air purifier in every room I could lol. The air here is disgusting. But even in other locations there’s a lot of stuff that floats around the air in peoples’ homes that most don’t realize. The particles get breathed in (even lead – in old buildings), and can effect health. So I’d definitely prefer to have an air purifier if possible. Just curious, have you ever read about “Sick Building Syndrome”? I don’t know the validity of the studies, but it’s pretty interesting.

      I don’t really know which air purifiers are the best, but I’d be curious to hear your experience with the ones you bought.

      PS – If you have contact dermatitis from the air and use a moisturizer, I’d probably stick to using one that locks in moisture. All moisturizers function in either one of two ways. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that. They either “lock in” moisture and create a barrier, or they “draw in” moisture. So logically speaking, I wouldn’t want to draw moisture from air that may contain contact dermatitis allergens. Aveeno happens to be one that locks in moisture.

  43. Hey Matt, thanks for posting the “S” Cure, your daily facial cleansing routine, and the water filtering products you use. My skin issues started when I moved to do a new city several years ago. The water here is very hard and has lots of chlorine. I had wondered about all this but your post just confirmed it. Everyone else (my family & all the doctors I’m seeing) just think I’m a crazy conspiracy nut. I’ve been to 3-4 dermatologists alone (7-8 immunologists, primary care, etc) in these last few years and have been told that I’m suffering everything from acne to lupus to pre-skin cancer! The last doctor insisted that I needed a biopsy of the skin on my face! (The reason I went to her in the first place to PREVENT scarring. Anyhow.

    I tried your sea salt rinse last night and my skin is A LOT less red and inflamed today. So I’ll look into the water filters and Minera salt. Thanks so much. Where did you get this cure? I bet no doctor will ever advocate it because it costs pennies to cure and they can’t write prescriptions. I’m grateful.

    1. Lyn:

      Your experience is similar to mine. When first diagnosed with seb derm 6+ months ago, my dermatologist prescribed salicylic acid Neutrogena cleanser and Clindamycin anti-biotic cream. After one week on those “medicines”, I had to go to Urgent Care because my forehead was so painful and inflamed.

      A week later they prescribed .25% triamcinolone steroid cream, which only helps for a day or two (seb derm usually comes back with a vengeance), and are NOT healthy for your skin if used long-term.

      Recently another dermatologist prescribed Promiseb cream and Ketoconazole anti-fungal cream. Both made the condition much worse. The two key ingredients in Promiseb are shea butter oil and castor (vegetable) oil! Made my forehead look like an oil slick. I really think many dermatologists are clueless about seb derm.

      The ONLY things that have calmed it down are what Matt suggested: Getting off coffee, switching to Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo (scalp dandruff is completely gone), and Minera Sea Salt cleanses (with distilled water) at night. Definitely not cured on my face as I look for the “source/cause” of the seb derm, but so much better than anything the dermatologists recommended!

      This website is truly awesome and I can’t personally thank Matt enough for creating and maintaining it.

  44. What should women do that need to wash off makeup? Will the sea salt mixture remove my makeup thanks

  45. Hi Matt

    Firstly, I have to say that thanks a lot for you great deal of effort for SD cures.
    I havent seen someone like you who researched for SD.
    I didnt have it until i was at the age of 20. When i served military service it ouccued suddenly and i have tried many solutions to cure the disease but i couldnt.

    In my case, when i uesd weak steroid My face became as good as before but as i moved to the uk from south korea(now i currently live in korea) it was getting worse than ever though i used the cream.
    So i searched for real cure to remove the disease and i think i can believe your solutions due to the fact that what you have said makes sense. Also I started cure S.

    But i cannot find the cause. Now im taking a lot of medichine for SD and psoriasis. I have both diseases. SD is on my face and psoriasis is on my body like elbows and legs. So im trying to take a lot of medichines like Omega 3, Glutamine, probiotics, coconut oil and silymarin but i believe it hasnt worked so far.
    So i ask you for this case.
    1. How would i find out the real cause for the both diseases ?

    Also i have little more questions.

    2. How much do i put sea salt when i mix cleansing water?

    3. Is the sunlight good for psoriasis?
    Actually, i use UV light made by me to cure psoriasis which is believed to remove by UV.(and it really works)

    Looking forward to your anwser.
    And sorry for my English!

    1. Hi Moon,

      Thanks for your nice comments. I don’t mind trying to help, but I answer most of your questions in this site. The purpose of the site is to actually provide you with a system to answer your first question with actionable steps. I encourage you to read through it from the beginning. The sea salt mixture is about a 1/2 cup per gallon of water.

