Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as seborrhea, is an uncomfortable condition that causes the affected skin to form red itchy patches on the skin, and these are often covered with dried flakes of skin.
The latter is commonly known as dandruff, and as such, the most obvious part of the body affected is the scalp. It is important to note, however, that this condition may also develop on other oily parts of the body such as the back, chest area, buttocks, beneath the breast and sometimes on the face. Seborrheic dermatitis is not fatal, but easily causes agony for the affected persons. The precise cause of the condition remains unknown, but is thought to be linked to skin fungi, one’s genes, stressful events as well as the use of specific medication.
Most importantly, everyone should know that the condition is not a result of poor hygiene. Some of the symptoms that accompany this skin condition include dandruff, extreme itchiness and general discomfort. Since this skin condition presents similar symptoms to eczema and psoriasis, it becomes paramount to get professional medical attention by getting a dermatologist appointment.
This appointment typically involves taking your medical history as well as diagnosis of the condition to provide the correct treatment plan. In addition to the medical treatment provided, you will be glad to know that there are several different home remedies for the natural treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Once you start on the home remedies, make sure you let your dermatologist know before hand to steer clear of potential dru-drug interactions.
NOTE: Seborrheic dermatitis sometimes occurs in infants and is commonly referred to as cradle cap. Some of the remedies listed below are ideal for use in kids, and will be indicated in the remedy description text.
1. Raw Honey:
Time Required: 45 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of raw organic honey, 2 cups of water to mix (preferably boiled) and warm water to rinse.
Honey is one of the most versatile natural compounds available for treating different conditions. This is attributed to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. When used to treat seborrheic dermatitis, honey is preferred for these healing properties as it helps to get rid of microbes and reduce the amount of dandruff on the skin. Another key benefit of using honey is that it helps the skin retain moisture, thus preventing the formation of the dry skin flakes. Regular use of honey will help reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. If found on the scalp, ensure that you include honey in your hair routine.
- Mix the raw honey with the boiled water. Boiled water is preferred because it yields better results than cold water.
- Stir the mixture and apply on the affected skin. If the scalp is affected, make sure you part your hair to allow ease of application.
- Let the honey mixture remain on the skin for half an hour.
- Rinse the skin using warm water.
- Repeat this procedure severally weekly as you monitor the progress made.
2. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 10 – 60 Min
What You Need: Olive oil and cotton wool. If the scalp is affected, you will need a comb, hair shampoo and warm water to rinse.
Olive oil is a simple and effective home remedies for the natural treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. The beauty about this remedy is that it may also be used in infants as it is both gentle and fast-acting. The oil’s healing properties lie in its ability to eliminate microbes as well as moisturize the skin to reduce the formation of the dried skin. Daily application of the oil goes a long way in managing the condition’s annoying symptoms. When used in infants, make sure you use sterile cotton wool.
- Place some olive oil in a shallow bowl and then dab the cotton wool.
- Use the oily cotton wool to wipe the affected skin. If using this remedy to treat cradle cap, make sure you do this gently to avoid injuring the baby’s delicate scalp.
- If using the remedy for treatment of seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, make sure you section your hair and apply the oil on the scalp.
- For use on the scalp, allow the oil to remain on the scalp for 30-45 minutes. This gives the remedy ample time to soften the accumulated dried flakes for ease of elimination.
- Comb your hair gently and carry on with your usual hair routine.
- For other affected parts of the body, use the remedy daily.
- For the scalp, apply olive oil at least once weekly.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 45 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of Apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of warm water and cotton wool (optional).
One of the world’s most popular home remedies, Apple cider vinegar’s versatile uses make it an ideal option for anyone struggling with seborrheic dermatitis. This is because its acidic properties not only help maintain a perfect pH range, they also help get rid of the dry skin flakes that often accompany this skin condition.
For best results, the remedy should be diluted with water in the ratio of 1:1. For those with sensitive skins, it helps to carry out a patch test first. Just as the name suggests, this test involves applying a small amount of the mixture to a discreet part of the skin and watching for skin irritation. If you experience any irritation, discontinue the use of this home remedy and choose from any of the others in this list. You will need some cotton wool for ease of application.
- Mix the water and apple cider vinegar in equal ratios.
- Soak the cotton wool and use it to dab the remedy on the affected skin.
- If the dermatitis has affected the scalp, use the mixture to rinse after your normal hair washing routine.
- Let the mixture remain on the scalp for half an hour and then rinse with warm water.
