How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis at Home
Seborrheic Dermatitis is described as being red patches of skin with greasy or scaly flaking. Most people know this disorder simply by it's layman's term, Dandruff, but it is also commonly referred to by some as Seborrhea. Dandruff actually refers to the flakes that are produced by Seborrheic Dermatitis, but both words are commonly used to mean the same thing. It can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common along the scalp or facial regions. Because it's a form of eczema, it can look and feel like many other types of skin disorders that belong to the eczema family. It's commonly confused as being rosacea, but it also sometimes coincides alongside rosacea when on the face. This is why you should first see a dermatologist and get a real diagnosis before you begin any at-home treatments or remedies. Once you're sure it is indeed seborrheic dermatitis that you're suffering from, here's some of the steps you should take to get rid of it or at least reduce the symptoms and stop the itching and flaking.
The most obvious thing that you should do is keep your skin clean. The problem with overwashing though, is that the skin can sometimes produce too much sebum, which is the oily substance that forms into the flakes associated with dandruff. So it's best to try to just wash once or twice a day. You should also only wash with lukewarm to warm water. Never wash your skin with hot water because it can dry it out and this can lead to more flaking and itching. Whether you have seborrheic dermatitis on your face or scalp, you should use an antifungal shampoo that is FDA approved. There are a number of different types of antifungal shampoos out there, and many of them use different active ingredients. Because of this, you should try out many different ones to see which brands give you the best results. The four main ingredients that can be found in different brands are pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, and coal tar. For example, Head and Shoulders contains pyrithione zinc, while Nizoral contains ketoconazole. In my personal experience, I've had more luck with Selsun Blue, which contains selenium sulfide, but your personal results may vary. It's best to gently massage the shampoo into the skin on your face or scalp, and leave it on there for a minute or two before gently washing it off with the warm water. If on the face, it may be best to only leave it on for 30 seconds to a minute, since the skin on the face seems to be more sensitive than the skin on the scalp. Some types of shampoo or ingredients in them may burn your skin if left on too long, so try out different products and be very careful when you leave them on for the first time. After you wash your face or scalp, you should gently pat it dry instead of rubbing it dry. Some people have even found that the water from their shower has made their symptoms worse. So if you think there may be a problem with your actual water, you may want to try buying some distilled water from the store and washing your face and scalp with that instead to see if you get better results.
After you've taken a shower, you may need to moisturize your skin if it gets dry very easily. When looking for a moisturizer, you should probably look for something is either all-natural, such as aloe vera gel, or at least fragrance-free. The fragrance in some moisturizers can definitely trigger skin problems for some people, so beware of those types of products. I personally tried many different types of moisturizers but the only one that seems to help with my flaking is Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Moisturizer. There are very few stores which sell it, so I ordered it through a vendor online. Though you should probably try aloe vera gel first since it's completely natural. The only problem with the brand I use is that it's very thick and oily. So when I apply it to my skin, I have less flaking but more of an oily look. In my case, my skin is more dry than oily before I put the moisturizer on. However, for most people who have seborrheric dermatitis, they already have oily skin. So if you're already dealing with oily skin before putting on any moisturizers, you should definitely try more natural moisturizers and less "intensive" ones.
What you eat and drink are more important to your skin than any other factors. You should make sure that you are drinking plenty of water each day, and if you have to, substitute all your soda and juice drinks for water instead. Doctors recommend that every person should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. This is important for your body to stay healthy and remove toxins and bad elements. Some people have seen their chronic skin conditions instantly get better after a week or two of drinking lots of water. Just drink each glass slowly and don't overdo it, as some people have actually died from drinking water too quickly (which is known as overhydration or water poisoning). You should also adjust your diet as well. Try to eat a lot more alkaline foods and less foods that are acidic. This is essential for the body to have a good pH Balance. Acidic foods are usually processed foods that aren't very natural. Alkaline foods are more natural and easier for your body to digest. You should examine your entire diet and remove all things that you think aren't very healthy. This includes greasy foods and those that are high in fat, as well as foods that contain lots of sugar. It's not uncommon for people to see remarkable improvements in their skin within 3 weeks after starting a healthy diet. You just have to stick to it, since one single candybar can negatively affect your whole pH balance.
If you've tried washing with antifungal shampoos and moisturizing to no avail, then you may want to try some alternative treatments. Just do your homework and research online to make sure that everything you try is safe. One such treatment would be over-the-counter hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone may not help much with the flaking caused by Seb Derm, but it can reduce inflammation and redness on the skin. But because hydrocortisone cream contains steroids, it shouldn't be used every single day. You should only use it when you have very severe flare-up's, and should test a small spot on your skin first to make sure there isn't a bad reaction. Some people react differently to steroid-containing products. As far as home treatments and remedies, some people have had luck with apple cider vinegar. The best way to do this is prepare a solution of half apple cider vinegar mixed with half water. Apply the solution to your skin or scalp by either massaging it into the skin or by using a spray bottle. Then let it sit on your skin for 3 to 5 minutes before washing it off. Many people have noticed remarkable improvement by using this remedy and have commented that their itching from dandruff had stopped. Just treat this solution like hydrocortisone and spot-test a small section of your skin first to make sure you don't have any allergic or negative reactions.
If all else fails, you should visit a doctor, such as a dermatologist. They will usually prescribe you a prescription shampoo that is much more stronger than the over-the-counter types. One major problem with this, however, is that the prescription shampoos will often contain stereoids, which some people are especially sensitive to. I've heard of many cases where people have tried them and ended up with negative side effects, such as burning skin or they became dependent on them and couldn't continue because of the long-term health problems they can cause. Steroids are usually safe for most people when used for a short duration, but they are usually not intended to be used for more than a month or two. In addition to this, a dermatologist may instead prescribe you other cleansing products that are designed to eradicate dandruff or relieve the symptoms. One such product is Ovace, which is a prescription face cleanser treatment that comes in 4 different forms, cream, wash, gel, and foam. Products like Ovace focus on moisturizing the skin and battling bacteria, rather than fungus like other treatments do. So this may be worth a try if you've tried everything else and if your doctor can prescribe it to you.
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