Lots of people who have seborrhea often find themselves at a loss about how to treat this skin disorder, especially as in some cases, it can last for years. If products found at drugstores don’t work anymore, it’s time to try something natural! Find out more about these natural remedies for seborrhea!
Seborrhea is an inflammatory skin disorder, also known as seborrheic dermatitis or seborrheic eczema. It affects the skin of the scalp, face, and torso; the skin becomes red, itchy, scaly, and flaky.
The flakes may be white, yellow, or grey and may appear on the skin of the face (near the eyelashes, on the bridge of the nose or around the sides of the nose, on the forehead), behind the ears, on the chest, and on the upper back. It is also known to affect the scalp: the skin becomes red, itchy, greasy, and flaky. In this case, it can even lead to hair loss. Also, yellow-reddish, scaly pimples might appear along the hairline, as well as on the face, chest, and upper back.
Babies younger than three months can also get mild seborrhea. In their case, the disorder manifests itself through an oily, yellowish crust that appears around the hairline and on the scalp. It is often accompanied by a diaper rash. However, in most cases, the skin goes back to normal after a few days, without needing a particular treatment.
Unfortunately, the skin disorder doesn’t go away that easily in adults. Based on how it is treated, as well as other factors, it may last from a few weeks only to a few years. Also, many people having seborrhea experience alternating periods of inflammation.
Causes and Prevention
Seborrhea often appears as an inflammatory reaction to various forms of the yeast Malassezia. Malassezia globosa is the most common one, followed by Malassezia furfur and Malasezzia restricta.
It appears that saturated fatty acids support Malassezia growth. As Malassezia hydrolyzes human sebum, it promotes the release of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The yeast only uses the saturated fatty acids; as the unsaturated ones are left behind, they penetrate the skin and interfere with the functions of the skin barrier. Because of this, the scalp becomes irritated, which leads to dandruff and seborrhea.
Other common causes include genetic, hormonal, and immunity-related factors. Seborrhea can be caused and aggravated by a weak immunity or by particular illnesses and health problems (neurological disorders, strokes, immunodeficiency). In children, excessive vitamin A intake or lack of biotin, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6 can also cause seborrhea.
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that the environment plays an important role, as well. Stress, sleep deprivation, and fatigue can cause and worsen seborrhea.
It’s hard to prevent the appearance of seborrhea, especially since there aren’t clear causes. However, it’s best to keep stress factors away, to have a well-balanced diet, and wash daily with anti-bacterial products. This way, you can prevent seborrhea or reduce its symptoms.
Natural Remedies for Seborrhea
In case you’ve got seborrhea, you’ll need to focus on your scalp hygiene. Dermatologists recommend the use of shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, and creams that contain antifungal, anti-inflammatory, or Sebo-suppressive ingredients. A dandruff shampoo can also help. However, if the unwanted flakes continue to stubbornly cling to your hair, you can try some natural remedies for seborrhea!
Essential oils are great “weapons” against seborrhea; the best is the tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is often listed as an important ingredient of anti-dandruff hair products, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it can help fight seborrhea, as well. As tea tree oil has anti-microbial properties, it will fight against the yeast causing seborrhea. Dilute the oil and apply it topically, to your scalp.
Aloe vera is also beneficial when it comes to treating seborrhea. You can apply either a cream or an ointment made from aloe vera, or combine it with tea tree oil. The aloe vera and tea tree oil solutions are quite easy to prepare. You should add 20-25 drops of tea tree oil to 300ml of aloe vera gel; then, shake it well and apply it to your scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then wash it off.
Other essential oils that can be used include eucalyptus oil, neem oil, lavender oil, oregano oil, cedarwood oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil. Oregano oil is definitely a good choice, as it is known to have powerful antifungal properties. Any of these essential oils can be mixed with a carrier oil (coconut oil or jojoba oil), at a ratio of 1:9 (one part essential oil, nine parts carrier oil). Apply it the same way as the tea tree oil and aloe vera gel mixture.
Jojoba oil can also be used on its own, for a daily scalp massage. You’ll only need one tablespoon of jojoba oil for this. Massage the scalp gently, after applying the jojoba oil; keep doing this for 2-3 minutes. This will help remove the flakes, as well as increase blood circulation, which will improve your skin condition.
You can also try a mix of honey and warm water: dilute some honey into a glass of water and massage the mixture onto the scalp. Gently rub the affected areas for about 3 minutes, then leave it on for 3 hours. When the time’s up, rinse your hair with warm water.
Drinking a cup or two of herbal tea every day will definitely help treat seborrhea. Red clover tea will improve your skin condition overall, as it won’t focus only on your scalp problems. Burdock root tea is also a good choice and can be used for other skin problems; it is also known to have detoxifying properties.
While most “ingredients” to the natural remedies are generally considered safe, check with your doctor before using them to treat seborrhea.
When using essential oils, make sure they are properly diluted. Do not apply undiluted essential oils on your scalp, as they will burn your skin. Even diluted, tea tree oil might cause skin irritation to people who are rather sensitive. If you’ve applied any essential oil (even diluted) and feel a burning sensation, wash it off immediately.
If you decide on giving herbal teas a try, check to see if you’re not allergic to the plants. Also, it’s best to avoid them if you are nursing or pregnant; the same thing is recommended if you’ve got serious medical conditions (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes). You should also remember to check with your doctor if you’re taking any medication, in order to make sure the herbs won’t interfere with your medication.