How To Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

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So you think you have Seborrheic Dermatitis and you want to do something about it?

Before I start, I have some good news and some bad news.

Let’s get the bad news out the way first….

There is no known permanent cure for Seborrheic Dermatitis.

But don’t get downhearted…

The good news is that Seborrheic Dermatitis can be a relatively straightforward condition to control. I’ve suffered from seb derm for the best part of 20 years and very rarely suffer a prolonged breakout.

In order to control Seborrheic Dermatitis you have to:

  • Have Seborrheic Dermatitis (this may seem like a glib comment but it’s incredible how many people fall at this first hurdle).
  • Understand what Seborrheic Dermatitis is and how to control it.
  • Know what active ingredients control Seborrheic Dermatitis.
  • Find the best treatment that suits you.

It really is that straightforward.

We’ll cover the basics of this approach in this article.

What’s in this article:

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a type of eczema. It’s also technically the only form of dandruff. Psoriasis, dry scalp or product build up can cause flaking of the scalp, but they aren’t technically dandruff at all. However, it can be easy to confuse the various conditions.

Seb Derm is also very common. You aren’t alone. Seborrheic Dermatitis is said to affect about 5% of the population. All races, colors, and creeds included.

You’ll often see Seborrheic Dermatitis referred to as dandruff, seb derm, seborrhoeic eczema, seborrhea, sebopsoriasis, and pityriasis. For many people, this condition comes and goes. Changes in the weather or stress can cause flare-ups which can die down at other times of the year.

The condition is concentrated around your oil (sebaceous) glands. These glands are very prominent where you have hair follicles. Hence the tendency to have seb derm on the scalp. That said, the condition can also show up on the face, eyebrows, the crease of your nose, the adjoining cheeks, around the ears, the chest and in any areas where your skin rubs together e.g. the groin, under the arms or breasts.

It isn’t dangerous or contagious and you probably had it when you were a baby; cradle cap is another more cuddly name for Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Nobody really knows what causes Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, but there is compelling medical evidence linking it an inflammatory allergic reaction to a type of yeast found on all our skins. This allergic reaction causes your body to overproduce sebum. As a defensive measure of some sort. The body sees the yeast as a threat and responds by overproducing sebum. Sebum is the natural oil on your skin produced by the sebaceous glands. And it’s actually dried sebum that flakes – and is what we now call dandruff.

There are many factors that can contribute to flare-ups. Stress and diet play a part. It may also be a genetic disorder. Nobody really knows. Don’t be downhearted though, once you know you have Seb Derm it’s relatively straightforward to control with the right treatment.

The Symptoms of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Dandruff from Seborrheic Dermatitis is pretty distinct from other forms of dandruff as the flakes will be yellow in color. They will be crusty, scaly, oily and the grains are relatively large as opposed to the grainy dandruff you get from a dry scalp.

As mentioned, Seb Derm can manifest itself wherever the sebaceous glands are prominent, e.g. your scalp, forehead, chest, nose, eyelashes or upper back

In addition to the crusty yellow dandruff, your skin will typically have red inflamed patches during a flare up which can get incredibly itchy.

It is not contagious. I was once pretty worried about passing it on to people – particularly when I was around children.

Don’t worry! Nobody can catch this from you.

For some people, the condition can cause depression. I remember it was a nightmare until I fully understood what I had and took control of my condition.

If you suspect you have seb derm but aren’t sure I highly recommend visiting a dermatologist. They’ll typically scrape some of the crust and send it away for a very routine examination. The results will come back pretty quickly and then you’ll know 100% what your condition is.

If you are diagnosed with seb derm – don’t fret – take the news as a positive. It’s such a harmless condition and it is often so straightforward to control.

What Triggers Seb Derm

There are a number of situations that can cause a flare up or exasperate the condition. These can be very personal to you, as can the resulting treatment. Stress triggers my condition off terribly. I also notice more flare-ups if I’ve been eating a lot of bread or sugar. This sucks as I love bread and sugar, but on the whole, I’ve cut the quantities down. Be aware of your triggers. For some, it is the weather. For others the swimming pool. Not washing enough. Not washing too much. Even a change in hair length can trigger some people!

Keep a mental note of what you are eating or doing when a flare-up occurs. Simple changes in your diet and behaviors can go a long way to controlling seb derm.

How To Control Seb Derm

So we know that Seb Derm is linked to a yeast called the Malassezia yeast. The medical evidence is overwhelming now – the yeast and the condition are inextricably linked. This yeast is actually present on most people but we seb derm sufferers react to it. Our body sees the yeast as a threat and reacts to that threat by overproducing sebum.

In order to control Seb Derm, we have two options.   We can:

  • Stop our body from seeing the yeast as a threat
  • Create a hostile environment for the yeast

If I knew how to stop my body from seeing the yeast as a threat I’d be a very rich man.

However, I have had more success in creating a hostile environment for the yeast. And to do that you have to

  • Stop feeding the yeast
  • Prevent the yeast from forming a biofilm
  • Attack the yeast

Stop feeding the yeast

Yeast is a living organism. And like every living organism – it needs to eat to survive. The Malassezia yeast is no different.

Now, most of us will have used or use a moisturizer regularly. Not many people are aware that as many as 90%+ of moisturizers contain oils that feed seb derm.

Similarly, I can’t help but cringe when I hear of people with seb derm applying olive oil to their skin. Their intentions are good – it’s a natural healthy oil. However, Olive Oil is actually used to feed fungus in lab conditions.

As it turns out, up to 85% of Olive Oil is a fatty acid called Oleic Acid. Oleic Acid is literally food for the Malassezia yeast,

In fact, Malassezia consumes any fatty acid that has a carbon chain length of 11 through 24.

If you look through the following list of fatty acids, only Octanoic Acid and Capric Acid will not feed the Malassezia yeast as they have carbon chain lengths of 8 and 10 respectively.

There are a number of invaluable references that comprehensively list fatty acids with their carbon chain lengths.

You need to make sure your moisturizers or conditioners don’t contain these fatty acids.

Otherwise, you are feeding your seb derm.

We have a post dedicated to this very subject

Prevent the yeast from forming a biofilm

Have you ever tried a dandruff shampoo, found it worked then after a period of time, noticed that the shampoo gets less and less effective. The reason for this is the yeast has formed a biofilm.

A biofilm is essentially a protective layer that the yeast forms around itself to protect itself from the active ingredient found in your shampoo. Your shampoo appears to be less and less effective as the yeast is forming a strong biofilm around itself until the active ingredient is virtually useless.

There are a number of ways to penetrate and destroy this biofilm. Selenium Sulfide, for example, is an excellent active ingredient that can destroy this biofilm.

Kill the yeast using an active ingredient

Seborrheic Dermatitis is scientifically proven to be controlled using anti-fungal active ingredients. These ingredients will help control the Malassezia yeast that your body is reacting to.

There are a number of anti-fungal agents commonly found in treatments these days including:

And less frequently:

Exfoliate

Exfoliation is important.  The flakes can form a protective layer,  making it harder for the active ingredient to do it’s thing.

Salicylic Acid is an active ingredient that will help exfoliate your skin by softening and clearing the crust. It’ll help get rid of an existing breakout. It will also help an anti-fungal active ingredient penetrate your skin better. It often found in some excellent combination shampoos (ie a shampoo containing a combination of active ingredients). However,  overuse can dry your scalp if used too frequently.

There are other ways to exfoliate though.

 

One way to help loosen and get rid of the crusty build up is to use a scalp brush. As well as helping distribute your sebum, a scalp brush will invigorate your scalp by removing flakes, build up and dirt.

