Seborrheic dermatitis free, 817 days and counting. See what I've been doing

This article will try to go over the basics of available seborrheic dermatitis nose treatments. Aspects such as why facial seborrheic dermatitis typically starts around the nose, potential treatments options and my own personal experience is discussed.

Additionally, one of the most popular treatments discussed on this website can be found here: My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0. It came to be after testing of hundreds of other treatment approaches and methods. And this is the specific method that I’ve been using since August 2015 (with impressive results).

Where Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis Occurs Most Commonly

Based on internet research (both medical and general) the most common areas for seborrheic dermatitis are the scalp, nasal folds, ears and other hair-bearing areas of the face.

For the most part, people believe that this is due to these areas having the most sebaceous activity (sweat and oil production).

Treating seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp (dandruff) is the most straight-forward and widely available dandruff shampoos can quickly produce good results (this post compares the most popular shampoos). However, treating seborrheic dermatitis on the face can often pose a variety of difficulties due to the sensitive nature of the facial skin.

Apart from the scalp, the second most common places for seborrheic dermatitis to appear seems to be the nose and ears.

Why Is Seborrheic Dermatitis So Common On and Around the Nose

The most common explanation is that seborrheic dermatitis occurs on the nose (typically along the sides) because of the heightened sebaceous activity mentioned above. However, I believe it is not as straight forward as that.

Specifically, there is one study that used thermal imagery to examine other possible factors effecting the location of seborrheic dermatitis. This study concluded that seborrheic dermatitis most commonly affected the warmer areas of the facial skin (source). In this photo, you can see it quite clearly.

The heightened facial temperature is likely responsible for attracting much of the bacteria present on the skin surface. As more bacteria accumulate in these warmer patches of skin, the seborrheic dermatitis can become triggered.

Prior to seeing the thermal images of the face, I had a hard time understanding why my seborrheic dermatitis often took the butterfly pattern. However, after seeing the images everything made much more sense. Additionally, you can specifically see that the nasal folds and the inside of the eye sockets appear to be the warmest (darker red).

The Nose Is Exactly Where My Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis Started

Prior to having seborrheic dermatitis on my face, it was present on my scalp. However, at that time I didn’t even know it was called seborrheic dermatitis. Then one day I noticed a strange rash appearing on the right side of my nose.

At first I ignored this strange rash, but it didn’t seem to want to go away. After a few weeks it seemed to be getting more irritated and expanding in size. So, I decided to see a doctor.

The doctor prescribed an antibiotic cream, which was to be used for two weeks. The cream did work and my rash went away. However, shortly after I stopped using it, the rash came back ever bigger.

This time, it actually seemed to be spreading. Fast forward about a year and dozen of different treatment approaches, the seborrheic dermatitis spread to a large poriton of my face. The details of my whole experience can be found here.

If your seborrheic dermatitis is limited to your nose, you’re quite fortunate. However, take into account my story and consider taking a proactive approach before it has the ability to spread further.

Overview of the Most Popular Natural Treatments

Below is a list of the most popular natural treatments based on their popularity online. They are listed in relative order of popularity.

My own approach can be found towards the bottom of this section. It’s all natural and has worked substantially better than anything else I’ve tried.

Apple Cider Vinegar is The Most Popular Natural Treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar for the Nose

This is the most popular natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis around the nose (and other parts of the body as well). However, medical research in this area is very sparse. The only mildly related medical papers I was able to find indicated the use of white vinegar for its acetic acid content. One paper was focused at dogs, while the other is a general overview.

Apple cider vinegar is inexpensive and widely available. When buying an apple cider vinegar it is typically recommended to choose an organic unfiltered apply cider vinegar.

The most popular way to use it, is by mixing it with equal parts water and applying to the seborrheic dermatitis effected area. Once applied, most people recommend leaving it on for ~15 minutes for maximum benefits.

Apple cider was quite effective for me, especially at first, when my seborrheic dermatitits was mainly around the nose. However, it was never able to fully control it or prevent it from spreading. Regardless, many other users praise it for being the ultimate solution.

For further details on the apple cider vinegar treatment approach, check my detailed post here. There is a quite a bit of supplementary information provided by readers in the comments section of that post as well.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) and How It Really Works

Grapefruit Seed Extract for the Nose

Grapefruit seed extract is a supposedly all natural liquid extracted from the seeds of the grapefruit (quite self explanatory actually 🙂 ).

There are are numerous studies (such as this one) which indicate the antimicrobial activity of grapefruit seed extract is actually due to synthetic preservative agents contained in most extracts. All natural extracts, which did not contain the preservative did not demonstrate any antimicrobial activity.

The synthetic preservative agent found in most grapefruit seed extract is benzethonium chloride. The same antimicrobial agent is common in regular hand sanitizers. So potentially, they would produce the same results.

However, even considering these facts, grapefruit seed extract was really effective for controlling the seborrheic dermatitis around my nose. The results were most significant at the very beginning.

