Sorry for the lack of response. I have purposely let the seb derm go back into remission so I could try new things, especially since I wanted to go off the saw palmetto due to side effects and fear of damaging r liver/pancreas.
What helps to improve:
Pure (Japanese exfoliatior, apply on skin then just rub away.)
Dermadoctor BTBM Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (mix this with small amount of BTBM as it has no SLS.)
Baking soda plus water paste (leave on 10 min, then wash off. Flakes disappear fast)
CeraVe PM Lotion (apply after cleanser)
Ozonated Coconut Oil (this wont break you out and it has oxygen to kill any fungal infection deep into the skin. Coconut oil is the only oil perfect for antifungals because it has less oleic acid, which malassezia thrives on...or so says online. Also very good at removing flakes due to oil cleansing method. Similar to Pure.)
saw palmetto works for me but again I'm getting off of it. I don't want to be taking a blood thinner all my life.
It's tough and I feel for ya. It's definitely a bigger picture and your skin represents what's going on inside the body. At least you know what potentially and most likely is causing your problem. I recently tested for any potential thyroid problem but mine came back normal so I'm up in the air onto why this it's suddenly coming back for me. I think Lotrimin Ultra was a placebo. I would not touch or alter anything with your skin. Just wait for it to heal. Hopefully you have more news on any new discoveries.
I'm sorry to hear about your thyroid cancer. Wow, so this is definitely a puzzle but I think it's coming together.
Rheumatoid factor usually pops up because of inflammation and it's basically your body's own immune system attacking itself and making these antibodies to attack your own cells. I think in your case, somehow, it's attacking your skin cells and perhaps other cells as well. Now for the thyroid cancer ,I can't see the connection between RF and thyroid cancer but I do know the thyroid regulates hormones and can affect the skin dramatically. You know, hypothyroidism can cause seborrhea and psoriasis too, in which case you need thyroid hormone like Synthroid. I would advise you not to take anything that affects hormonal issues like saw palmetto. It just messes with the system. What exactly has your doctor said? Do you have hypothyroidism? Hyperthyroid? Are they going to do a thyroidectomy to remove the tumor? Have they started you on medication? Let me know, I'm curious.
I'm no doctor so I can't say how to treat it. But if seborrheic dermatitis or dermatitis in general is secondary to another cause then of course you want to treat the primary cause. Maybe my seb derm went away for awhile not because of the Lotrimin Ultra but maybe because my esophagus got better and my GERD didn't come back for weeks. I really can't tell you and that is why each of us needs to know our bodies very well in order to solve our health problems.
Wicky, have you tried a gluten-free diet? And baking soda (leave on for 3 mins) paste?
Gluten is in everything. Perhaps you might have non-celiac gluten allergies or some sort of auto-immune disease where your body is attacking its own skin cells and causes excess shedding/flaking, sort of like psoriasis. I just know it has to be internal.
For seborrheic dermatitis sufferers, I suggest trying Lotrimin Ultra. It helps tremendously. Unlike the azoles which are downright scams, the main ingredient in Lotrimin Ultra is a viable fungicidal. The azole class only surpresses the fungal growth. Fungicidals get right down to the dirt and kill the fungus. It's worked wonders for my skin but the ingredients in it like petroleum I am allergic to, causing me to break out a bit.
I have been clear for weeks now without applying anything thanks to Lotrimin Ultra, however, it's coming back again. I just wonder for myself - if this is some sort of autoimmune problem in my skin that causes the barrier to weaken, therefore leading to an increased risk of fungal infection. Or it's the environment I'm living in. (83% humidity, winter near the mountains).
Sounds more and more like an internal issue. You know, I read about a study saying there's this bacteria that clumps up and gathers in the pore leading to what looks like a keratin/sebum plug. If I find it I will post it. I don't think it was demodex. Demodex Releases a bacteria that triggers an inflammatory response from the skin. Serb derm and rosacea are both related. Even though it appears dry, if your skin is oily then it can cause the seb derm flakes to sprout up. To me, you have combination skin.
But I think you have an internal issue especially with the hormonal imbalance. A hormone cream will not work neither will a moisturizer. Even your cleanser wont work for the long run. it works temporarily but only masks the symptoms. Same with PDT that i mentioned earlier. Skin problems with an impaired barrier are mostly internal issues. You should talk to your doctor about the hormonal issue and thyroid problems. There could be an inflammatory response due to an autoimmune problem where your body's immune system is attacking its own cells. Your impaired skin barrier may be a sign of that. Increase in RF is usually a sign of rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, and other related conditions. Last time I checked, autoimmune diseases like RA or the EE that I mentioned earlier are potentially connected with psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. Those are just signs on the surface of an underlying problem in your body. Add hormonal imbalance to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Hormonal imbalance is usually oily skin.