      As far as UV light or sun goes, yes I believe sun helps. It’s quite common for sun to help with skin issues such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and eczema. Not in all cases but I’d say a majority of the time.

  46. HI Thank you for the info. I am struggling 10 months Topical steroid withdrawal and now the
    seb on my face and scalp is killing me. I have lost a lot of my eyebrow hair and scalp hair.
    Horrible. I put on oil and not wash hair , then I started washing hair and ACV too. I keep putting oil on to remove the flakes but they come back with a vengeance.
    Still big flakes and itching. So I am going to try this method and see what happens.

  47. Thank you so much for this website. I have had SD for over 20 years and recently have had a couple of bad flare ups, one requiring anti-biotics. I have taken your advice and for the past month have applied nothing to my skin apart from the tiniest amounts of Aveeno (and this has only been a couple of times). My skin now looks and feels better than I can ever remember, no flakes, no dryness, no redness, I literally can’t believe it!

    I know this could be co-incidental and it is possible that I may have further flare-ups, but all I can say for now is that I am very, very encouraged! Thank you again for taking the time and making the effort to provide this information!

    1. Thanks Jane! So glad to hear that the information and regimen has worked for you. Thanks again for your comment and best of luck!

  48. Thank you so much for creating this informative site! I am looking for a little advice from someone who has been dealing with this. I recently moved from the US west coast to Southern Italy. A couple months after I moved I noticed a red, scaly spot under my nose (nasolabial fold). Further investigation led me to believe it is Seb Derm. This is the first time I’ve ever had this in my life, and I’m 30. I realize now I tried things that are a no no on your list (Tea tree oil, Nizoral Shampoo, and clotrimazole cream). Since, I have had such a drastic move, everything is and will be different – soap, shampoo, sheets, indoor climate, outdoor climate, etc. If I can find a chlorine test or water filter for my shower I will start there along with the sea salt wash. It seems so overwhelming to figure out the cause since everything is so different. Any advice would be so helpful! Thanks again 🙂

    1. Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for your comment. As you mentioned, whenever moving to a new environment there is definitely an adjustment period, and that includes skin care regimens.

      Quite frankly, I would be much more concerned with hard water mineral deposits than chlorine in your case. Most of Italy’s water supply comes from groundwater, springs, and rivers. Many Italian cities have very “hard water” with a high mineral content. The biggest mineral offenders are calcium, iron, magnesium, aluminum, and lead. These impurities completely change the way skin care products function. It’s one of the reasons so many people move to a location and start having skin issues when nothing else has changed in their skin care regimen. The mineral impurities in the hard water cause a chemical reaction with the molecules in soaps and cleansers. This reaction boils down to positive vs. negative charged ions which cause the mineral impurities to bond to the soap/cleanser molecules (like a magnet). That chemical bond is insoluble. Meaning, it cannot be dissolved in water, and becomes soap scum. Not only do those insoluble mineral/metal deposits prevent the products from functioning properly, but they cause skin to become red, itchy, and irritable.

      A suggestion you may want to consider, is to look for a shampoo and cleansing products that contain chelators like EDTA. The most common EDTA’s are Disodium-EDTA and Tetrasodium-EDTA. What EDTA does is neutralize the metal ions in hard water, preventing the chemical bond that creates the soap scum. So EDTA helps the soap/cleansers to dissolve properly in the water and remove metal or mineral impurities on the skin and scalp. EDTA is certainly not going to make your skin or hair feel like you bathed in soft water. However, the clarifying aspects can help quite a bit. My favorite shampoo in general for scalp issues is Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo. It has a chelator in there and also has many beneficial ingredients for the scalp and hair. I know so many people who had either dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, or even hair loss issues, who completely solved their problems with this shampoo line. So I definitely recommend it, and it’s pretty good for hard water environments.

      Dr Dennis Gross also has some products I am particularly interested in. Specifically his Hydra Pure Oil-Free Moisturizer. I have tried many “oil-free” moisturizers and have yet to find one that I like for a variety of reasons. However, this one seems interesting as it has a number of elements that line up to my own research. A big emphasis is placed on this product’s chelating abilities to counter effects of hard water, and it’s oil-free. I’ll provide an update on it once I’ve tested it out.

      If you are looking for products in Italy, I would just focus on looking for products pertaining to hard water. In the meantime, you could do a test by washing your hair and face with purified water. To wash, you could use a mixture of white vinegar and purified water. Then rinse with a pitcher of just the purified water. The vinegar will remove mineral deposit build up. See how that effects your hair and skin.