For about 2-3 months I simply washed my face with the stuff (the one I had actually foamed a little) and the seborrheic dermatitis seemed to have disappeared. However, after a few months it seemed to loose effectiveness and the skin seemed less health overall (generally pale colour and slight discolouration).

If you do plan on using grapefruit seed extract to treat your seborrheic dermatitis, you might want to take a further look into the safety of benzethonium chloride. This document, states that it is safe and effective for topical application even when applied several times per day for several years.

One medical paper actually concluded that it has broad-spectrum anticancer activity. However, it might actually make sense to simply find a benzethonium chloride based product. At-least this way you can be sure of the exact concentration of it.

Personally, I’ve even attempted consuming it to try and fight the seborrheic dermatitis from the inside. This was based on stuff I read online and before I knew that the active agent was actually Benzethonium Chloride. With this knowledge, it would have been highly unlikely that I would have ever attempted ingesting it.

Raw Honey for the Facial Skin

Raw Honey Jar

This has been one of the most successful natural seborrheic dermatitis approaches I’ve tried for the nose.

Unfortunately when I found out about this treatment, the seborrheic dermatitis had already spread to the rest of my face. Looking back, I wish I knew about raw honey before the seborrheic dermatitis spread past my nasal folds.

What makes raw honey different from regular honey, is that it does not undergo filtration or pasteurization. As a result, it contains many of the natural waxes and impurities (much of which are hypothesised to be antibacterial).

The most common approach seems to be the one used in this study. First a mixture of 90% raw honey and 10% warm water is prepared. This mixture is then rubbed into the skin for 2-3 minutes. Once applied the honey should be left on to the effected skin for about 3 hours and rinsed off.

The 3 hours that the raw honey must be left on the skin makes this treatment rather difficult. Especially, when the seborrheic dermatitis covers a large portion of the face.

A more detailed overview of this approach can be found in a post I’ve previously written, [here]. Additionally, supplementary information available in the comments section of that post.

Dietary Modifications for Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Dietary Changes for Seborrheic Dermatitis on Nose

This treatment approach is quite large in scope. Every one is different and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next.

The general sense behind this approach is that seborrheic dermatitis is the result of an allergic reaction to certain foods or the existance of a specific nutrient deficiency.

Most of my research in this area has been quite confusing. Overall though, most modern medical research suggest that seborrheic dermatitis can be caused by immune dysregulation (basically the immune system is of out whack).

I’m planning to write a post summarized the medical research in this area. I’ve started writing several times, but it has been quite a difficult due to tons of conflicting research. For now this post outlines some of the more common successful dietary modifications as found online.

However, based on how my seborrheic dermatitis spread from around the nose to other areas of my face, leads me to believe it is not as straight forward as diet alone. I strongly believe it’s a combination of immune issues, bacterial infection, and general dissemblances of the skin.

What Helped Me – BIOM8

After having significant success using Restoraderm products for about year, they suddenly ceased to stop working.

Luckily at this time, I was busy writing the seborrheic dermatitis eBook for this website (a free online eBook). The research actually led me to experiment with various ingredients and custom formulations.

This in turn produced a formula that seemed to get rid of my all symptoms after a few short days. I was taken back and was shocked how well it was working. But it was hard to say if these results were simply due to some other factor.

Next, this formulation was sent out to some of the most active community members on this website for testing. The majority of which reported similar results. This blew me away.

Details on this formulation and my regimen can be read here: My Seborrheic Dermatitis Regimen 2.0.

The comments section of that post and the reviews on the biom8 website have tons of supplementary information, so make sure to look throug these as well.

Most Common Medical Treatments

Next we’ll look at some of the most medical treatments used to combat seborrheic dermatitis on the nose. These are not listed in any certain order. The most promosing of these, is Nystatin, which was suggested by another reader (don’t actually have experience with this one).

Hydro-cortisone Cream Appears to Be the Most Common

This was the first type of cream that I was prescribed when I first went to the clinic regarding my seborrheic dermatitis. It worked quickly and the results seemed to be fantastic. However, issues came back quickly and more aggressively than before once usage was stopped.

The biggest issue is that hydro-cortisone products can potentially thin the skin and may not be well suited for long-term usage (source). However, some studies suggest that their relative danger is rather small and has been blown out of proportion (source) Additionally, there seem to be other potential negative outcomes from their usage (source).

Personally, the little bit of seborrheic dermatitis I had around my nose spread rapidly following the termination of hydro-cortisone cream usage. Perhaps it was just a coincidence or perhaps it was related. Regardless, this raised my doubts in relation to it’s long term usage for the seborrheic dermatitis.

Additionally, much of the dermatology textbooks and literature seem to prefer anti-fungal solutions.

Clotrimazole Cream Is Often Prescribed

This was the next cream I was prescribed by a different health care practitioner. Clotrimazole is an anti-fungal agent from the azole category of anti-fungals. They have a significant amount of medical research behind them and are generally viewed as safe for external usage.

For me the clotrimazole worked or about a week, but towards the end of the two week treatment period results disappeared and the seborrheic dermatitis quickly came back (even while I was still using the product). At this point, though, I wasn’t only fighting the seborrheic dermatitis around the nose, but it had already spread to other portions of my face.