If you tried so many alternatives, antifungals, anti bacterials, and a boat load of topicals and supplements with no results, you may have stop whatever regimen you're doing to prevent further exacerbation of inflammation on skin (seb derm and rosacea can be prolonged due to cosmetics and topicals) and follow on proper diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause.
When you remove these plugs, what's under it? The pore I mean. Any blood? If they resurface, it's probably an internal issue meaning gut, hormonal, or dehydration. What has the derm say?
It sounds to me your skin may simply be dehydrated or something's bothering the skin barrier. Unfortunately, This can go both ways - external like mites or internal like hormone imbalance. FYI, if your skin is dehydrated, oils do not work. You should hydrate your skin internally by drinking lots of water or using hydraluronic acid capsules. You should try minimizing pores to see if it helps. Maybe try PDT. It's better than Accutane with less side effects. Let me know how SP works for you.
SkinZinc spray. I stopped that too because I couldn't bear the burning and I tested it for about a week. No luck. Neither with the Salicyclic acid creams. I'm allergic to SLS so there's no point to using Crotamiton. To my surprise, the remaining flakes/plugs or whatever disappeared after using Selsun Blue on my chin despite the irritating ALS. Still some here and there but no where near as bad as before. I think weather seems to help some too, because where I live, the low humidity inhibits growth whereas during the summer, it was hot and humid which caused a huge outbreak of seb derm on my chin...or so it seems. At that time, my hormones were raging too and I had extremely oily skin.
Environmental: Look @ weather, stress, dust, dirty hygiene
Internal: GI problems like EE, lack of good flora, sleep deprived, malnourishment, hormone fluctuation, vitamin deficiency, etc.
External: Look at fungal or possible mite infestation
Overall: Dry, non-oily skin = seborrhea will likely stop...Externally, nothing can feed on skin because little to no sebum. Internally, you're supporting your body's largest organ by eating correctly, getting all your normal vitamins, balancing your hormones, etc. Environmentally, you're checking your surroundings for potential causes.
Crotamiton 10% was a step in the right direction as it seemed to have gotten rid of the flakes (or it could've been the saw palmetto) but it actually irritated my skin very much due to the SLS. I have pimples because of it near my chin. So I discontinued use.
The Salcura DermaSpray did not seem to do anything. It made my skin oilier, which actually is good for mites/dandruff. So I also discontinued that. There was no indication that this would treat Democidosis or Seborrheic Dermatitis anyway, just a product I wanted to try out.
Saw Palmetto seemed to have the greatest effect, by reducing sebum production. That and Green Tea. I have the problem mostly around my chin and upper neck area, which tells me this is a hormonal problem, I think.
Now I'm testing Zinc Pyrithione. I tried the soap but it broke me out so now I'm trying out the spray to see if it has any effect. It burns but goes away in 30 minutes. Can't say for certain if it's working or not.
Do you have a gut issue like GERD? You are taking quite a handful of supplements, have you seen any remarkable improvement with those? I took supplements just like that and ended up breaking out even worse. When you take supplements, your body is like “WTF do I do with this?” It helps some, but not a whole lot compared to regular whole foods that the body can recognize and easily digest. It’s difficult to self-diagnose GI problems.
I forgot to mention that I am taking ACV and Aloe Vera to calm my GERD and it is helping in combination of Saw Palmetto which is reducing my sebum production on my face. Fixing GI problem + reducing sebum production = success. If seb derm is an indicator of GI problems, then this may very well be my GERD. Aloe vera helps coat the LES while ACV helps to better digest foods. For the past 3-5 years I have been chewing food fast and eating carelessly. That’s a no bueno.
I think you have a hormonal imbalance if you broke out taking Saw Palmetto. Do you have oily skin? Sebum overproduction = hormonal imbalance. I know because I abstained from masturbation in conjunction with Saw palmetto and saw good skin again although flakes/sebum plugs persist on chin but only a smaller amount now. If you can find something else to reduce sebum production, then it may very well help you. It doesn’t have to be Accutane but something else. For that, I would not know what works for you but keep on trying to find one that works.
What you said about the mites are true. When they are abundant and die, the bacterial toxin B. oleronius causes inflammatory response from our skin. There’s a connection between this and Rosacea. But how else can you kill mites/bacteria? If you take Antibiotics its only targeting the bacterial problem, not the mites. For that, you need anti parasitic drugs like Permethrin 5%, oral Ivermectin, Benzyl Benzoate, or Crotamiton 10%. If you break out initially, it may be a good thing because it’s killing the mites. However, because the mites lay eggs inside our sebaceous glands and it takes a week before they hatch, it may take some time before the breakouts stop. This is my theory though. I believe some drugs target mites and eggs which would be beneficial. The goal ultimately is to reduce their numbers.