      Hope this helps.

  49. Hi guys, I am a new here,but long time victim of Dandruff.
    and to make things even worse I am now recently having this dermatitis attacks and flare ups. Unlike most of you guys, I am from a different place altogether,my chances of going to beaches are none and The products you talked about are not available in my country.

    so I just wanted to ask, is there A great difference between sea salt and table salt? And what are your thoughts on glycerine’s use in this condition.
    p.s. I get my dermatitis around exam time.it has just become inevitable.

    1. Hi,

      Yes there is a difference. Standard fine grain table salt is processed and stripped of all trace minerals. It’s then supplemented with a caking agent, and usually iodized. Pure sea salt is unrefined and coated in trace minerals, algae, and even marine bacteria. So it maintains (for the most part) the properties found in sea water. Refined table salt does not contain those beneficial properties for the skin.

      Sea salt is also sold as “table salt” though. So if you are asking if you can use pure sea salt that is used for cooking, the answer is yes.

  50. Thanks again, I tried the dead sea salt water last night, will try again tonight. Well done for producing such an excellent source of info, a very selfless act and I’m sure you have helped hundreds of people.

  51. Great thanks Matt, you make a lot more sense than most I’ve read on this. Can I ask when you shave what do you use for shaving foam ?

    1. Thanks Mark. I use a few different things for shaving. It just depends. Sometimes I use an electric razor, sometimes I shave in the shower, and sometimes (probably the most often) I shave immediately after I get out of the shower. When it’s in the shower I use a standard shaving cream (I’m not a big fan of the gel types). If I shave after I get out of the shower I actually use Aveeno moisturizer. Might seem strange, but moisturizers work quite well for shaving in my experience. Whenever you get out of the shower your skin and facial hair are softer which makes shaving much easier. So you only need a single layer of moisturizer to do the trick, although it shouldn’t really matter if you use more. Just wipe off any excess after. I started doing this a long time ago when I ran out of shaving cream one day and ended up using moisturizer in a jam. It worked great, and since I was usually applying moisturizer anyway, it saved me the extra step of needing shaving cream too.

    1. Hi Mark,

      I don’t really exfoliate other than using my fingertips. Meaning I don’t use products, and I think most scrubs or cloths are too abrasive. Once my skin has had a few minutes in the shower and my skin has had a chance to soften up, I will gently rub my face with my fingertips. You’re fingertips can actually do a pretty good job removing dead skin.

      If you want to use something to exfoliate I’m not against it or anything. However, my mentality on this is simple:

      I believe that skin care routines and the slew of products marketed to our society have ingrained in everyones’ mind that these things are necessary. When in fact, it’s really the skincare companies that have told society this in order to sell people their products. It’s really not logical in nature that our skin would need products made in a lab. Everyone I know thinks you need a skin care routine for washing your face everyday. Why? Why would the human body need a skincare routine? Do you really think that our skin was created with the need for exfoliators, chemical cleansers, soaps, etc.? No! That’s ridiculous. Our bodies and skin were created to function just fine on their own. Nature certainly didn’t design our skin so that it would need Neutragena in order to function properly. It doesn’t mean there aren’t skin care products that can be beneficial. I just don’t think it’s a must.

      That’s at least my take on it. Food for thought.

  52. Hi,

    Just reading through your site, I have had dermatitis on my scalp for about 6 years now.. I have been to doctors, dermatologists and nothing has worked! But funny enough whenever I go on holiday and get in the sea it always seems to clear up but I thought maybe the sun helped. I just wanted to ask (as you mainly talk about the condition on the areas) if I am putting sea salt onto my scalp how often should I be doing this and what would you suggest I wash my hair with? Also even if I haven’t got it any where else other than my scalp do you still recommend that I don’t use and moisturisers other than ones like aveena like u suggested? Would love and appreciated a reply from you as this condition gets me down I don’t even like wearing my hair down because of it!

    1. Hi Jenny,

      The holiday story is quite common. Whenever a persons’ skin clears up with a change in environment, but no change in skincare regimen, the three most common causes are hard water, chlorine/chloramines, or environmental. I would check you water quality at home for hardness level and check if it is highly chlorinated.

      If you only have this on your scalp, then I don’t think there is a need to change your moisturizers etc. If your scalp is scaly or inflamed then I would try soaking it in sea salt solution in the evenings once a day to help heal it. After that I might try washing it with a mixture of white vinegar and purified water to help eliminate any metals and mineral impurities from the hard water. Then rinse the vinegar off with a pitcher of purified water. Doing this can actually do wonders for the hair and scalp. A shampoo I always recommend is Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo. It’s an amazing shampoo and I know many who no longer have dandruff or scalp issues because of switching to it.