Upon further research it seems that from the different azoles, ketacanazole appears to be the most effective (source). The ones tested in the linked study were: ketoconazole, bifonazole, miconazole, clotrimazole, flutrimazole, sertaconazole (listed in descending order of effectiveness).

Based on this, perhaps the clotrimazole was just a poor choice out of the available options.

Here in Canada, these creams are not available over the counter and a prescription is needed. However, Nizoral (a shampoo that contains ketoconazole) is available for purchase in most stores without prescription. My experience with this product was unfavourable as it was far too strong for my skin (more details available here).

If you have any experience with any of the products mentioned in this section, feel free to share in the comments below.

Zinc Pyrithione Cream An Alternative to Using Head and Shoulders

There are currently several creams on the market that contain zinc pyrithione. The one I personally used was from a company called Noble Formula and was purchased from Amazon. My jar is practically full and if your located in Vancouver, BC you are more than welcome to come pick it up (have a bar of the soap you can have as well).

Initially I found a post in which a lady mentioned using Head and Shoulders to treat seborrheic dermatitis on her face. She claimed to have great results and mentioned she had been using it long term. After trying her method I saw great results as well. However, it felt like Head and Shoulders was not well suited for the face.

After a quick Google search, I ended up on the Amazon page for the cream mentioned above. Reviews were highly positive and I quickly place my order.

For several weeks I had spectacular results and I felt that my issues were a thing of the past. However, as time went on, the effectiveness diminished similar to many other products I had tried.

Increasing the amount of applications did seem to help, but overall it felt like the cream made the facial skin very sensitive to the elements. Especially the nose, which at the time seemed to become very susceptible to the sun.

Personally, I feel that zinc pyrithione was not the right thing for me. As I’ve mentioned in other posts I feel achieving symbiosis is the ideal long term approach. However, lots of medical literature support the usage of zinc pyrithione for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis and many people online agree.

Nystain Cream Has Gained Popularity on This Website

This specific anti-fungal was pointed out by a reader of this website (Joakim). Personally, I have not used this method and can’t comment on it’s effectiveness. More information can be found on his page here and several other readers have confirmed it’s potential (in the comments section of that post).

One thing to point out though, is that there appears to be a nystatin resistant strain of malassezia (the yeast/fungus which is presumed to cause seborrheic dermatitis) (source). So this could explain, why some readers report this approach has been ineffective for them.

Other Seborrheic Dermatitis Nose Treatment Options

There are countless other proposed options available for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis around the nose and on other parts of the body. However, after trying an immense number of these proposed solutions (my experience is summarised in this gigantic post), the two below stood out the most. Particularly for usage in the nasal folds.

Sudocream for the Seborrheic Dermatitis in the Nasal Folds

This is a simple zinc oxide based cream designed for treating baby diaper rashes. However, after attempting to use it for seborrheic dermatitis effected skin I found that it worked quite well.

My main issues came from using it on large portions of my face as it was rather hard to remove with plain water. However, for the nasal folds I found I could keep it on overnight and it was relatively easy to remove in the morning. Even if a small amount remained in the nasal folds, it was rather discreet.

From what I’ve seen, zinc oxide is regarded as extremely safe and is documented as not being very toxic even when mistakenly eaten (source).

Conclusion

This article has offered several treatment approaches for seborrheic dermatitis around the nose.

Cetaphil Restoraderm products had the best results for me. Others swear by the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar and raw honey. The medical community mainly suggests commercial anti-fungal products, out of which, Nystatin has gained the most popularity from readers of this website.

If you have want to share your seborrheic dermatitis nose treatment, leave it in the comments section below. Question and further discussion are welcomed as well.

Seborrheic dermatitis free, 817 days and counting. See what I've been doing

About Michael A.

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

Your Guide to Seborrheic Dermatitis

Your complete resource to everything I've learned about seborrheic dermatitis:

What causes seborrheic dermatitis

How to best treat seborrheic dermatitis

Are antifungal treatments the best approach

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36 Responses to “Seborrheic Dermatitis Nose Treatment Essentials”

  1. David W Profile Photo
    David W

    Have you tried the zinc pyrithione bar soaps for the face. They are 2% strength since like scalp shampoos they designed to be rinsed off after 20 or 30 seconds. Some have only 4 or 5 ingredients, shea butter, olive oil etc (as opposed to the harsher shampoos).

    Reply
  2. Renna Profile Photo
    Renna

    The day the doctor prescribed me with betacap scalp application my life changed! Iv been using it for 7 years now and every time it flares up I re apply the product. I even use it in my ears and on the corners of my nose ( which does sting a bit ) when I met my now fiancé 5 years ago he had SD and had suffered for years, he now applies betacap once a month for 2/3 days and that controls it for him. I have SD on my nose and I apply it for around 3/4 days every 3 weeks or so to maintain it, my issue is I wear makeup which makes it flare up – I also die my hair which makes my SD on my scalp go crazy. Try BETACAP let me know how you get on, it changed my life. ( I think you can buy it online ) I have a rolling perscription from the NHS.