If you suffer from seb derm on the face, chest or anywhere but the head a superb way to achieve similar results is to use a konjac sponge. These amazing sponges have been used in Japan for over a century to gently exfoliate and clean their skin. These things are also excellent if you suffer from acne or you’re prone to oily skin.

Get plenty of sunshine

There are numerous research papers on the benefits of sunshine on your skin.  However, if like me, you live in a poor climate, there is hope for you yet.  UV light from both natural and artificial sources helps to control the yeast that causes seborrheic dermatitis. Many UV Combs and lamps are appearing on the market. UVB treatment, in particular, can help both dermatitis and psoriasis. Another advantage of using natural sources is the other benefits you get from sunlight; vitamin D in particular.

If you live in an area with little sunlight then top up on the Vitamin D supplements.

Choose the least impact treatment you can find

By least impact, I mean, once you know the most effective active ingredient for your needs,  choose the gentlest formulated product containing that ingredient.  However, gentle means different things to different people.

Manufacturers will often add ingredients known to cause contact dermatitis into shampoos and other treatments. These ingredients can cause allergic or irritable reactions in some of us which can ultimately trigger an outbreak of seb derm.  You read that right. Anti-dandruff treatments can cause dandruff.  However, these reactions are very personal.  You may react to something that few others do.  Likewise, a common allergen may have no effect on you whatsoever.

Make a note of what’s in your treatment and avoid the ingredients that cause reactions in you.

If you haven’t got time to keep up to speed on the active ingredients and contact allergens then the easiest way to find your best dandruff shampoo is to use our search tool. We’ll do the hard work for you in helping you find your most effective treatment.

The Best Seb Derm Treatments

Seb derm can affect us in many areas.  We have a dedicated article on controlling facial or chest seb derm.

But most commonly of all, you can treat seb derm on the scalp using a dandruff shampoo.

The best shampoos for treating Seborrheic Dermatitis

These are among our current crop of staff picks for treating seb derm. But be sure to check in again as the list keeps changing.

Pharmaceutical Specialities Free & Clear Shampoo

Pharmaceutical Specialities Free & Clear Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp and Psoriasis

Pharmaceutical Specialties formed in 1974 to “start a company to make better products than were commercially available for people with sensitive skin”. And boy, have they achieved it with this Free and Clear shampoo.

What is perhaps surprising on a website dedicated to dandruff treatments is that this isn’t a dandruff shampoo at all.

It’s rather a "a non-medicated, mild shampoo for sensitive skin and scalp.”

That said, we can’t use a medicated shampoo all the time, and this is my go to shampoo for those “between” washes.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon

BIOM8 Skin Conditioning Oil

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

BIOM8 Skin Conditioning Oil is now part of my daily skin care routine. It’s as simple as that. I have lost count of the number of products I’ve reviewed over the years and I can count on one hand the number of products that have impacted me on this level.

If you suffer from dry skin, facial seb derm or rosacea I simply can’t recommend this product highly enough.

It even makes a good beard oil!

Read the entire review buy now
Sebclair Shampoo

Sebclair Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

Calling all sensitive scalp sufferers, if you haven’t yet found an anti-dandruff shampoo your scalp can tolerate, you haven’t yet found Sebclair shampoo. A piroctone olamine, Malassezia yeast quelling formula with extremely mild yet highly effective cleansers, accompanying scalp hydrators, flake fighters and natural anti-inflammatories. No fragrance, no essentials oils, no allergens. Sebclair shampoo really does stand out in our anti-dandruff crowd.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Bioderma ABCDerm Babysquam

Bioderma ABCDerm Babysquam

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Cradle Cap

If your babe’s crusty cradle cap’s only getting worse, it’s time to try a leave on treatment – one which doesn’t leave your baby’s scalp looking like a grease ball. Enter Bioderma’s ABDderm Babysquam keratoregulating cream a 14 ingredient formula made from sensitive, hypoallergenic, moisturising, soothing and barrier building ingredients.

Useable 7 days a week with no fragrance or harsh preservatives Bioderma’s ABDderm Babysquam keratoregulating cream respects, repairs and conditions away crusty cradle cap.

Read the entire review buy now on ebay
Vichy Dercos Anti-Dandruff Sensitive Shampoo

Vichy Dercos Anti-Dandruff Sensitive Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

One of the best and mildest shampoos out there for seb derm sufferers with sensitive skin.

Containing both Piroctone Olamine and Salicylic Acid as well as being SLS free, paraben free, artificial color free this shampoo has an absolutely outstanding choice of active and inactive ingredients.

There are still two or three chemicals in there that some may find irritating. Otherwise this would have been a five out of five performer.

Read the entire review buy now on ebay
Sebamed Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Sebamed Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Sebamed is one of the gentle yet most effective seb derm shampoos available.

The active ingredient is Piroctine Olamine - an excellent anti-fungal agent.

The rest of the shampoo has been formulated with panache.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
DHS Fragrance Free Tar Shampoo

DHS Fragrance Free Tar Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis

DHS Coal Tar Shampoo is an expertly formulated shampoo containing 0.5% coal tar and is the gentlest coal tar shampoo we’ve yet reviewed

We can't recommend this product or this company highly enough.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis

Quite simply the best pure Salicylic Acid shampoo we’ve yet reviewed. The shampoo contains 3% Salicylic Acid combined with a fragrance free, sulfate free and virtually every other nasty ingredient free formulation. It does this and still feels luxurious when washing.

Neutrogena should be exceptionally proud of this top top class shampoo.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Scalp 18 Coal Tar Shampoo

Scalp 18 Coal Tar Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis

Hydrating shampoo formulas don’t come around often making Art Naturals Scalp 18 Coal Tar Shampoo a gem. Best for dry, itchy scalp symptoms. Can be used for mild dandruff. Plant-based, sustainable and cruelty-free – an all-round goodie.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo is an outstanding Tea Tree shampoo for treating Dry Scalp or Seb Derm. It doesn’t contain any artificial coloring or fragrance, sulfates, parabens, or carcinogens. It contains only three potential contact allergens, with two of the three being tea tree and rosemary essential oils.

The combination of cleansing agents used are gentle, effective and innovative while the shampoo smells ace and washes even better.

If you're looking for a tea tree shampoo, I can't recommend this highly enough.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
DHS Sal Dandruff Shampoo

DHS Sal Dandruff Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis

DHS Sal Shampoo is a 3% salicylic acid shampoo designed to treat Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis.

It’s an outstanding shampoo that washes well, contains relatively few ingredients, is gentle and won’t break the bank.

If you’re not sensitive to sulfates and are looking for a good salicylic acid shampoo, this is an excellent performer.

Yet again, DHS have produced a shampoo that we can't recommend highly enough.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Puracy Natural Shampoo

Puracy Natural Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp and Psoriasis

Puracy Citrus Mint Natural Shampoo offers a great natural alternative to the many sulfate laden shampoos on the market today. Whether you are looking for an everyday use shampoo, or one that you can rotate your medicated dandruff shampoo with, we’d recommend trying the Natural Shampoo.

Because there are essential oils in the formula, we recommend caution to anyone who is sensitive to fragrances, or sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients.

