Healing Seborrheic Dermatitis + Skin barrier

Answered on September 06, 2016
Created March 30, 2014 at 10:26 PM

(I'm tagging you in this post cause I read some of your posts on Seborrheic Dermatitis and they were so incredibly helpful, your situation sounded identical to mine, I would love to hear how things went for you and if you have any advice). @Bill 4

Quick background: I'm 18 years old, and just over 2 years ago I went on a 7-month course of prescription topicals (Retin-A) and antibiotics to treat acne. The creams completely wiped out my skin barriers and left my face incredibly red and permeable, where even a slight wind or change in temperature would cause me awful flushing. The antibiotics, combined with the stress I was experiencing, totally shot my immune system, giving me a thyroid problem among other things.

When I stopped using the creams and antibiotics, my skin immediately started developing this thick, yellow, oily, scaly build-up. I thought this was a healing reaction to the inflammation and damage my skin sustained, I had no idea it was Seborrheic Dermatitis. I later discovered that this problem was present on my scalp and behind my ears as well, which was the first sign that it was something more complicated, since I had never used presciption creams on those areas.

Now I understand that the "fungus" or whatever it is that causes Seb Derm was able to develop on my face and scalp while my barriers were depleted and my immune system was vulnerable, which explains why my skin still hasn't fully healed in the last 2 years. I spent a year using natural healers (aloe vera, emu oil, etc.) which helped some, then I spent the last year doing no 'poo, meaning I didn't use any products on my face and most of the time I didn't wash it either, so nothing could interfere with the healing. This worked quite a bit, most of the redness on my face is gone and my skin has regained a lot of strength, but the underlying dermatitis problem is still exactly the same, my face is just as flaky and my pores are just as clogged as they were before.

Since my barriers were damaged from the topical use, and the dermatitis immediately formed before the barriers had a chance to heal, and Seb Derm in of itself causes a disfunctional imbalanced skin barrier, my barriers haven't been able to fully heal and return to normal even in 2 years. They've improved a ton, but it's still not there. Not washing has allowed for a lot of healing, but the problem is when I don't wash or use any products, there's nothing to keep the Seb Derm in check, so it proliferates like crazy and the flakes keep coming. I've had to manually exfoliate them, over the last few months I've spent so much time scrubbing my face, which is really irritating to it.

It's clear to me that there are 3 things needed to solve this problem:

1) I have to heal my gut and immune system, which I've just started doing through a perfect paleo diet, including lots of bone broth, and lots of supplements (I'm going to start taking a lot of Biotin and Zinc this week).

2) The Seb Derm needs to be taken care of topically through the right antifungal regimen. The catch here is that with my barriers still being permeable, I can't use anything too irritating. I'm going to try Dead Sea Salt washing, I'll also look into Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar but I've heard those can be irritating.

3) Once the Seb Derm has been taken care of by topical antifungals, that should hopefully allow for my skin barriers to heal properly, maybe with the help of a healing agent. Dead Sea Salt is supposed to be both antifgunal and healing, so I'm hoping that's all I'll need. I've read tons of testimonies claiming it gets rid of Seb Derm.

This post is mainly to seek insight from anyone who's experienced any of this stuff. If you have any advice to share or anything to add please don't hesitate. Thanks!


on April 07, 2014
at 09:57 PM

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5 Answers


on September 06, 2016
at 11:19 PM

Hi, I know it's been a while be the same thing happened to me ! I used retin a for 3 months and it completely damaged my skin barrier and I experience yellow and scaly flakes too. Did your skin heal at this point? please let me know I hope that you're healed by now!


on April 07, 2014
at 02:20 PM

Hopefully someone will answer this for you ..

But my take on this is that heling the gut will allow you to absorb the nutrients from your food and this in turn will heal you skin at least to a large degree ... email me .. jame_football@yahoo.co.uk as I feel like I have been dealing with similar issues.


on April 04, 2014
at 01:03 AM


on April 04, 2014
at 01:03 AM



on March 31, 2014
at 04:20 AM

Have you tried a HFLC diet with topical essential oils in coconut + EVOO?

Decreasing your carbs (especially high-GI carbs) will lower insulin spikes and IGF1 which in turn will lower sebum production. The type of sebum associated with seborrheic dermatitis contains few fatty acids and increased triglycerides and esterified cholesterol, where HFLC will make you a fatty acid / triglyceride / cholesterol metabolizing machine.

I'm not talking about eating a tablespoon of coconut oil or fat somewhere in the day, but more like 9+ or an equivalent. (You have to adapt over the course of a few weeks to that level of intake.)

Peppermint, calendula, and turmeric are among the more interesting oils for topical skin use. (Just last week I read this article, which is fascinating against enveloped acyclovir resistant HSV.) You want to shop for pure pharmaceutical grades and only use a couple drops at a time mixed in with your coconut / EVOO. Raw honey has natural antimicrobial properties as well.

Gelatin soaps are nice. I'd avoid putting vinegar / acids on your skin if you have a tendency for irritations / burns.

You should look into increasing your liver consumption to supply the vitamin A you were prescribed in the past to treat the condition, as well as some copper to hedge against your zinc supplements.

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