What is Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a kind of fungal disease that occurs in skin areas rich in oil-producing (sebaceous) glands. It is a common, chronic and relapsing form of eczema that is typically characterized by red, itchy, scaly and flaky skin. It causes an eczema-type outbreak majorly affecting portions of the scalp, face and upper torso. Seborrheic dermatitis is also termed as seborrhea and is commonly associated with psoriasis. In case of infants, it is referred to as cradle cap.
What Causes and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Researchers are still investigating what causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis. From what they have acquired, it signifies that the cause is complex. Many factors seem to work together to cause seborrheic dermatitis.
Although, the exact cause for the skin condition is not known, the following factors may trigger the skin condition:
- A yeast known as malassezia that normally found on the skin surface
- Our genes
- Inflammatory response generated against psoriasis
- Allergic reaction related to specific medications
- Cold and dry climate (seasonal changes)
- Eczema And Stress
- Person’s overall health
By studying Seborrheic Dermatitis, researchers came up with the following:
- It is not caused by poor personal hygiene.
- It is not an allergy.
- It does not harm the body.
The symptoms of the skin ailment are commonly diagnosed in newborn babies, adults aged between 30 and 60 and people with oily skin. ‘Dandruff’ is an uninflamed type of Seborrheic Dermatitis that affects the scalp and other areas of the body like face, upper chest and back. ‘Cradle crap’ triggers symptoms like crusty yellow or brown scales on the scalp of infants aged 3 months or younger.
Precautionary Measures to Control Seborrheic Dermatitis:
More often, the condition lasts for a prolonged period of time or may clear and flare again. Good skin care is the key component that can help control the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis from aggravating.
Adults affected by the dermatitis can alleviate the symptoms by making use of topical antifungal medications prescribed by the dermatologist. In case, their scalp carries dandruff, they can manage it by using medicated anti-dandruff shampoos that contains one of these key ingredients:
In addition, azoles have turned out to be the most beneficiary class of antifungals deployed to date for treating seborrhea.
For infants with cradle cap, it is highly recommended that their scalp is washed with baby shampoo on a daily basis using warm water. If no significant results are provided using the method, consult your pediatrician about medicated shampoos prior to adopting a new one. A dandruff shampoo can be harsh for the baby’s scalp and could irritate it. Application of mineral oil on the scalp can help soften the thick patches. Once, properly massaged, gently brush the scalp with a baby hairbrush to strip off the scales.
Antifungal shampoos and oils help control scalp eczema or Seborrheic Dermatitis. However, these measures also have side effects, some of them can make the condition worse in long run. So, the preferred method of treatment is the natural path for many suffering from scalp eczema.
5 Natural Remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis on the Scalp
There are some natural remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis with anti-fungal properties that are effective in controlling scalp eczema and some of those include:
1. Honey Water Mask For Seborrheic Dermatitis Scalp
Honey is not only nutritious and delicious alternative to sugar but also proves to be one of the great option for the treatment of Seborrheic dermatitis. Raw honey/manuka honey have been proven to be effective against scalp eczema as they have anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and antibacterial properties.
How to Prepare Honey Water Mask
- Mix 9 parts of raw honey with 1 part water
- Apply a thin layer of the mixture to the affected areas
- Leave the mixture for approx. 3 hours
- Rinse with lukewarm water
- Pat dry your skin
You might experience a slight tingling sensation in your skin as the pores adjusts themselves after sticky honey. Please see the list of studies and research below for more information.
2. Coconut Oil For Seborrheic Dermatitis
The fungus fighting activity is thanks to coconuts oil unique fatty acid profile. It has two fungus destroying fatty acids in its arsenal. One being Lauric Acid and the other Caprylic Acid. Together they form quite a powerful duo and help stop seborrheic dermatitis in its tracks.You can use Coconut Oil in many ways to treat the symptoms of eczema. Combination of external and internal use can be considered for its effectiveness.
Internal Use of Coconut Oil: Two to five tbsp a day is recommended per day for internal use. Coconut Oil is delicious and easy to get everywhere. You can use it as a cooking oil while preparing food, add to your favorite cold or hot foods like creams, eat as chutneys, eat it directly with honey or in cereals.
External Use of Coconut Oil: Apply coconut oil to the affected area as much as you can. For all those who are suffering from mild eczema symptoms, you need to apply coconut oil twice or thrice daily to lock in moisture inside the skin.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar For Seborrheic Dermatitis
Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid. This unique vinegar is very powerful against various types of yeast and fungus. ACV is rich in vitamins, mineral salts, riboflavin, fibres, potassium and lot more nutrients. The constant application of ACV can do wonders for your irritated skin.