Otherwise, you’re looking at an expertly formulated shampoo that, for once, lives up to the manufacturer’s promises.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Sebclair Non-Steroidal Cream

Sebclair Non-Steroidal Cream

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

Sebclair Non-Steroidal Cream is an anti-fungal, piroctone olamine based treatment partnered with a trophy cabinet of natural anti-inflammatory actives. If you have a mild to moderate case of seb derm, hate steroids and love naturals Sebclair is for you. Best bit – there’s only two known allergens or irritants.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Free and Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Free and Clear Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Do you have an extremely sensitive scalp in need of anti-dandruff help? Do you suffer from mild to moderate seb derm?  Meet your new best friend.  Free & Clear’s Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo contains zero allergens, zero irritants, zero sensitizers formula based on 2% zinc pyrithione. An active ingredient able to improve the health of dandruff affected skin while also helping pacify dandruff causing overgrowths of the Malassezia yeast.

I simply can't recommend this shampoo highly enough.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Dentinox Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo

Dentinox Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Cradle Cap

Did you know using natural oils could be making your baby’s cradle cap last for longer? Instead, we recommend placing your trust in clinically trialed baby-friendly formulas able to effectively tackle the cause of your baby’s cradle cap – excess scalp oil. Case and point, ultra-mild Dentinox Cradle Cap Treatment Shampoo, an 8 ingredient formula proven safe and effective for everyday use.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Babe Laboratorios Paediatric Cradle Cap Shampoo

Babe Laboratorios Paediatric Cradle Cap Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Cradle Cap

Tired of testing out cradle cap shampoos which just don’t budge your babe’s crusty dry scalp? Then you need a cradle cap shampoo with active ingredients proven to work. Enter Babe Laboratorios Paediatric Cradle Cap Shampoo a 4 active ingredient formula including 0.5% scalp softening salicylic acid plus a boosting active able to make your 0.5% dose work harder than its quantity would usually dictate. For use 2 to 3 times a week, the gentle shampoo formula cleanses carefully, treats sensitively and works simply.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Bella B, Bee Gone Cradle Cap, Baby Shampoo

Bella B, Bee Gone Cradle Cap, Baby Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Cradle Cap

Are you looking for a natural solution to your baby’s crusty cradle cap? Want a formula that works with your skin to help restore a healthy scalp? Then look no further than Bella B’s Bee Gone Cradle Cap Baby Shampoo with oatmeal, tea tree oil, shea butter and more for helping restore what makes your baby's scalp healthy. Free of parabens, animal by-products, harsh cleansers and preservatives, the hypoallergenic formula makes Bella B’s bee gone cradle cap baby shampoo a great solution for the everyday care of your baby's scalp.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo For Newborns

Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo For Newborns

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Cradle Cap

Anti-cradle cap shampoos designed to be used from the very first day of your babe’s life are hard to come by. And in the promise of finding one, you want to be 100% sure of its safety. Mustela foam shampoo for newborns is a diamond in the rough, featuring well proven anti-cradle cap/anti-dandruff actives with above and beyond safety testing in a daily use formula.

It is worth bearing in mind that it isn't fragrance-free, and salicylic acid can cause dryness after prolonged usage.  But as a treatment to combat established doses of cradle cap - you'll struggle to find a more effective treatment on the market.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Sea Magik Mineral Shampoo

Sea Magik Mineral Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp and Psoriasis

Dandruff shampoos can wreak havoc on dry, itchy scalps. Sea Magik Mineral Shampoo is different. A calming, hydrating formula with a combination of gentler, anti-dandruff actives. With independent research to back up claims that it’s potent, powerful yet still soothing. A great overall formula that's suitable for all but the most hypersensitive or allergy-prone skin types.

Read the entire review buy now on ebay
Nizoral

Nizoral

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Nizoral is probably the most effective shampoo on the market to control dandruff caused by seb derm. It's technically a medicine and is one of few anti-dandruff shampoos approved to make healthcare claims i.e. to treat and prevent dandruff. With a 2% dose of anti-fungal ketoconazole mixed into an 11 ingredient fragrance-free formula, if you suffer from moderate to severe seb derm – it’s a must try. Studies show significant and dramatic improvements in 30 days.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Capasal

Capasal

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis

Capasal have taken the unique step of combining 1% Coal Tar with 0.5% Salicylic Acid and added coconut oil.

It's perhaps the most original and interesting shampoo formulation we've yet seen

While the shampoo is SLS, fragrance and paraben free there are still a few known contact allergens in there. Unfortunately it smells like a coal tar shampoo too.

That aside Capasal is an excellent shampoo for those who suffer mild to moderate scalp psoriasis.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
Denorex Extra Strength 2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner

Denorex Extra Strength 2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis

Denorex isn’t the gentlest shampoo, but with 3% Salicylic Acid it’s as strong as you’ll find OTC.

If you don’t use it too frequently and you suffer from mild to moderate psoriasis or seb derm, Denorex is very effective treatment.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
E45 Dry Scalp Shampoo

E45 Dry Scalp Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

E45 is a brand synonymous with dry skin care.

If you frequently get dry scalps after washing then this shampoo could be an excellent choice.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon
La Roche-Posay Kerium Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

La Roche-Posay Kerium Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

La Roche Posay is a combination shampoo, combining both Piroctone Olamine and Salicylic Acid. The Salicylic Acid will help exfoliate existing dandruff build up while the Piroctone Olamine is designed to prevent any new outbreaks. It’s a match made in heaven.

I can’t let a mention of a review pass without commenting on how luxurious this shampoo feels and smells when washing – better than any medicated shampoo I have ever tried. And I’ve tried lots!

There are a couple of harsh ingredients but compared to the majority of the shampoos on the market, this is a first class Piroctone Olamine shampoo.

Read the entire review buy now on ebay
Pura Dor Argan Oil Scalp & Dandruff Treatment

Pura Dor Argan Oil Scalp & Dandruff Treatment

Designed to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp

Pura's D'or Argan Oil shampoo features an interesting formula that combines traditional therapy and herbalism.

It wears a premium price tag, but it is truly a premium product.

The active ingredient in Pura's product is the familiar zinc pyrithione. It also includes aloe vera and grapefruit seed extract, which have antifungal and antioxidant properties, and a number of fragrant essential oils.

Normally, shampoos containing argan oil send up a red flag for people with seborrheic dermatitis. The oleic acid content can exacerbate the condition. However, the amount present determines the sensitivity level, and a little should have no impact.

After using the shampoo, we found that it delivered a great performance without producing adverse reactions.

If you're sensitive to fragrance, cocamidopropyl betaine or phenooxyethanol, you may want to steer clear of this shampoo, but for many dandruff sufferers, it can achieve complete control of symptoms while providing a pleasant and surprisingly sudsy washing experience along with reliable treatment results.

Read the entire review buy now on Amazon

That’s our picks for best treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis. There are plenty of other choices out there though so feel free to browse through all of our Seborrheic Dermatitis treatment reviews.

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The site owner. I founded, and have ran this site for too many years now.
I have extremely sensitive skin, have suffered from seb derm for all my adult life and this site is my way of doing something about it.

Check out my sister site at safehouseholdcleaning.com

62 thoughts on “How To Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis”

  1. Hello. I doubt that m suffering from scalp sebopsorasis. I used an antifungal dandruf shampoo. This shampoo helped me alot, nw my scalp z free from dandruff bt there is no control over hairfall due to sebopsorasis, its going sever day by day….
    Plz suggest smthing…..

    Reply
    • Hi usha

      I strongly recommend that you visit a professional. They will be able to tell you the exact condition you are suffering from. Once you know the condition and you want to control your dandruff then use this site, but this site is never a replacement for professional help. More of a complimentary service.

      Chris

      Reply
  2. Hi, I am having Seborrheic Dermatitis for the past 10 years I used lot of antidandruff shampoos and natural shampoos also, but I didn’t get good results and I am having severe hair fall due to Seborrheic Dermatitis. please give solution.