To sum it up:
1. Reducing sebum production – Reduces seborrheic dermatitis and mite infestation (cutting off food source)
2. Fixing GI problem – Seb derm is a sign of a GI problem like Esophagitis and GERD. Fix that, and the seb derm goes away with time.
3. Covering up – I only recommend plucking flakes/sebum plugs with tweezer when going out. You could substitute with greasy occlusions to smother the mites and let them die but in turn, it causes breakouts. It’s only good short term. If it’s a long term problem like mites or GI issue, then it’s no good doing this. I have experimented with this in Vaseline and Shea Butter. If anyone else have ideas to “cover up” let me know.
Update Day 4 (Day 2 on these products):
Crotamiton 10% on one side got rid of several plugs but maybe they got removed while I'm tossing and turning in bed. Not sure. I felt a burning sensation whenever I applied this on. It has to be the SLS in it. The brand name is Eurax from the UK.
The Salcura DermaSpray with the Seabuckthorn oil as the main ingredient ....I can't say for certain it's working since alot of the ingredients in it are oils and oils feed mites. This can be contraindication.
I'll give it a week of experiment before I decide if topicals are working or not. If they do not work, then I do not have a mite problem after all..or rather, I'm cutting off their food source by reducing sebum. . But other than that, my improvements are due to Saw Palmetto, abstinence of masturbation (anything that can cause hormonal imbalance in your body), and eating the right way (fermented foods, aloe vera, ACV, etc).
Hard to say. I don't have any crusting right now but I did a year ago. I don't know what could attribute to the crusting though. Perhaps humidity?
For those of you who's Seborrheic Dermatitis is not resolved by conventional means (antibiotics, antifungal creams, supplements, steroids, strict anti-candida diet, changing toothpaste, washing pillows, and so on), you may want to look into Democidosis. Democidosis can mimic seborrhea and rosacea. Basically, it's mites that live on our skin and it's the abundance of these Demodex mites that are causing the sebum plugs, acne, and flakes. It may be common if you live in a dusty household or you don't wash your mattress or pillow, etc. There are two types of mites - one that lives in our hair follicles and one that lives inside our sebaceous glands. They feed off sebum so if you have oily skin, this might be it. Other criteria are - crawling or stinging sensation, especially at night or flushing of skin. Democidosis is closely related to Rosacea and there's alot of research ongoing about it. Alot of derms do not recognize Demodex as the problem since they are not taught in the medical books about it, but the new research should shed some light on it.
I'm still a little skeptical of it myself but right now, I am experimenting with a few products. I am taking Saw Palmetto to reduce the sebum production on my chin where the flakes and plugs are and so far, I've seen a good 20% improvement. It's been Day 3 for me. Today, I'm tackling the problem topically with Crotamiton 10% (it has SLS though..) and a spray that uses Seabuckthorn Oil and other star ingredients from a British skincare company. I'll try to update if I see any improvement or not. I've tried so many natural alternatives and prescriptions like Finacea, Loprox, Ketoconazole, Econazole, oral Diflucan, antibiotics like Minocycline, and saw no improvement whatsoever. So I am hoping my solution works and it is the mites that's causing me havoc.
So yeah, just wanted to let others know if the Seborrheic Dermatitis isn't resolved by conventional means, then it is something else like Democidosis. It can even be GI related like the so called Leaky Gut Syndrome. I personally don't believe it, but 2 weeks ago, I had Allergic Esophagitis secondary to GERD and the doctor pointed me out that there is a connection between the seb derm I have on my face and the esophagitis, hence why I am taking antihistamines and trying to fix my GERD. Research, research, research!
Edit: I am also doing the following:
-Anti-mite pillow cover/mattress
-No supplements, vitamins by food sources only.
If I saw 20% improvement by Day 3 just by the Saw Palmetto alone, then I believe it will work for everyone if you simply use anti-androgen sources or something like Accutane to reduce sebum production. I'm just going the extra mile by assuming it's a mite infestation so I'll keep up to date if my trials work.
Thanks for that. I tried Milk of Magnesia and surprisingly it got rid of ALOT of flakes though some still remain but it almost looks like it's just dry skin, which I think it is. MoM has a high alkaline level and I left it on for more than 5 minutes to dry. Taking it off was difficult. I think now I have super dry skin lol. There's no oil whatsoever.
Thanks for the azelaic acid idea, I'll look into that. It beats paying hundreds for something not yet proven for my skin.