  53. Hey Matt!

    First off thank you!…I think.

    This all started for my fiancee about 4ish months ago with two spots, went to a dermatologist who, obviously prescribed to us corticoids of some sort. She told her to stop using her Clinique products immediately. This helped temporarily..the first time. Fast forward a few months and a couple stress factors more, and my beautiful fiancee has dermatitis on her face and its spreading this time. Our first reaction was freak out then Google. We were told it was atopic dermatitis…freaking out intensifies…and were reading about how this is a chronic condition. We did not understand how this chronic condition came out of nowhere as an adult.

    So, we read self diagnosed like most people do these days, and we discovered by some symptoms that this in face seborreheic dermatitis. Unsure we begin reading and have a resounding relief as we discover there are treatments, even a cure for this…and even natural ones, even better. So we find this post by BullDancer talking about SeaSalt and all these great things that are lining up with what she has so we do it. It works. Its early but its a vast improvement already, so thank you.

    Question though, she regularly uses (now, *used to use) Clinique Anti Blemish for Oily Skin, she’s always had great results for this in the way of cleaning since it is hypoallergenic….buuuut, it seemed to make this stuff spread like crazy. Being that this is oil based (think I might be wrong on that) and you’re in the anti-oil party should she stop using this all together, we think this could be a cause…? If so, what my be a good, possibly natural replacement for a face wash (ie. oatmeal soap, cleaning product)?

    Thanks again BullDancer

    1. Hi Mike,

      No problem. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad the sea salt regimen has helped. I think these situations where facial seborrheic dermatitis suddenly pops up one day out of nowhere can be easier to solve. Some of my favorite scenarios to figure out are actually when products that have worked for years suddenly stop working, or seborrheic dermatitis appears for the first time as an adult. Usually there is a change in the person’s life that occurred (externally or internally) and they haven’t made the connection yet. The good news for your fiancee is that figuring out what changes happened before the outbreak is much easier when it’s the first ever occurrence. Your ability to identify the issue is less convoluted by years of flareup experiences trying to recall details.

      That said, I will give you an idea of some questions I would ask someone:

      – Did you notice any other changes in your overall health? Any new symptoms seemly unrelated? Even dental issues?

      – Any major stressful events occur in your life? You mentioned the wedding.

      – Has your sleep, diet, or lifestyle changed at all? Anything that stands out? Don’t dismiss things as simple as “yes, I recently picked up kayaking as a hobby”.

      – Did you introduce any new products not used before? Not just facial products. E.g. Detergents, shampoos, hair gels, cleansers, toothpaste, supplements, etc.

      – Have you moved recently…new state, new apartment or home, done any renovations?

      – Have you purchased a new mattress, or even new bedding, pillows, etc., during that time?

      – Did your water municipality recently introduce chloramines to it’s water supply?

      – Has anything changed in your environment? Think outdoor environmental changes, or even starting a new job in a new office?

      – Has your skin changed at all besides the new seb derm? More oily or dry, puffy, etc?

      – Any dental problems?

      – Does your skin feel dry even in the shower, or more slippery?

      – Do you notice calcium deposits on dishes?

      A common mistake people make is to immediately focus on the skin products being used as the main culprit. However, it can actually be easier to first focus on changes; start at a top level and then use deductive reasoning. This is not to say people need to freak out and lose their heads thinking there is always a deeper issue that requires Sherlock Holmes skills to figure out. Sometimes a person has simply damaged their skin from over washing or stripping their skin, and now their daily products are causing further irritation to the area. The same goes for a skin infection, rash, maybe a case of contact dermatitis, etc. In those situations their favorite product isn’t the culprit, it’s simply exasperating the problem.

      For that reason, I wouldn’t go out and start buying a bunch of new products right away. If everything is okay medically speaking, I would first try to heal the skin by eliminating as many irritants as possible. While doing this make sure to wash with fresh water (not hard water or chlorinated). If the skin heals up, I’d try to re-introduce my previously used products while keeping my cleansing routine with the new regimen. You are basically doing this as an elimination exercise, and can then begin to make logical conclusions from there.

      Also remember that issues regarding seemly unrelated changes can hide under the surface. I’ll use the “new kayaking hobby” as an example. It’s natural to only think about the actual act of kayaking when considering a change like this. But if you dig deeper, you might discover that you were applying a new sunscreen when kayaking that you forgot about, or would eat a new snack bar each time you went out, or you were rinsing off at an outdoor public shower afterwards, or maybe you would wipe your face throughout the day with a hand towel kept in the kayak (mold?, a chemical on it?, etc). I’m just making these up off the top of my head and it’s not the best example, but you get the idea. Don’t just think about top level changes, look at sub-level changes as well.