    Reply
    • I have had seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp for 7 years. I been through the ups and downs with it. What helped for me is moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, washing my hair a couple times a day, tea tree oil, a dandruff shampoo only 1 time a week don’t go overboard it can make it worse! My face and body breaks out during flare ups. Its common! Don’t make it bleed you can get an infection! Mine is genetic cause now my half sister has it. Both got it at age 23. Try tea tree oil leave it in your hair for a few hours then comb. Or baby oil for a couple hours then comb. Don’t go overboard it will get worse. Hope this message helps someone out there.

      Reply
  3. Are you sure you have Seborrhoeic Dermatitis? To treat Seb Derm you’d use an anti-fungal shampoo of some sort. However if it isn’t seb derm and you use an anti-fungal shampoo, you’ll often exasperate the condition. If you’re not sure what you have, go see a qualified practitioner and find out exactly what condition you have. Only then can you even attempt to treat the condition.

    Reply
  4. Hi guys,

    After having acne (12 years), seb derm (5 years), oily skin (don’t know since when), dry skin (occasionally) I finally cured them all 100%. How? By not doing ANYTHING. And by learning not to care. At all. Seriously. While the healing of all these did not occur overnight, one thing changed immediately – I was feeling a free happy man after I stopped giving a rat’s ass about such superficial problems; after I stopped looking myself in the mirror 5 times a day; after I started living without caring if I have a pimple if my face was peeling, if it felt oily or dry, or if it was hurting from a zyst, or however they call them big ones.

    When did the healing happen? I have no idea. I just stopped paying attention to myself in the mirror so much. It went down pretty much like this – I was having a rough week in terms of everything – the result my face flamed with seb derm around my nose and all over my cheeks (I’ve never been so bad, usually it was just on the T-zone). It was itchy it was nasty – it was what AAAALLL the dermatologists called seb derm, or seborrhea (or even they don’t know what exactly it is). Anyway on top of that I had it on top of that – on my scalp too. But I managed to top even that – I had acne zysts on my chin. It was bad. The worst I’ve ever had for the last altogether 12 years. What did I do? One thing. I decided – OK. I’ve been to enough dermatologists (more than 10 during the years), I have tried enough medcs (can’t count them), I have tried enough diets (ANYTHING that was on the Internet I tried), so maybe it’s time I stopped caring? Stop stressing about these superficial problems? Hell, if I got diagnosed with something serious tomorrow, G-d forbid, what kind of man would that make me, the one who sweats over a pimple or red skin?! And I have read enough psychiatrists’ books saying it was the case with many cancer-stricken people, to say this a short while after being diagnosed – “cancer brought me back to life – I just stopped caring about meaningless stuff, and started living about the meaningful.” So that day, that awful skin and everything else day I carved it as my principle “It is key to one’s well-being to draw the line between the meaningful and the meaningless and live by it.” Is it meaningful that I pay attention to such trivial, superficial problems such as acne seb derm, oily skin?! Hell, no. So I stopped paying attention. It was tough. In the first few days my face was both itching and hurting from the seb derm and acne. But I noticed the less I care and pay attention, the less it was hurting and itching. This tendency kept on for the next days.

    A week later my mother asked me – “What did you do? These creams you are using seem to really help. You have nothing.” I didn’t even know. I looked myself in the mirror – nothing. My face was clean. Literally. No acne, no seb derm. Of course I still had my small acne marks.

    Now. Truth be told. Occasionally I still feel my face itch and hurt a little. (Today it’s 6 months after I stopped caring) But A) I still don’t care about it B) it’s normal – one does not heal their mind that quick after 12 years of paying too much attention to such bullshit and C) It’s just itching and hurting occasionally – when I look myself in the mirror I have nothing.

    Main point – after stopped caring I started feeling great about myself.

    The reason why I am writing all this is that I wish it could help somebody.

    On an unrelated note a couple of months ago I got fungi on my penile head. I’ve had that a lot too over the years. Use condoms, people! Unless it’s the one you want to have kids with. This time – same drill. No doctors, no meds. I said to myself if it doesn’t heal in a week I will just put on one of the many creams I was prescribed with before. It was itchy and spreading, even more on the second day, a lot more on the third. Still I did not pay attention. On the forth – less itching. On the fifth – nothing. All clear.

    I will leave my email address in case people have questions or are looking for advices for how to stop caring. Not that I am an authority in anything – I am just sharing my story here. One thing I will not do however – indulge into any arguments. I won’t. And I don’t care if you believe or not, so I will not bother with any such emails too. Here is the email – thesecretofnotcaring at gmail dot com (it’s lame, I know, but “dontcare” was taken and so were most of its derivatives. So many “non-carers”! Wohoo!)

    Have a great day!

    Reply
    • I’ve been on tons of forums since I realized I have seb derm and this is the best comment I’ve read so far. I had it for 10+ years and didn’t care, now I know I have it and why do I care now? I got enough things to worry about, no need to over-stress this.

      Reply
  5. I have scalp dermatitis. For past 3 years I have been struggling with this problem. I would say I have lost 35% of hair during this time. Some of hair has grown but others which have fallen seems like it has not.

    Reply
  6. I had seborrheic dermatitis I had it all: redness, flaking, scaly patches, and dandruff. . . there are two things that worked for me: Nizoral for the dandruff. I used this every day. And then after the Nozoral, I used the Made from Earth Tea Protein Shampoo. You NEED to the Tea Tree oil to kill fungus. The Nozoral is great for dandruff, but it does not kill the fungus that is causing the dermatitis. The Made from Earth Tea Protein Shampoo has alot of ea tree oil in it, and this completely killed the fungus n 1 week. I still use both cause I lovethem. I only use the Nizoral when I have dandrufff, but on a daily basis the Made from Earth shampoo is just perfect. . . no scalp issues at all 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi donni

      Great to hear that you’re managing to control your dandruff with tea tree. Tea tree is an anti-fungal that works for many of us. That said, Nizoral works in a very similar way and the active ingredient Ketoconazole is a very powerful anti-fungal agent in itself. For me it works better than tea tree, but different ingredients have different effects on different people.

      Reply
  7. Hello, I am 15 and I have been diagnosed with seborrheic dimitaias for a couple of months now..I have it all around my scalp, behind my ears, on my chest and I have just recently noticed it starting around my nose and eyebrows. I have been prescribed Clobetasol Propionate and Ketoconazole 2% but sadly enough they don’t seem to work very much. I have relief for about an hour but after that the itch returns. I have also been using a number of other products including goldbond, tea tree oil, coconut oil, tea tree shampoo, Aloe Vera shampoo and some other over the counter remedies but again, nothing seems to really work for more than an hour. My Seb Derm looks reletivly minor, right now, but the itch is almost unbearable. It is said that Seb Derm has periods of flares and periods of dormitory, but I don’t believe I have experienced a period of dormitory yet. Can someone please help me and give me some advice and suggestions . Also the Seb Derm around my nose seems to have just broken out. Can someone tell me what to do and/or how to stop it from growing. Thank you for your time.