    Reply
  3. Julie Profile Photo
    Julie

    Suffering so badly around my nose not just with flaking skin but also large sore lumps
    My skin is always red and inflamed

    Reply
  4. Heath Profile Photo
    Heath

    I have had moderate to severe SD all of adult life and have tried everything. I found this website a couple years ago and I must say I’m very happy with what everyone’s doing. My experience with SD is a long one and I agree with most of the stuff on this website but more recently I’ve tried rubbing Sulphur soap around my nose and cheeks in the shower and it’s worked really well! However like all the other treatments I fear there will the SD will become resistant to it eventually. I still use biom8 every now and then but I’m carefull not to use it too much as the SD’s resilience keeps on growing. I ordered the sulphur soap online from China and it was vary cheap. I just thought I’d share this information on this website to reciprocate all the goodness I have got from it. Gd luck to all 🙂

    Reply
  5. Humberto Silva Profile Photo
    Humberto Silva

    Hello i have been suffering for almost two years, my allergist says this is due to our two dogs which we have had for four years he says the sensitivity was delayed and took about two years for this to come out. Also I have severe inflamation around a good part of my body is this common with SD and also my discharge from my head has a foul smell is this also common
    Thank you for any info

    Reply
  6. Nancy S. Profile Photo
    Nancy S.

    Wonderful articles. Thank you. My problem started after I went away to college, 52 years ago! I never had any problems in my own, home area, with scalp or face, nor did I ever have acne or even a pimple. Shortly after starting school in Buffalo, I started to get scales on the sides of my nose, right greater than left. At first I could scrub them off with a wash cloth. All this time, my scalp remained clear. I was using Breck shampoo at the time which had coconut oil. Breck is out of business, I believe. By the 80s, problems had started on my scalp and the sides of my nose looked like alligator skin. I tried everything available at the time – Sea Breeze Sensitive Skin, straight rubbing alcohol, Neutrogena liquid soap (worked the best at that time). Nothing helped either permanently. A dermatologist put me on Accutane for a while which did seem to help but only for a while. Were I not done having my family, I never would have used it. Fast forward to late 90s when a dermatologist ordered Nizoral prescription shampoo (not the OTC one) plus something called FS shampoo. I was to use both on face and scalp. They worked beautifully, for a while. Eventually the FS Shampoo formulation changed (and worked less well) and then was discontinued. Recently I tried the new Head & Shoulders in the dark blue bottle (with selenium sulfide) and it worked better than anything ever before, on my scalp – BUT I noted my hair getting thinner. I could actually see pieces of it here and there so stopped using it. I went back to Nizoral prescription shampoo but it does not seem to work as well as it once did, sadly, and it seems to make the back of my head smell awful (cannot figure out why). Because of it, I have taken to putting alcohol on the back of my head. As far as the plaques on my nose are concerned, I started using Murad’s Resurgence line. The cleanser has papaya and that keeps the plaques off my nose, thank Heavens, and my skin looks better than it has in a long time. My scalp is another story and is driving me crazy, with some itching bumps coming down onto my forehead. I do note an increase in problems if I consume too many sugary goodies. An article I read recently on the scalp flaking says to use the different types of dandruff shampoos but use a different type (ingredient-wise) every single time you wash your hair, so the fungi do no beckme resistant to the medication within. I bought some coconut oil so will give that a try tonight to see what happens, but I have also made an appt with my dermatologist. Oh there is also a scalp product called fluocinolone acetonide 0.01% topical oil. It is by prescription here in the US and I believe it is a cortisone-type product. You apply all over scalp for 4 hours, cover with shower cap and then wash out with regular shampoo. I will give it a try to see if it calms the itching. The dermatologist told me I have “typical Irish ancestry skin” – too sensitive and with too rapid cell overturn, leading to the plaques on my nose and scalp. If there are any updates after I see her, I will post again. Thanks for all your research.

    Reply
  7. Larry Brown Profile Photo
    Larry Brown

    I’m so tired of all the dead skin on my face Ears,nose,moustache , and of course my hair&side burns.I look forward to learning more from you about this Issue,sincerely.Larry U.S.M.C retired

    Reply
  8. Suzanne Profile Photo
    Suzanne

    Hi where can I buy the Restoraderm Wash and Moisturiser for the Nose and Face. I have looked on the cetaphil website and it just shows a body wash. I look forward to hearing from you

    Reply
  9. Patrick Profile Photo
    Patrick

    I just wanted to thank you for making this site. I have suffered from Seborrheic Dermatitis since 10th grade, and while I was able to keep it controlled in high school it eventually got out of hand. Covering my entire forehead, moving from my nose onto my cheeks, and starting around my mouth. None of my previous treatments had been working. I had given up on finding a treatment and thought I was just going to have to live the rest of my life with my face covered in scale. I went years rarely treating it because everything I had tried failed. I came across your site one day and it inspired me to try some of the treatments listed here. After using ACV to remove the scale and then using restoraderm lotion (a product I had seen but never thought to try) my Seborrheic Dermatitis drastically improved in a few days. Now a bad day is some minor pink that usually goes unnoticed, rather than having to hear comments about how I need to apply sunblock to my face better. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Michael A. Profile Photo
      Michael A.