      Lastly, don’t dismiss “unknown” changes. Someone recently posted a comment in the FAQ section saying they suddenly developed seborrheic dermatitis, and also noticed that their hair started to feel “waxy” when it all started. Before I responded, they wrote a second comment saying “I know it’s not my water either, because my water comes from a well”.

      While the well water could be perfectly fine, this is a good example of dismissing potential unknown changes. Water from a well is extremely susceptible to contamination. Depending on the type of well, all it takes is some random idiot in your town to dispose of a toxic chemical in their backyard or in the woods somewhere…and that well is now contaminated. A contaminated well can pose some very serious health risks. If my hair felt waxy all of a sudden in the shower, I would definitely be checking the water. Water from wells also tends to be very hard. So if this person happened to move to their home recently, that change in water hardness could also be the issue. Anyway, “unknown” changes can be a company changing the formula of your favorite product, to your water municipality starting to use chloramines in the water supply. Sometimes changes occur that you might not be aware of. Just something to keep in mind.

      Hope this helps!

    1. For more natural shampoos, I like Aveda’s line of products. They use all plant based ingredients, and almost all of them are pretty great. I know many people (including myself) who swear by their Shampure line or their Rosemary Mint Shampoo (probably the best). I also like Avalon Organic’s line of shampoos but i wouldn’t say they do wonders for the hair itself. My favorite is the Rosemary Mint shampoo I mentioned.

  54. I appreciate all the time and trouble you have spent on “Cures. Howerer, my main problem is my scalp. I have used every dandruff shampoo I could find and finally gave that uip as my dermatologist advises me that I do not have “Dandruff”.. No flaking at all! She recommended Scalpacin and/or a prescription of salicylic acid, which helps for a short time. But, after reading your advice, I can see my shampoo (Suave, which includes conditioner) is probably undoing
    any advantage the salicylic acid is doing. This leaves me at a loss for how to clean and treat my hair. Any advice on this problem will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Marian,

      Well, I’m not sure what your scalp looks like or your medical status. So its difficult to give advice. However, if it were me, I would first try eliminating any products used on my scalp, shampoos, hair styling products, materials (wool hats, etc.), etc., for a week. Not necessarily forever, but at least a week. To clean the scalp I would try using sea salt solution and cleansing with fresh water. By doing this, you can at least confirm whether you are suffering from some sort of contact dermatitis caused by something in those products. If there is no change at all, I would would start looking internally and follow up with a primary doctor to check for any underlying medical conditions. Also, you mentioned using a 2-1 Suave shampoo-conditioner. I certainly don’t care about brand names or think that price = quality. However, Suave tends to make cheaper (poor quality) shampoos, and I’d put a sizable bet that it’s ingredients are as well. If you have a skin condition on your scalp, I would definitely consider a better shampoo/conditioner product for your hair and scalp. Moreover, I would start looking into some more natural shampoo lines like Aveda, Avalon Organics, or one of the many lines you can find at WholeFoods or other natural foods stores. Aveda’s Rosemary Mint is one of my favorites, and Avalon Organic’s Thickening Shampoo is good but a little drying in my opinion.

    2. Hey Matt, This blog is a life saver! Thank you for posting and continuing to comment. I am now using the Dead Sea Salt, Aveeno cream, and Aveda hair products. I also put the Pelican water filter on our Shower and the kids shower. I got the seb derm on my face down to nothing. I’m still dealing with my scalp, which may be something else.

      I have a few questions:

      -I’m seeing some traces of seb derm on my face today. Just a few spots flanking my nose. I want to narrow down the culprits. Given your posts, it could be diet, sleep (lack of), stress, or something that has made contact with my skin. This is quite a broad list. Could you tell me what the general incubation period of a flare up is. Or asked another way, in your experience how long after contact with a cause does the visual effect of the seb derm happen? The reason I ask is because it could be any of the factors I’ve listed and I want to see if I can narrow it down with time. Or is there anything that you’ve noticed that plays a bigger factor in flare ups? For instance, diet vs. lack of sleep.

      -My scalp may be eczema. I’ve been using the Dead Sea Salt water prior to washing with filter water. Is there anything else you recommend?

      Thanks again. You are providing sustainable solutions. I can’t believe this advice isn’t more prevalent in the dermatological universe.

Leave a Reply

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