    Reply
    • So sorry to hear this Uriel. Unfortunately this isn’t the best place for a medical diagnosis and I would recommend sticking with your doctor who will have a whole plan of active ingredients to try. Don’t be downhearted that the first remedy hasn’t worked – you will find a solution if you stick with a good doctor/dermatologist

      Reply
    • My family member uses 15 aspirin dissolved in a half cup of aloe vera with a few drops of glycerin. Used with her regular regiment of antifungals, but no cortisone which can thin the skin over time and cause lines in the skin. Apply a cloth soaked in the solution to the affected area, or directly to the scalp. Use one to two times per week-depending on dryness. We use a moisturizer on the skin afterwards-water based. Coconut oil is used to protect the hair from dryness and then washed out with the antifungal shampoo mixture(left on for 20 minutes) can be used on face too, followed by a hydrating detangling shampoo and a conditioner, again water based. The dormancy periods have lasted far longer than ever and during flares-the regiment is used more often. This worked for a severe recalcitrant case. We continue to tweak the regiment and improve it.

      Reply
    • I take a prescribed antihistamine for the itching. It works 12 hours. It does make me droggy though. I use nothing but Brags Apple Cider Vinager on my scalp, face and body. It is my cure. May not be for you. I noticed using this as a rinse after shampooing my scalp, face and body were totally clear after 3 months. I wish you the best.

      Reply
  8. Great site. I’m currently trying to pick a new anti-dandruff shampoo as I’m in New Zealand and was using Stieprox for years which had the active ingredient ciclopirox olamine. I’ve tried various standard anti-dandruff shampoos, coal tars, Nizoral, Sebizole, Sebamed. It was the only thing that controlled my dandruff. Unfortunately, it was discontinued and I bought up all I could find but have now run out. Everything I try seems to do okay for a month at best and then not at all. I’ll have a look through some more of the reviews and see what I might try next.

    Reply
  9. i have dandruff in my scalp and also i suspect have seb dermatits in my face as the T zone is little hyperpigmented. i wish to know whether there is any face wash available for this paticular condition as i remember one of my friend had the same problem and was prescribed a face wash by her dentist.

    Reply
    • Hi there

      I haven’t tested any myself as I don’t suffer from facial seb derm. However there are a number of zinc pyrithione soaps and washes on the market, this one here seems very popular.

      I would personally look at something like that.

      Go and see a dermatologist to get a true diagnosis though.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  10. Hi….. You have mentioned that cocoamidopropyl betaine is a contact allergen and should be avoided if possible.. I want to know what about BABASSUAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE ??…. I TRIED gathering sufficient informations about it but Skin deep ewg rated it 0 due to lack of informations and proper research might be. But I read in one article that it has the same chemical composition as cocoamidopropyl BETAINE just apart from the main ingredient coconut and babassu. I want to try out one anti dandruff shampoo in which the main surfactant used is babassuamidopropyl BETAINE.. I have seborrheic dermatitis since childhood, I lose lots and lots of hairs everyday and I don’t want to use any such product which can aggravate my scalp condition… Should I use this shampoo ?? Is babassuamidopropyl betaine a contact allergen and harmful for seborrheic dermatitis ?? Please help.

    Reply
  11. 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!

    Reply
  12. There is no definitive proof that fungus , which is present on all our scalps and skin, is the causative agent for SD. It may be the agent in some people, a contributory one in others or play little or no role in some. It may be auto-immune related or a hypersensitivity to a normal condition-the presence of sebum.. It is also seen more frequently in people with neurological conditions and suppressed immune systems. Therefore. you should not say definitively that there is a causative relationship between fungus and SD. From a family member who was diagnosed with a heavy infestation of Malassezia fungus, I have an intimate acquaintance with the condition.

    Use of antifungals, including Rx shampoos, added to the regiment yielded absolutely no benefit. I used every OTC product on the market for my family member and the result was severe hair loss, increase in large smelly greasy patches, severe itching, and bleeding points where the adherent scales were located. Dermatologists suggested cortisone which helped 24 hours before a return to the previous state. The one element that made a huge improvement in the condition was the use of plain aspirin-salicylic acid dissolved in aloe vera juice or even Listerine, and sometimes just plain water. Aspirin is not only exfoliating, but anti-inflammatory( possible key to the condition). I did continue to use antifungals for a comprehensive regiment after using aspirin alone.. The use of multiple agents-pyrithione zinc, sulfur shampoo, antifungals plus aspirin has resulted in the return of her thick luxurious hair , healthy scalp, and relief from the maddening itching and anxiety. It has been suggested that aspirin has actually an additive effect on the other ingredients making them more efficacious. I have added plant agents to the regiment to soften the hair and provide additive symptomatic relief. During flares, the affected party simply washes more frequently and uses a blow dryer and sunbathing which removes moisture. After suffering and spending a small fortune, we have found a solution that we can live with-probably not all methods will work for all.

    Reply
    • To some extent I do agree with you. I suffered from acne as a kid, suffer from atopic eczema, suffer with rosacea and seb derm. Although I have no proof and this is pure personal speculation, I believe all these conditions to be fundamentally linked – and we don’t understand the root cause. However, what is understood is that there is a correlation between seb derm and a proliferation of malassezia species. What is also understood is that SD clinically responds to antifungal agents. The latter point is scientific fact. The purpose of this section of the site is to help people control their SD – and a scientifically proven means to do that is by using anti-fungals. There’s no ifs and buts about it. There are some that have chronic SD and need stronger anti-fungals. And there area number of similar conditions such as serbopsoriasis which require multiple forms of treatment. In the vast majority of cases however, there will be an anti-fungal treatment available to help your condition. That’s the purpose of this site, to help people find that treatment. There is so much disinformation on the internet and we aim to cut through the bs and present scientific facts.

      That’s some great info. on the use of aspirin though – we have a section on the site devoted to Salicylic Acid treatments . And you’re right, it does appear to amplify some anti-fungal agents but I can’t find anything conclusive on seb derm agents.

      Great to hear you’re controlling it though!

      Reply
  13. This site is extremely helpful to me. I was diagnosed with sd in August and am still suffering.
    How often do use use the Norozol shampoo? Many of the products I have used make my scalp red and scaly after washing scalp. Why is that?

    Reply
    • Hi Mary Ellen

      Thanks for your kind words!

      I used Nizoral as and when I need it. Typically I wash once or twice a week and I don’t change that regime. I only use the 2% stuff and it normally takes a few washes to start to clear a breakout. It took a lot longer initially but I’m pretty good at washing just as a breakout is starting.

      It’s almost impossible to say what is happening from a description – you need to get it checked out. However, for me, I noticed through trial and error that I was sensitive to some ingredients. SLS for example. Or overuse of Salicyic Acid. And it dried my scalp out a lot, causing similar effects to what you describe. Realising that it was the shampoos themselves causing these issues for me was probably the inspiration behind this website to be honest. The dandruff shampoos were actually making my sd far worse.

      Best of luck – and get that scalp checked out!

      Reply
  14. Interesting website. Thanks for being here!
    I first got SD soon after undergoing fertility treatments about six years ago. The last couple of years, it has gotten much worse.
    Mushatt’s No. 9 Psoriasis Scalp Cream has really helped me. I apply it at night and wash it out in the morning. If I’m home early, I’ll apply it and then re-apply it once more before bed. I used to wash it out with Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Shampoo and the SD was kept at bay. Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Shampoo has been discontinued so I’m searching for a replacement as T/Sal and various other shampoos I’ve tried since running out, aren’t working nearly as well.

    Reply
    • Hi Audrey

      I’ve already ordered some of the Mushatt’s scalp cream so thanks for that heads up.

      Aveeno Nourish + was a zinc pyrithione shampoo – t/sal is salicylic acid. It’s a key difference between the two.

      We recently ran a piece on our favourite zinc pyrithione shampoos and the Aveeno, while good, wasn’t among our favorites. Have you tried the Magik Mineral Dead Sea Spa, Kiehls or the DHS Zinc shampoo? They are probably my favourite straight zinc pyrithione shampoos.