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for checking and sharing your story.
      Happy to hear about the success 🙂 Hope it keeps improving.
      The Restoraderm worked really well for about a year for me. However, results started to get a little shaky this summer.

      For the past 1.5 months I’ve drastically changed my approach and only use water and product I’ve made myself.
      You can read details here:
      My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen

      Also, if it’s of interest to you. You can find a draft copy of the SD chapter of a book I’ve been working on here:
      All About Seborrheic Dermatitis< It goes into detail on what seborrheic dermatitis is.Hope that helps and all the best!

      Reply
  10. Manish valmik wagh Profile Photo
    Manish valmik wagh

    I m from india and i suffer from seborrhice dermatitise within 4 years

    Reply
  11. Myrna Profile Photo
    Myrna

    I just wanted to say that I get SD around my nasal folds every summer. Usually I just put up with it and it goes away within 2 months of vigilant washing and not wearing makeup. This year it was bad, and spreading fast so I decided to try something new, I found Nizoral shampoo, the active ingredient is an antifungal, ketoconazole, last week and the first use the redness was greatly diminished and itching was gone. I’m now on day 5 of using it and I have a 90% improvement. I don’t know if it will last or work for everyone but it’s helped me at least not be embarrassed to be seen in public the last week. Like I said, my SD is not chronic so it may be different for people who suffer year round. Mine actually clears when fall hits and the heat and humidity go away. I wash my face twice a day with it but I think tomorrow I will cut down to once as it dries the skin quite a bit. Hopefully if you try this it will work for you.

    Reply
    • Michael A. Profile Photo
      Michael A.

      Hi Myrna,

      Thanks for checking in and describing your experience. Glad to hear the Nizoral worked so well for you. For me it totally controlled the SD, but the skin was left looking a little unhealthy, bare and dried out. That was the main reason I kept searching. Kind of wanted to find the least invasive approach to control things.

      I’ve been currently getting a much better understand of SD. Hoping to put this down in writing soon. Basically though, what I currently understand is that our skin (people that suffer from SD) is missing vital anti-microbial fatty acids or peptides. Without these it becomes much more prone to colonization by foreign invaders. Nizoral works by wiping out the foreign invaders, but I think the most effective long-term approach is correcting the faulty skin barrier.

      Thanks again for leaving details on your experience. All the best!

      Reply
      • Myrna Profile Photo
        Myrna

        Hi Michael,

        Just thought I would update as it’s been over 2 weeks since starting Nizoral. I continued using it twice a day and my skin seemed to get worse, but it in a different way. It was red and dry and very sensitive. I figured it was because the Nizoral was giving me a slight chemical burn ( I was leaving it on for 5 minutes and really scrubbing it into my skin) I cut down to once a day and not leaving it on for a few minutes Liked I had been and my skin is back to improving. Flakes and itching are gone and all that remains is a slight pink around my nose. I do think Nizoral is helpful if used in moderation. I feel like it tamed the majority of the beast and made it just manageable enough so I wasn’t stressing about it all the time. Hopefully it continues to improve! I use cetephil as a daily wash btw and try not to put any lotion on.

        Reply
        • Michael A. Profile Photo
          Michael A.

          Hi Myrna,

          Thanks for the update. Yeah, Nizoral is some pretty strong stuff. Perhaps a prescription product containing ketoconazole (specifically designed for the face) could be better, however I have not tried any. Also, it’s been my experience that the less forceful I am when applying anything the better the results.

          I’ve been doing a ton of research in the past month or so and I think there may be a better approach to SD than anti-fungal treatments. Will send an update as soon as I have everything down on paper.

          Hope things keep improving and thanks for the update. All the best.

          Reply
        • CJ Profile Photo
          CJ

          Hi Myrna

          I have been reading your post on seborrhiec dermatitis. I have the flakiness mostly between my eyebrows and sides of my nose. I have tried everything but nothing has worked long term. My dermatologist told me to was my face with Nizoral shampoo. I did this but found it very drying and unbearable but I am keen to hear how you are doing. Are you still washing your face once a day with the Nizoral shampoo? Hope you don’t mind me sending you this message. Thank you

          Reply
  12. Chris Profile Photo
    Chris

    Hi again Michael.

    I thought I would let you know how the Restoraderm was going. I got the free samples in the mail as you suggested. Great tip!

    I ate some known “bad” foods for me in order to put the Restoraderm to the test. (Soy sauce and kimchi.)

    I tried the cleanser and moisturizer for a few days according to your protocol. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any obvious change in my skin. The redness and scaliness were basically unchanged.

    I think the Restoraderm could still be useful on a long term basis but it did not have an obvious suppressing effect on any breakouts. I know that if I stay away from the bad foods, I can keep mine under mostly control.

    Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

    Reply
    • Michael A. Profile Photo
      Michael A.

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear that it didn’t work out.
      When I started using it initially, I was on a super clean diet so maybe this might have played a role. An perhaps the Restoraderm was useful in locking in any progress.
      I’ve been studying their formulation and the patent behind it (https://www.google.com/patents/US20100324111), but basically it’s meant to restore the acid mantel and supplement some missing components of atopic skin (that Watts one has some of these components).

      Here’s a paper comparing different ingredients in most popular moisturisers:
      https://www.worldnewsmd.com/Documents/news/allergy/2013-8-12_789.pdf

      Overall though everything I’ve researched so far has been hinting towards immune system issues. In one study (I can’t find at the moment) they mentioned that once we hit +70 years of age, atopic conditions like SD seem to go away from natural immune system down-regulation and something happening to our t-cells.
      This is such a complex subject though and super frustrating to try to understand.

      I’ll try to add an area on the site where people can submit their trigger foods. Maybe statistics can uncover some similarities.

      Also, here is the digestion chapter outline of the book I’m working on: https://workflowy.com/s/bw29onN3EV
      Let me know what you think (if you end up looking through it).

      All the best and hope you find something that works.

      Reply
  13. Chris Profile Photo
    Chris

    Hi Michael. Thanks for all your work on this topic. I’ve had SD for about 15 years now but not too bad compared with many people here. Just the butterfly effect around the nose. My beard covers up the rest. I’ve tried a bunch of things (anti fungal creams, steroid creams, sea salt, ACV, tea tree oil, etc) but mostly focused on avoiding foods that make it worse. Fermented and spicy foods are the worst for me. Emotions and stress really are a huge trigger also. Which makes me wonder about people here who talk about how something was working for a few weeks or months but then suddenly stopped working. I wonder what was going on in their lives — if stress increased, then that might have overwhelmed their skin even if the regiment they were following was good for them. With so many variables in play, it is hard to pin down the effects of each one through personal anecdotes. Well, that’s what science is for, isn’t it? Haha.

    Currently, I only use J&J baby soap to wash my face a couple times a day. It seems to help and has a calming effect on any food-related butterfly breakouts.

    I may try ACV again but at a lower concentration. I think I used 1:1 before but it irritated it. Some sites talk about starting at 1:10 which is much weaker.

    Sea salt did seem so promising. I know my face has improved whenever I have been swimming a lot, especially in the ocean or a salt water pool. But when I attempted some of the face washes, it didn’t help much and usually made it worse. But that may be a question of finding the right salt concentration for me.

    I hadn’t heard about the Restoraderm so I will put that on my “to do” list. Although its encouraging that some people like you have benefited from it, it’s also maddening that many people don’t have results with it. I wonder if it can actually be put into that category along with ACV or coconut oil.

    Have you tried any of the Vitamin C-based facial serums? Vitamin C is very good for the skin it seems as people rave about its ability to rejuvenate. That is also on my to-do list. But it’s even more expensive that Restoraderm.

    Anyway, thanks for the blog and sharing your spirit of inquiry.

    Reply
    • Michael A. Profile Photo
      Michael A.

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for checking in. Same as you mine was limited to the butterfly and not too much else (also ears and scalp).

      With foods I found a strategy that kind of worked better than avoiding. At-least I think it did. Basically instead of avoiding I just started to focus on what I should be eating, instead. The simple change from what to avoid, to what to eat was quite helpful in reducing and associated stress from food limitations.

      The emotions and stress aspect seem to play into the hormonal aspect of seborrheic dermatitis. And yeah it definitely get’s difficult to pin anything down with so many variables at play.

      After learing a bit about skin cell microbiology I think a piece of this, which is not often mentioned, is how some of these cells and bacteria work. About 90% of the individual microbial cells found on the skin are actually dormant (metabolically inactive). So some of these treatments that target the reproduction mechanism of the bacteria are really only effective on the active ~10%. Now how much of these 10% might be bad and how much are the good ones that are protecting our skin? So perhaps some of these treatment approaches can seem effective as that 10% is killed off, but what happens? As the inactive cells activate perhaps the ratio of good to bad cells becomes disrupted even further and the SD actually progresses.. This avenue of research is quite interesting and has only been gaining momentum in recent years (due to technological advances).

      Yeah, for the ACV and the sea salt I think pin pointing the exact concentration can be of benefit. For the sea salt I would image trying to mimic natural salt water salinity would be the best. In a majority of medical studies a concentration of 5% is used (source). As for ACV, it’s hard to imagine what the perfect ratio would be and I wish more research was done in this area.

      As for the Restoraderm, I contacted them earlier this week about samples. They said I should tell Canadian readers to contact them at questions@cetaphil.ca and they can send out samples. Hopefully, your in Canada and can benefit from this.

