Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disorder causing scaly, itchy, red skin on the scalp, face, sides of the nose, ears, brows, upper chest, and other oily areas in the body. This condition mainly affects the sebaceous cysts (non-cancerous bump) present beneath the skin. The sebaceous gland present in the skin releases an oily substance called sebum, which consists of fat, and dead fat-producing cells. People with SD seem to have increased production of sebum. There are infantile and adult forms of seborrheic dermatitis.
SD is also called dandruff, cradle cap, seborrhea, seborrheic eczema, and seborrheic psoriasis.
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, chronic form of eczema/dermatitis that mainly affects the sebaceous gland-rich regions of the scalp, face, and trunk. It is sometimes associated with psoriasis (sebopsoriasis).
Researchers are still unsure about the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis. Some experts believe that it may be due to:
- cold weather
- A yeast (fungus) called malassezia found in the oil secretion on the skin.
- An irregular immune system response.
- Certain food allergies
Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Signs and Symptoms may include:
- Skin flakes on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or moustache.
- Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales on the scalp, face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, chest, armpits, groin area, and under the breasts.
- Redness and itching on skin.
For infants 3 months and younger often get cradle cap: crusty, scaly patches on the scalp and usually clears up on its own in due course.
- To loosen the scales formed on the scalp, massage with coconut oil, olive oil or petroleum jelly
- Gently massage the affected area and brush off the loosened scales, later washing them away with shampoo.
The signs and symptoms may be more severe if you’re stressed and during cold and dry seasons.
Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis
You may be able to control seborrheic dermatitis with lifestyle changes and ayurvedic natural remedies.
According to Ayurveda, Dermatitis results due to incorrect diet and lifestyle, which disturbs the digestion and aggravates Pitta Dosha (biohumor representing Fire and Water). Pitta manifests in the skin and causes the heating, toxins are known as Ama get accumulated and then these toxins accumulate in body tissues, infecting them at a deep level and causing Dermatitis.
Ayurveda recommends the following herbs for controlling Seborrheic dermatitis:
- Amla (Indian Gooseberry) an antioxidant that raises immunity levels to stop flare-ups of Seborrheic dermatitis. Take 2 tablespoons of Amla powder mix it with water to make a paste and apply it on your scalp, leave it on for 30-45 min before rinsing. You can also use this herbal paste as a face mask and apply it to the affected area of your skin.
Different variations of Amla:-
- Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia) is an Ayurvedic herb (is known as the queen of all herbs) full of health and medicinal benefits that have been used and advocated in Indian medicine for ages. As per Ayurveda, Giloy can be consumed in powder, juice, or decoction form, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-allergic, anti-malarial, and anti-diabetic. An herb that heals inflammation, due to increased pitta levels in your body. When giloy powder is taken with ghee on empty stomach in the morning, helps to cure all types of skin diseases including, acute & chronic dermatitis, prickly heat, sunburn.
Different variations of Giloy:-
- Neem: Neem is one of Ayurveda’s most popular herbs for the skin. This calms pitta. Wash the area affected by skin infection with neem infused water. Neem has rejuvenating and detoxifying properties on the skin. Neem oil leaves your skin smooth and soft.
Different variations of Neem:-
Neem Oil: clean and dry the affected area. Apply a moderate amount of oil to the area and gently massage the oil until it is absorbed into the skin.
Organic Neem Leaves:- 5 leaves in hot water or in the bathtub.
- Licorice/Mulethi(glycyrrhiza glabra) : Licorice is a herb that people have used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and itching or burning of the skin. Studies have shown that eczema and Dermatitis patients can either use a topical cream or drink Licorice tea twice a day to prevent symptoms. Licorice regulates hormonal levels and prevents flare-ups. People who have high blood pressure or low potassium levels should avoid licorice candy and supplements altogether. For safety, it is always best to consult with a healthcare provider to monitor the use of licorice.
Different variations of Licorice:-
- Manjistha/Indian Madder (Rubia cordifolia):- Known as a powerful lymph cleanser. The blood purifying action of Manjistha keeps the skin healthy and considered one of the best herbs for healthy skin. It detoxifies the blood & skin reduces pitta and Kapha. Take 2-3 ml 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner. Manjistha may temporarily turn urine color orange or brown.