You can use Apple Cider Vinegar in many ways:
- Apple Cider Vinegar Bath: Add 2 cups of ACV in a warm water. Rinse your scalp in this mixture. Pat dry.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic: Mix 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 16 oz of water. Add honey or maple syrup in it. Stir well and drink thrice daily at least 30 minutes before having meals.
- Apple Cider Vinegar with Baking Soda: Mix a pinch of baking soda in one glass of water. Shake well and pour it in a spray bottle. Start spraying the mixture in the affected areas.
4. Baking Soda For Seborrheic Dermatitis Scalp
Baking soda works in the opposite way of apple cider vinegar. Instead of using acid to fight the fungus the alkalinity of the baking soda is used. You can use baking soda to get rid of eczema symptoms.
- Mix half cup of distilled water with a half teaspoon of baking soda
- Apply the mixture gently on the affected area of the scalp
- Leave it for 10 minutes
- Rinse off with water
- Pat dry your scalp
You can also rinse off with a diluted apple cider vinegar to quickly restore the natural acidic state of the skin.
5. Tea Tree Oil for Scalp Eczema:
Tea Tree oil gets mixed results from studies. Some earlier studies suggest a strong relationship between easing eczema symptoms, however, latest studies show no or very little benefit. Use this cautiously as it is strong and can cause allergic reactions. Tea tree oil can be mixed with other oils to treat the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in one teaspoon of carrier oil (olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil)
- Gently apply on the scalp
- Leave for 30 minutes
Tea tree oil can produce tingling effect so to avoid any harm patch test before using.
There are tonnes of eczema remedies to provide you relief from skin irritation some of which may work for you and some may not be of any help. Please consult your dermatologist before making any changes in the medications and diet.
Yeast and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis or Cradle Cap in babies, is a types of eczema that affects the head area but can affect the chest, underarms, thighs in more severe cases. It is one of the most common types of yeast skin infection that affects all ages and its course is characterized by spontaneous remissions and exacerbations.
Latest research shows that Malassezia Yeast plays a major role in this condition. it seems that many patients with seborrheic dermatitis have enormous growth of a normal skin yeast called as (Pityrosporum or Malassezia) in the affected areas. Whether one causes the other or vice versa is just a secondary phenomenon remains to be determined.
What is Malassezia yeast?
Malassezia yeast is commonly found in deep sea vents, human dandruff, skin of animals, humans and almost everywhere. The main species found on the scalp are Malassezia globosa, Malassezia furfur and Malassezia restricta. These yeasts are responsible for the hydrolysis of human sebum, releasing a mixture of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. They leave unsaturated fatty acids and take up saturated ones as a result these unsaturated fatty acids gradually penetrate into the outer layer of the skin called as the epidermis (stratum corneum). This in return induces a yeast infection on the skin leading to dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
What are the causes and symptoms of Yeast infection on the skin?
Skin acts as a natural and effective barrier against microbes, infections, and allergens. However, any breakdown or even a small cut in the skin may allow the fungus/yeast to penetrate and cause skin rashes or skin infection that may further worsen the condition. Yeast infection in babies is mostly linked to the wet diaper area. The symptoms of yeast infection on the skin includes:
- Itching or Burning Sensation
- Skin Rash
- Fluid filled patches
- Shedding or scaling of skin
5 Natural/Home Remedies for Yeast/fungal Infections:
Yeast Infections can be treated naturally. Below are the 5 natural/home remedies that can help you get rid of the condition:
Calm your skin by Apple Cider Vinegar Spray. Take 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and mix with 1 quarter of water. Add the mixture in the spray bottle and you are ready to use this effective solution.
Cranberries are used for bladder infections and yeast/fungal infections. Drink organic juice to boost up pH balance and cease the fungal overgrowth.
3. Tea Tree Oil:
It is considered as a natural fungal cleanser. Take 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in a cloth and apply it on the affected part to relieve the symptoms of eczema.
Yogurt can be used to treat yeast infection. Take 2 tbsp of yogurt and apply on the affected area.
Eat fresh garlic daily to reduce the symptoms of skin infection. Garlic possesses natural anti-fungal properties and can balance harmful bacteria.
The fact that topical antifungal medications are effective in controlling this disease lead researchers to believe that this yeast may have a causative effect in eczema.