      Yeah, I attempted making my own vitamin c serum on a few occasions as I read that it’s better made fresh. It didn’t really do much for me, except sting the affected areas. Vitamin C seems quite good internally though and I noticed it had an effect of reducing the heat sensation. If I was to go down this route again, I would probably try something like this or this. I’ve got a gut feeling that arginine has a large role in the effectiveness of the Restoraderm. However, I haven’t tried these products myself.

      Hope that covers all your questions. Perhaps join the community to discuss things further. Best of luck.

      Reply
      • Chris Profile Photo
        Chris

        Thanks for your reply. I will check out the forum for sure. I’m in Toronto, so I will contact Cetaphil and try to hit them up for samples. Thanks for the tip!

        The sea salt thing was frustrating because I tried several different concentrations. I did mix it to 3.5% salinity which is standard for most oceans but it didn’t do anything. Sometimes it made it worse. Odd because I know swimming is beneficial. But I wonder if I just liked swimming and that reduced my stress and THAT was the reason my skin cleared up. What a puzzle. But the literature seems fairly decisive that mineral salts are good for the skin. Whether they are good for facial skin could be a trickier question.

        Bummer about the Vit C. I would definitely consider the commercial cosmetic preparations because dismissing the whole concept. The Watts stuff is cheaper but it doesn’t specify it is 20% Vit C which is sort of the industry standard (e.g. Oz Naturals). But the reviews are positive so that’s something.

        The food thing has to work for you. Whatever works — that’s good. I’ve learned that no matter how many healthy and good things I eat, it all counts for nothing if I’m eating salads with a lot of vinegar or sushi with soy sauce or kimchi. Those fermented things get me every time! I can cheat a little now and then and I’m none the worse for wear.

        Reply
        • Michael A. Profile Photo
          Michael A.

          Yeah, let me know how the samples go. It would be interesting to hear if they actually mail them to you.

          As for the salt, perhaps it’s the iodine content as well. Or maybe it’s just the complex natural composition of sea water (full with it’s own diverse range of microbes). It’s all just guessing though.

          The only reason I found the watts stuff is because I was doing some research on topical arginine. It’s supposed to be good at improving circulation and nutrient delivery to the top layer of the skin.
          Plus the hyaluronic acid has lots of good stuff written about it. Check out the clinical significance section on wikipedia.

          Let me know what you end up getting and look forward to any updates.

          Reply
          • kanishka Profile Photo
            kanishka

            Sir for the first time in my life I ve been diagnosed to have seborrheic dermatitis present around nasolabial fold, it’s been 7days I got it n m on topical corticosteroids.. So this disease won’t go n ve to live with it right??

            I don’t know what made it come
            Previous to it I was on oral steroids for 10days, had acne all over my back n chest n shoulder n I stopped steroid which was prescribed for my disc disease.. Then this started
            Please guide me what do I do from now only

          • Michael A. Profile Photo
            Michael A.

            Hi Kanishka,

            I’m sorry to hear that. Hard to say if it ever goes away or not.
            For me it has been gone for about a year. Last week I actually forcefully made it come back by testing out a certain dietary approach I’ve been working on for this site. However, the dietary thing still needs further testing from the community.

            For now perhaps you may find some useful information in the “Overview of Seborrheic Dermatitis Face Treatments” post. The last few sections cover what worked for me and the Restoraderm products seemed to be fairly effective for many others as well (you can find feedback in the comments).

            Additionally, for the dietary approach you can find a link and password to access it in this comment. But, this approach still needs testing by others in order to determine it’s overall effectiveness.

            Hope that helps and best of luck!
            PS. I’m sure you will be able to get things under control.

        • Michael A. Profile Photo
          Michael A.

          Hey Chris,
          One thing just came to mind a while back, but I haven’t mentioned it on the site yet.

          A bit ago I had some nasal congestion and bought some saline nasal spray (0.9%). It seems like it would be perfect as a facial spray instead.
          It’s a really fine mist, so spraying this onto the face seems like an appealing method of salt water treatment.
          The one I bought was a little more expensive, but it’s actual sea water that has been sterilized and they claim on the package it contains all the other trace minerals.

          Here is the exact one: http://amzn.to/1K1WKNz. It’s way too expensive on Amazon though.
          Mine was around $10 CAD at a local store.

          Haven’t tried it on my face though (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it).
          Just thought I should share.

          Reply
          • Chris Profile Photo
            Chris

            Cool idea about the sea salt nasal mist. I will keep it in mind.

            Just to you know, I contacted Cetaphil and they got back to me in a couple of days. So they are sending me the samples. Woo-hoo!

            Also, I did try to sign up for the forum but never received the confirmatory email. Not sure what happened there.

          • Michael A. Profile Photo
            Michael A.

            Great to hear. Will include that information on the site somewhere.
            Thanks for confirming and glad to see you on the community 🙂

          • Chris Profile Photo
            Chris

            I figured out the forum problem. Just a typo with my email address.