Different variations of Manjistha:-
Manjistha (Indian Madder Root) 100 Vegetarian Capsules: Take 1 capsule 3 times per day after meals or as directed by your healthcare professional
- Calendula (Marigold): has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which help to reduce the swelling and the desire to scratch these areas. It also stimulates the production of collagen which assists in the healing process. Topical application of Calendula officinalis, coconut oil & chamomile oil as an ointment. Calendula was an effective treatment for diaper dermatitis in infants. some believe that marigold should be avoided by those that are pregnant, trying to become pregnant and nursing.
Different variations of Calendula:-
Herbal Calendula, Lavender Chamomile Salve Skin cream: Apply to skin once a day or as needed.
Calendula Hydrating Cream: Apply to the face morning and night.
Natural and Home remedies:
- Olive Oil: Apply mineral oil or olive oil to your scalp. Leave it in for an hour and then comb or brush your hair and wash it. It will Soften and remove scales from your scalp.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apply a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar to the area. Leave it for few minutes and wash. It will loosen the scales and may lessen inflammation in the area of your flare-up.
- Gram flour or Besan: Wash your skin regularly and avoid skin and hair products that contain alcohol. Use gram flour instead of soaps and shampoos. Gram flour is an excellent hair cleansing agent. Make a runny paste of besan and water, and apply it to your hair. Wash it out after 5-10 minutes for clean, shiny, and chemical-free hair.
- Fish oil supplements: These types of pills contain omega-3 fatty acids that suppress flare-ups of dermatitis produced by allergies. It’s recommended for overall immune and cardiovascular health because of its omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon Fish Oil & flaxseed (Omega 3, 6, 9) capsules 1000mg per day.
- Tea tree oil: Tea Tree essential oil has natural antifungal properties, Tea tree oil, either alone or in a shampoo, may be used on the affected area. Studies have shown that a 5% dilution used to massage the scalp and affected area to be both a safe and effective alternative to traditional dandruff soap and shampoos that are often chemical-based and harsh for your skin.
- Aloe Vera: Apply to the affected area with Aloe Vera gel, either in a product or directly from a cut leaf of the plant. Aloe Vera Juice can also be drunk (20–30ml twice a day).
- Turmeric(Curcuma longa)3gms (for adults) twice a day with warm water & flaxseed or olive oil.
- Coconut oil with Lemon
Lemon is the key and common ingredient used to clear dandruff. Mix 2 tablespoon lemon juice in 1 tablespoon of warm coconut oil and apply on your scalp, leave the mixture on for 30-45 minutes before washing off with a natural shampoo and warm water. Some people with Dermatitis condition might be allergic to Lemon, Vinegar, Diary products. Try doing some allergic tests before starting any new treatment.
Some other effective products
Derm-Essentials for Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis: Natural and organic products with 11 different oils provide relief for flaky, scaly, itchy face, and skin. Apply before going to bed and rinse thoroughly with some natural soap the next morning. Not recommended for infants, young children or pregnant, nursing women.
Derm-Essentials for Seborrheic Dermatitis an all-natural and extremely effective treatment to totally erase the symptoms of severe dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis. Derm-Essentials is a powerful blend of 12 different therapeutic oils proven to work wonders on chronic skin conditions. It provides quick and lasting relief for dry, flaky, scaly, itchy scalp and skin.
Organic Blend of Olive, Lavender, Almond, and Grapeseed oils with Vitamin E is a source of vitamins and antioxidants that creates the ultimate solution for all your skincare needs, ideal for alopecia, seborrheic, atopic dermatitis, Psoriasis, Rosacea & Eczema treatment.
Wild Naturals cream: Organic 15 natural ingredients-in-1 formula including Aloe vera and Manuka Honey. Use 2-3 times daily for optimum results.
Not recommended for:
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Infants or children under 18
Please consult your healthcare professional if you are taking prescription medication, especially blood thinners.
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