- Use apple cider vinegar on a regular basis for best results.
4. Aloe Vera:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Aloe vera extract (preferably from freshly cut leaves), cotton wool and warm water needed for rinsing.
Aloe vera is a succulent perennial plant that grows in many parts of the world. It is a wonder remedy when it comes to the natural treatment of a wide array of skin conditions, among them seborrheic dermatitis. the gel not only has a cool sensation on the affected skin that helps reduce the itchiness, it is also rich in antifungal properties. Different studies show that the aloe vera gel does provide much-needed relief from symptoms associated with this condition. follow the directions below for quick healing.
- Collect the fresh extract from the juicy leaves by making an angular cut along the edges.
- Place the cotton wool in the gel and allow soaking for a few minutes.
- Dab the wet cotton wool on the affected skin and let the gel dry for 30 minutes.
- Rinse using warm water.
- Make sure you use aloe vera daily for relief as well as to speed up the healing process.
5. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 5 Drops of tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of your preferred carrier oil and warm water for rinsing.
Tea tree oil is best known for is excellent antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties that come in handy in the natural treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. The oil is used topically and is absorbed by the skin pores, thus getting rid of the fungus that predisposes you to the skin condition.
In doing so, it helps manage the symptoms of the condition while providing relief from the condition. Make sure you use a carrier oil and do a patch test to rule out the possibility of skin irritation. The only point of caution when using tea tree oil is to ensure that you do not use the oil internally as this could cause toxicity.
- Place the 5 drops of tea tree oil in the tablespoon of carrier oil and mix well.
- Carry out a patch test first as those with sensitive skin are at risk of irritation.
- If there is no irritation, carry on with the remedy by applying the oil mixture on the affected skin.
- Allow the mixture to remain on the skin for about an hour.
- Wash the affected skin using warm water.
- Use tea tree oil regularly to get rid of seborrheic dermatitis.
6. Coconut Oil Treatment:
Time Required: 30 Min – 2 Hrs
What You Need:1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, warm bath (for melting purposes), cotton wool and shower cap (optional as it is used for the scalp).
Coconut oil is a popular remedy for the natural treatment of seborrheic dermatitis, thanks to its antifungal and moisturizing properties. The anti-fungal properties present are attributed to the presence of unique fatty acid chains found in the oil. Two of the most notable fatty acids include caprlylic acid as well as lauric acid. It is especially effective in combating this condition when it affects the scalp. Depending on the storage conditions, the coconut oil may be solidified. To melt it, you will need a warm water bath that allows heat transfer indirectly, thus preserving the oil’s integrity.
- Place the coconut oil in a warm water bath and allow to melt before use.
- Take a table spoon of the oil and massage it between the palms of your hands before applying on the affected skin.
- Massage the oil to stimulate the skin pores as well as ensure proper absorption.
- If using coconut oil on the scalp, wear a shower cap for at least half an hour. If there are no time constraints, you an always wear the shower cap for a couple of hours. The purpose of ding so is to ensure that the heat is locked in and the oil retains its liquid form.
7. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of baking soda, 1 cup of warm water and cool water to rinse. Apple cider vinegar (optional addition to the rinsing water).
Baking soda has long been used for the treatment of different skin conditions, thanks to its excellent alkaline properties. These properties help fight fungus infections that predispose you to seborrheic dermatitis. Interestingly, this remedy has an opposite effect compared to apple cider vinegar whose acidity helps ensure quick healing.
In place of the acid present in the vinegar, the alkalinity present in the baking soda suffocates the fungi by creating an environment that is too toxic for fungal growth. Additional benefits of using baking soda include its quick action especially as regards the itchiness and lack of distinct/pungent smell. Use baking soda if you need a fast-acting home remedy.
NOTE: Baking soda has the capacity to dry the skin, so ensure that you moisturize your skin adequately.
- Place the baking soda in the cup and pour in the warm water.
- Stir until the bubbling stops.
- Apply the solution to the affected skin and leave on for 10 minutes.
- Rinse the skin using cold water. For added benefits, you may add apple cider vinegar to the water using the 1:1 ratio as indicated in remedy number 3.
- Use this remedy once daily.
Other lifestyle changes that you can make to help you treat seborrheic dermatitis include avoiding products that contain alcohol as these cause flarueps, wearing fitting clothes that allow for air circulation as well as gentle washing. You should also avoid scratching as much as possible as this increases irritation and the possibility of skin infections. Use the remedies alongside any medication recommended by your dermatologist.