      Zinc Pyrithione isn’t strong enough to control my dandruff but they are 3 excellent shampoos right there. I personally use a 2% ketonconazole shampoo or a 2.5% selenium sulfide shampoo. Both of which may be available OTC depending on where you live. Both of them are prescription strength too and one of them is extremely likely to work for you.

      Best of luck and let me know how you get on!

      Reply
      • Chris,
        Ah, the difference between Aveeno and T/Gel… I had no idea!
        I purchased SebaMed since I read about it on your site. Thank you, it’s been doing a pretty good job (I just bought two more bottles). But, once they’re done, I’ll try one of the three you suggested and see how it goes.
        I have vitiligo – started the same time as the SD – so I found it interesting what you wrote about zinc pyrithione being an ingredient in creams, lotions, etc. for vitligo. None of the creams I’ve used over the years ever made a difference. I’ll look more closely at their ingredients.
        I’ve been using Mushatt’s for about a year and my hair growth is now thicker. What a nice perk! Is has made my scalp a bit pink but that’s still better than SD.
        How was/is the Mushatt’s for you?

        Reply
        • Great to hear Audrey, I think Sebamed is a quality shampoo. It doesn’t clear up my major breakouts but for regular use I find it excellent. They deserve more recognition!

          Do you know, I’ve never actually tried Mushatts. I keep meaning to review it but never get round to it. You may have just persuaded me to try it!

          Reply
          • Hi Chris,
            The Sebamed finished and I used Magik Mineral Dead Sea Spa shampoo. Magik seemed to do better for me than Sebamed but still not as good as the Aveeno once did.
            Sadly, Kiehl’s discontinued their Scalp Purifying Dandruff Shampoo. So, next up will be the DHS Zinc Shampoo you recommended.
            I’m still using Mushatt’s and it hasn’t let me down. I use it overnight about once a week, sometimes less if the seb dem is under control. When I have more seb dem and don’t use the Mushatt’s much, a bunch of my hair comes out when I wash out the Mushatt’s. So, I try not to wait until the seb dem is really bad. Family has commented that my hair looks fuller the last few months so I’m making sure I don’t wait too long between uses. i.e. Don’t wait until the seb dem is really bad to use it.

  15. First of all I must say english is not my first language so excuse my grammar faults.
    I’ve had seb derm for more than 15 years on face and scalp. I’ve tried almost all shampoos and active ingredients reviewed in here. My dad is an MD so going to a dermatologist was no problem to me….I went to the best ones. I’ve even taken oral antifungals (keto and fluconazole) and low dose Accutane for a couple of years along with topical therapy. Non of these therapies worked in the long run, so 3 years ago I made a big switch in the way I was dealing with my problem and this gave me an itch free, flake free and redness free face and scalp for the last 3 years. This is what I did:
    1.- I changed my medicated shampoos for the mildest sulfate free shampoo I could find.
    2 .- I started washing my face with water only and shampooing my scalp every other day. This went on for a couple of months and then I managed to wash my scalp 1 time a week and in between I only use water at luke warm to cold temperature.
    3.- I started to eat cleaner. More fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that made my stomach feel heavy. For me that was coffe, some beans and junk food.

    All of this was the first year. In the second year (after meds and docs) I went to the extreme:
    1.- I went no poo for my scalp. I mean the water only versión of no poo where I wash my scalp every day but with filtered water only. I use a water filter in my shower, that I think was a big change and washed my hair with a neutrogena face cleanser only if I really need to (like if I paint my house or something). That is never more than once a month.
    2.- I went loco on fitness. I excersise 3 times a week, with moderate weights and heavy cardio.
    3.- I kept cleaning my diet but nothing to fancy. I try to eat many times a day (like 6) but in tiny portions. Always lot of fruits and no diary. Also I stop drinking alcohol and smoking forever.

    I have to say that the first year was very difficult.
    The first month of my experiment my scalp itch like crazy and my face was red and flaky. From the second month forward the inflamation started to reverse a lot but the flakiness was still full on. The flakiness on my face though was becoming very mild on the 3rd month, almost non existant (This was the only reason I kept on this road).

    Towards end of the first year my scalp was becoming less flaky and no inflamation what so ever. THE ITCH STOPPED. With the changes I added the second year of no poo and no meds my scalp become NORMAL. It become itch, redness and inflamation free since then.

    I just wanted to share my experience on a forum like this because I realized that my journey could be helpful for some. Also because last year was the best year of my life for my skin and I know it was because all those changes I did.

    I wanted to share here because I was an avid reader of this site, always looking for the perfect shampoo or the latest active ingredient when the fix was so simple…. do nothing and wait for my skin to repair itself. For me that waiting took 2 years but after 15 years of torture I must say it was worth it.

    Reply
    • Hi Andrew

      That’s great to hear! We know so little about this condition so it’s great to hear alternative approaches working for people!

      Reply
  16. Great news, Andrew R.!
    What did you use as shampoo when you said this?
    “1.- I changed my medicated shampoos for the mildest sulfate free shampoo I could find.
    2 .- I started washing my face with water only and shampooing my scalp every other day. This went on for a couple of months and then I managed to wash my scalp 1 time a week and in between I only use water at luke warm to cold temperature.”
    And have you used any supplement? Can you link me the water filter you use?

    I’m just trying my best to understand how to get rid of this condition, after years suffering with shampoos and steroids, i no longer find that route to be suitable, i want a natural cure. I would only use shampoos (or oils, vinager, baking soda, aspirin, etc, etc, etc) again if i couldn’t find the cure in other ways, diet is a first, i will follow the paleo autoimmune protocol to the best extent i can and see what i get.

    Reply
  17. Hi,
    Im really worried about my seborrheic dermatitis , came across your article got much hope thank you…..
    After reading this article i bought nizroal US 1% it helped me a lot, controlled itching also, but i have burning sensation on forehead hairline and pain near the scalp margin ………so i have ordered for sebamed shampoo hoping that the shampoo would help near scalp margin…….can you pls suggest me any other shampoo or solutions that would help with the burning sensation near hair line……..thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Malar

      It’s pretty heartening to hear that the nizoral 1% helped. The 2% formulation is so much better. Another shampoo that works wonders with me is Selsun 2.5%.

      Another treatment that I’ve just come across but haven’t published the review yet is this

      http://www.biom8.com/product/biom8-conditioning-oil/

      It’s worked wonders with me, specifically the burning redness I suffer from terribly. It’s a number of oils basically. You apply it at night to the affected areas, leave it, go to sleep and after a few days my redness has reduced by a factor of 80 to 90%. I’ll be publishing a full review hopefully by the end of this week but I can’t speak highly enough of this treatment!

      Reply
  18. I’ve been suffering from sub derm for about two years. I didn’t realize what was happening until my hairline was white and scaly. I was later told I had scalp psoriasis and later found out i was misdiagnosed. I tried Selsun Blue then Neutrogena. My current dermatologist diagnosed my condition. She prescribed another shampoo (for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it) and steroids for my face. It worked well initially. However, it doesn’t seem to be as effective now. I recently had the worst break out. My face was peeling in the t zone area and around my ears. It was a nightmare. Recently I’ve started getting dry spots on my chest, under my arms and my back. I recently discovered that taking hot showers is the worst thing or my condition. So I’ve started taking cooler showers. I started to do some research on the condition a few weeks ago that’s how i found your site. This is so informative. It answers questions I didn’t even think to ask my dermatologist. I live in The Bahamas and some of the shampoos that you have recommended aren’t available here. Hopefully I can get Selsun shipped here (i’ve tried Selsun Blue already it is extremely ineffective). I also previously read about Biom8. I’m anxiously waiting in my order to arrive. Thanks for providing this information. I’m thinking about writing a blog about my condition for people in The Bahamas living with sub derm.