  14. Sarah Profile Photo
    Sarah

    Hi Michael,

    After 3 weeks of l-glutamine and both Restoraderm products twice a day, the SD is back and stubborn as ever. Because there is so much conflicting information, it makes the condition all the more frustrating. I was reading the comments on your website the other day and was thinking back to when my SD first started. It too started on my nose and spread from there. My dermatologist insisted it was due to an over abundance of yeast on the skin. That got me thinking the other day that for me, something topical isn’t enough. My body was producing or allowing the yeast to live and multiply. With this thiught, I went to my local drugstore to the feminine aisle. There are many products out there for yeast infections. As I didn’t want anything topical, I opted for a product called Azo Yeast Plus. They are tablets with a probiotic that claim to help with symptoms of yeast infection. As it was over the counter I thought, why not try it? I have been taking 3 tablets a day and am on day 5. After 5 days of aggressive flaking, my SD has “shed” itself. I barely recognized myself in the mirror this morning. I apologize that I haven’t included links to the product, I am travelling and typing this on my phone. If you search Azo yeast plus, you will see its readily available le in many stores. I don’t see any reason why men can’t take this product but I don’t know enough about it to make recommendations. I just want to share what has finally worked for me after 18 months. If you also search azo yeast and dermatitis, I had stumbled on an online forum where one woman also claimed it worked for her but wasn’t sure why. I hope someone finds this information helpful. And lastly Michael, I applaud your dedication to all of us suffering from this. I imagine everyone that comes across your website finds it a true comfort. All the best.

    Reply
    • Michael A. Profile Photo
      Michael A.

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the update.

      Sad to hear that the combination didn’t work out for you. However, it’s the perfect example of “everyone is different”.
      If you’ve noticed from this post, I’m doing a substantial amount of research on the subject now. Truly hoping to uncover something significant.

      However, it’s quite intense going through so much conflicting research in the area. Plus, lots of the papers have a ton of scary SD photos (which can be quite hard to look at, I even try to cover them up as I’m reading the paper).

      In terms of the yeast, I definitely thing it’s part of the problem. However, my hypothesis regarding the whole issue is not as clear cut.

      As for the Azo. Funny enough, I’ve tried the product. The main overview post failed to mention this. Identical to you, I found it on that forum (it was the only place that it’s results for SD were mentioned). Additionally, there are a few Amazon reviews on the product saying it worked to clear some skin infection for them (don’t believe it was seborrheic dermatitis, but other dermatitis, skin infection, toe nail fungus).

      For comparison, here is the one I was using. Unfortunately I don’t have the box anymore and the packets don’t list the ingredients.

      My experience with the product was rather short lived. I started taking 3-4 tablets a day and my seborrheic dermatitis improved.
      After about a week or so things go really good. So, I bought 2 more packs just so I didn’t run out (I’m in Canada and had to pick it up at a mailbox across the border). A few weeks in the effects started to wear off. To try and combat this I upped the dose to around 5-6 tablets a day. To be honest I don’t quite remember if increasing the dose helped initially, but in the end the SD was back. I kept taking the Azo tablets for a while longer, but they were longer having any effect. In a way I have to apologize for sharing this, as it might cast doubt (and effect results). However, I really hope that they work for you indefinitely.

      A few more things regarding the Azo. I’m not sure if the one I was taking was the plus version. Perhaps, I could dig up my old Amazon reciept and find out. The packaging looks the same except without the “New Formula” part. Looking at the ingredients list, their new formula doesn’t seem to contain bacillus coagulans, which I remember 100% mine did. Back when it was working, I hypothesized that it was the bacillus coagulans combined with the fractioned coconut oil which made it effective (both have been shown to be good at controlling yeast). Personally, I’m a skeptic to homeopathic stuff, so I didn’t take the active ingredients listed as active into account (The [dilution](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathic_dilutions) of homeopathic medicine just doesn’t make sense to me). Prior to Azo, I’ve actually tried bacillus coagulans on it’s own from Thorne Research. Strangely enough, it didn’t do anything for the SD on it’s own. It did improve my general sense of well being though (particularly energy levels).

      Didn’t expect to write such a huge reply :). Hope it helps. All the best and stay in touch. Look forward to hearing about any progress you make.

      Reply
      • Sarah Profile Photo
        Sarah

        Hi Michael,

        Thank you for your response. Another frustrating aspect of SD, at least for me are the number of things that seem to work, at least at first. I am thankful that you shared your experience with Azo because it’s a lesson to me to try something for an extended period of time before reporting it’s success. So in a way, I am to apologize for posting my experience so quickly. I will keep going with my existing regimen and report back. Any suggestions/recommendations from you or others how long you use something before deeming it effective or ineffective? Obviously if the SD subsides and then returns, I would consider it an ineffective product but since you have been SD free for quite some time, I would appreciate to hear your thoughts. Many thanks.

        Reply
        • Michael A. Profile Photo
          Michael A.

          Hi Sarah,

          Yeah, it’s probably the single most frustrating components of SD. Also likely why there is so many of these different treatments sprinkled around the internet (with very little follow up information).

          Really hard to say, but overall it feels like anything past 3 weeks is good.

          Look forward to any updates.

          Reply
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