    Reply
  19. I have currently own or have tried many of the treatments recommended resulting in temporary relief the first time I used the shampoos. I have a large patch covering most of my scalp that is incredibly itchy, scaling with some bleeding. I have been diagnosed with SB by a dermatologist and found the only longer term relief (couple of months) has come in the form of steroid injections into my scalp. Which of the above shampoos are available OTC and stronger at controlling the itch and limiting the scaling/dandruff?

    Reply
    • Hi there

      What works for you is a personal thing. I can’t say, this shampoo will definitely work for you. Your dermatologist could give you some guidance there.

      However, in my experience, both 2% Ketoconazole (e.g. Nizoral) and 2.5% Selenium Sulfide (e.g. Selsun 2.5) are the two most powerful dandruff shampoos on the market today. They are available OTC in many countrys too.

      Reply
  20. I was diagnosed with sebderm of the scalp and have tried several shampoos:
    Head and Shoulders, Nizoral, Selsun Blue 2.5%, Stieprox, CHI tea tree. None of these shampoos eradicate the fungus, but they do control it- -it’s there all the time, but mild. I have been rotating through these 5 shampoos daily, and my hair and scalp are dry. What would you suggest as an everyday sulfate free shampoo?

    Reply
  21. Looking for something I read on the web and later have been unable to find. Anyway, Have a pretty good case of SebDerm on my scalp. Some of the flakes have encapsulated hair and in the process of brushing pulls the flakes as well as the hair out. I read something about using jojoba oil on your scalp, covering with a bathing cap, and then gently heating with hair dryer. Have you heard of this? Trying to deal with the SebDerm and keep my hair as well. Appreciate any insight you may have. Thanks.

    Reply
    • I haven’t heard of it before and I have no idea what heating it would do to be honest. I know the oil is a fungicide and low in oleic acid, but it’s composed of other fatty acids that the Malassezia yeast can feed on. So the question really is, are the fungicidal properties strong enough to kill the yeast. If not, then you are feeding the yeast.

      Oils aren’t my strongpoint. There is an oil I have tried that does work though – Biom8. I can’t recommend that highly enough to be honest. I still use it every evening on my face.

      Reply
  22. I don’t believe anyone posting here has had seb dermatitis worse than me. I’ve had it for nearly thirty years – started in my mid twenties – out of the blue. Over the years it spread to my facial areas. My head flared and flaked so badly I had bleeding holes in my scalp. After experimenting, T-Gel did finally control it somewhat, but after a while, it lost it’s magic, and I had to go to T-Gel Extra Strength. I hated the coal tar smell and it eventually didn’t stop the itching, flaking and bleeding; plus it has a tendency to dye your hair and now, some, say it can cause cancer. After suffering really badly after discontinuing T-Gel and going back to regular shampoo, I stumbled across Selsun Blue with Zinc Pyrithione I found in a little county store. I had tried other Selsun shampoos with no luck; but, let me tell you (and praise the Lord) Zinc Pyrithione finally healed and restored my scalp and I no longer itch and bleed and have very little flaking. My hair is full and clean. I also like Head & Shoulders with Zinc Pyrithione. It works just as well and smells even better. With all the talk about other ingredients to fight dandruff and derm I don’t know why I haven’t read more about Zinc Pyrithione. One other benefit, I believe the shampoo, by running down my face (eyes closed) has cleared up my face, nose and ears from derm.

    Reply
    • Fantastic! You’re the second person I’ve encountered today who recommends zinc pyrithione. It doesn’t really work with me if I have a bad breakout. That said, this DHS Zinc shampoo is one of my favorite shampoos of all time – dandruff or not – it’s so gentle.

      Reply
  23. Hello again Chris. On the rosaceagroup.org website, there are many references to Hegor shampoo. It is said to contain climbazole. Do you have any experience with this? Right now it is only available on ebay from Romania! Climbazole is also in a veterinary shampoo called DOUXO Chlorhexidine PS Climbazole Shampoo. I know that using a pet shampoo is a long shot, but I really want to get this under control! Thanks

    Reply
  24. hello CHRIS… my name is DIPANWITA BARDHAN.. IAM 28 YEARS OLD.. iam from INDIA.. i follow this website regularly.. i left a question in the review section last year as well which was replied well.. now.. i want to discuss about a shampoo.. I AM A PATIENT OF SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS SINCE MY EARLY TEENAGE.. I AM FED UP COMBATTING WITH MY DISEASE.. I USED TO HAVE A HEAD FULL OF BOUNCY SILKY HAIR WHICH IS REDUCED TO EVEN WAY LESS THAN HALF NOW.. I CONSULTED WITH SEVERAL DERMATOLOGISTS.. I WAS UNDER MEDICATION BUT NOTHING CURED MY PROBLEM, GAVE ME TEMPORARY RELIEF AND THEN AGAIN STARTED IRRITATING ME…FTER THAT I TRIED NATURAL REMEDIES BUT THEN AGAIN MY SCALP IS VERY SENSITIVE TO ESSENTIAL OILS… FINALLY I HAVE COME ACROSS WITH A SHAMPOO WHICH I HAVE BEEN USING BY THE LAT 2 YEARS NOW.. AND I THINK IT SORT OF SUITS ME.. I WANT YOU TO REVIEW THAT SHAMPOO.. BUT THE SHAMPOO IS AVAILABLE IN INDIA … IT IS ” TVAM NATURALS ANTI-DANDRUFF SHAMPOO” AND THE INGREDIENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS : MARGOSA EXTRACT , INDIAN GOOSEBERRY EXTRACT, HOLY BASIL EXTRACT, GREEN TEA EXTRACT, FENUGREEK, ALOEVERA, ECLIPTA PROSTRATA EXTRACT, ROSEMARY EXTRACT, PURIFIED WATER, COCO GLUCOSIDE (NATURAL), DECYL GLUCOSIDE (NATURAL), LAURYL GLUCOSIDE (NATURAL), GLYCERINE, XANTHUM GUM, CITRIC ACID, PRO-VITAMIN B5, SODIUM PYRROLIDONE, CARBOXYLATE, XYLITYLGLUCOSIDE (ORGANIC), ANHYDROXYLITOL (ORGANIC), XYLITOL (ORGANIC), PEG 150 DISTERATE, COCOAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, SOAPNUT EXTRACT, QUATERNIZED HYDROXYETHYL CELLULOSE, HYDROLISED WHEAT PROTEIN, HYDROLIZED KERATIN, VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL ACETATE), SODIUM COCOYL APPLE AMINO ACIDS, SODIUM BENZOATE 0.1% , POTASSIUM SORBATE 0.1% , BENZYL ALCOHOL 0.2% , 2-PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYSORBATE 20, COLOR CI44090 (E142).. PLEASE SUGGEST HOW SAFE OR UNSAFE IS IT TO USE THIS SHAMPOO FOR A CHRONIC SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS PATIENT LIKE ME ??.. I’LL BE WAITING EAGERLY FOR YOUR VALUABLE SUGGESTION.. REGARDS

    Reply
  25. Hi Chris,
    first of all I’d like to thank you for collecting and sharing experiences and information about the topic. I found this page very instructive, and as a seb derm suffer I will try some of the techniques/products you suggest.

    Overall, in my experience, I find that sunshine (and weather condition in general) is the most effective of all cures. Summer at the beach is the only 3-weeks period of the year in which I can literally forget about my skin problems, regardless of any product I use in the shower.

    This is why I would argue that some “physical conditions” might be at least as crucial as the active ingredients present in shampoos or creams.

    Thus, here is my question. Based on your experience, how important do you think the routine that characterise every treatment is? For example, will the same shampoo have a different impact if applied after exfoliating the scalp with a brush? Or, would you have the same result using an hair dryer after a shower rather than nothing? Lastly, in order to avoid massive use of dandruff shampoos, is it better not to wash your hair or to wash it with just water?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Roger,

      The more I’ve studied SD the less I feel like I know. Research papers outright contradict each other with their findings. My only real conclusion at the end of it is, I believe SD is a result of a wide variety of root causes that manifest themselves as a reaction to this yeast. The gut is significant, but the interactions are too complex for medical science to comprehend. Weather and stress play a massive role. So in terms of what is best, its impossible for me to say as our root causes are so individual and our reactions to the treatments so personalized. Instead, I can say what we know, what treatments have worked for some and present this information in one resource ie this site. The rest is really up to the individual to see what works for them.

      Sorry if that sounds like a cop out! This is such a complex personal condition.

      Reply
  26. I’m confused, biom8 consist sea buckthorn oil which very high in essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and a-linolenic acids. Didn’t you say fatty acids high in numbers are bad for SD?

    Reply
    • In isolation yes, but biom8 seem to have hit on a really good balance of anti baterial/fungal oils with carrier oils. Their wiki indicates this too – when they used a different balance the oil was nowhere near as effective. Whatever they’ve done, it seems to be really successful!

      Reply
  27. Many of you seem to have been helped by dermatologists and/or have faith in them. I have been to a dozen, and none have helped in the least. Sometimes these guys (or gals) won’t even step all the way in the room before making some bogus “diagnosis” such as, “you just pick at your pimples too much” (I dont have pimples and I dont pick at my face) or “looks like dermatitis,” which is a fancy way of saying, “there’s something wrong with your skin.” Duh!
    After several years, I determined that I have SD that involves a massive dermatophyte involvement. One dermatologist said I don’t have SD because my skin isnt “flaky” enough. In my case, the dead skin has just built up into a thick, sticky mass. I no longer have the soft, white facial fuzz that women typically have because it’s buried under all that crud. Ditto for “baby hair” at the hairline and the back of my neck. It’s all trapped. These arent ingrown hairs, they are just trapped under layers of buildup that wont wash off.
    I’ve found some online forums that have some smart, persistent contributors in the same boat as me. With information from these great folks, I am finally making progress with my skin after using Lotrimin Ultra cream (butenafine) without fail every day for several weeks. The layers are coming off, and “real” skin with normal vellus hair is emerging after several years’ absence. Also, my dry itchy eyes look and feel much better; never thought SD was causing my eye problems, too.
    If your doctor is helping you, I’m glad you found a good one. If not, reach out for your own solution. Yeah, there’s a bunch of stupidity on the Internet, crazy folks and fanatics with all sorts of bizarre “cures.” But there are also smart people out there with helpful information. And plenty of ways you can perform relevant research on your own.

    Reply
  28. Dear All, I fight with SD for a few years. I visited many dermatologists in my Country Poland and invested in the best shampoos offered in Poland/USA – I spend like 250$ a month to find the best shampoo. They made my hair condition worse and I lost too many hair all the time. Then I have found some Youtube video saying that SD is nothing else than allergic reaction to shampoos! Check this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhaleZ3c6b8
    From this time I tried only organic shampoos. All of them made me also allergic- maybe because it like with spring air allegry- although it is all natural some people are allergic to it. The only thing that works is:
    Free and clear shampoo – Pharmaceutical Specialties ( I use it every day)
    Mineral Treatment soothing eudemic oil (I use it once in 6-7 days and leave it fot 10-14 min). It contains Salycilic Oil which removes the fat from head skin and is based on water which does not irritate skin like other products (other products with salicilic acid but based on alcohol irritated my skin and caused dandruff).

    The basic allergens/irritants to avoid are: SLS, citric acid, Cocamiprodyl Betaine, alcohol (alcohol is strong irritant) and probalby the rest of the allergens mentioned in other pages.
    Since I use the two products above the hair loss reduced to minimal level and the dandruff is very minimal – i sometimes feel these small dandruff under finger but that is all. Good luck:)

    Reply
    • Hi there, thanks for the comment! Despite that Youtube video, all scientific research points to seb derm being more than a reaction to shampoos. They can trigger a reaction for sure, but SD appears to be linked to a faulty skin defense barrier. Other research shows an association with the Malassezia yeast on our skin. It’s complex for sure, but I wouldn’t take a youtube video at face value. That way be dragons….

      Reply
  29. Hi Chris, sorry if this is already on your site somewhere (I can’t find it), but can I ask what your opinion on steroids is? I’ve had scalp issues for years and a second doctor has agreed that it’s SD as suspected on my scalp and face, but just says to keep using anti-dandruff shampoos (even though it never really clears up) and rub Elocon (mometasone furoate) lotion onto my scalp when it flares up, but I know steroids can have negative effects if they’re used for too long. He also told me to use Nizoral cream on my face but it hasn’t helped much, so I’m going to order Biom8.
    Do you think I should avoid steroids? I don’t feel that doctors take these problems seriously – in Australia, anyway. I just wish I could find more of the products you recommend here.

    Reply
  30. One more question – after reading your page about SB on the face, I’ve been looking at my cleansers and moisturisers but there are more oils than acids listed, especially in products for dry skin like mine. Could you tell me where I can find a list of oils that are OK to use? The only products you recommend that are readily available here are Cetaphil and Neutrogena. Can I trust any products by these brands?

    Reply
  31. Hey Chris! Just wanted to first thank you for the amazing website you’ve created here, its been a tremendous help in finding out what type of ingredients I’m actually using on my skin. So, thank you so much for all the work you put in here!
    Unfortunately, my journey with the seb derm on my scalp seems never ending and it keeps getting worse and worse ever since it year ago after a doctor prescribed me corticosteroids. Along with all of this comes really really bad hair loss, which is incredibly distressing to say the least… I’ve tried a bunch of shampoos already – from ones with Ketoconazole, to Zinc Pyrithione, to Ciclopirox or Piroctone Olamine – but all I seem to get is more hair loss, irritation of the scalp and absolutely no improvement of the layer of seb derm (I haven’t tried Selenium Sulphide yet, since I read it may increase hair loss even more). I saw that you recommended the anti-dandruff shampoo by SebaMed, however I’ve established that my scalp gets very oily again 1 day after I use any shampoo containing Octopirox… could this somehow be linked in your opinion?
    I was just wondering if you could perhaps recommend me a shampoo, which is suitable for sensitive skin, yet very effective against oily seb derm. I know different shampoos work for different people and its very individual but I’m pretty much out of ideas at this point.
    Thanks a lot once again!

    Reply
  32. Hi all! Can anybody recommend a hair conditioner? I’m using a baby shampoo for my daily hair wash which makes my hair less shiny and dry. All conditioner I can find have fatty acids with carbon chain lengths over 10 which would feed the yeast like described in this article. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  33. Hi Chris
    thank you for the amazing website you’ve created here. I was wondering if anybody can recommend a sunscreen for Seb Derm? Thanks a lot!

    Reply

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