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Seborrheic Dermatitis/Acne Redness

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Hello everyone,

I have been battling skin problems my whole life, it's great to have found a place where I'm not alone. Any comments, recommendations, success stories, etc.. are welcome and appreciated. This condition is depressing and affecting every aspect of my life.

Currently I have been diagnosed with Seborrheic Dermatitis by two different dermatologists. Please see photo attached (enhanced to show problem areas better). I have got the flakiness under decent control, but now I have red patches on my face where I am affected. I also have/get red areas on my face where acne was. I don't care so much if my skin flakes, but these red areas are pretty depressing.


A brief history of my skin problems..

My skin type is combination. My forehead, nose and sides of nose are usually oily with noticeable blackheads in areas and open pores. The area around my eyes is red, has whiteheads sometimes and my lashes are falling out. I have had flaky skin for as long as I can remember. I just thought it was my skin drying out after washing it in the shower, I now know this is because of the Seborrheic Dermatitis. My hands dry out easily and I have had itchy skin for awhile now; scalp, arms, legs, etc. My SD has gotten worst at the age I have read that it usually does, 30.

My Seborrheic Dermatitis started getting worst after I had fractional co2 juvia surgery, mainly the redness is a lot worst and in areas that weren't as red prior. It's been 2 months since the procedure. I had this to hopefully help acne scaring and dark patches on my skin (one of which is shown in the attached photo, main problem area). Hopefully over the next month my collagen will start to come in and make my skin not as patchy, dry/oily in areas. My cheeks especially are dryer after the procedure.

I am vegan, so I have been taking vitamin supplements while now. I have drastically increased my intake as this condition worsened. I was vegetarian (9 years) years before becoming vegan (5 years now). I eat pretty regularly.

I am about 100% convinced this condition is caused my an imbalance in the body. I have been having digestive problems for years. The left side of my body/abdomen is constantly sore. Have had tons of tests done and all come back ok, even though I know something is wrong.

It seems to have also gotten worst since moving to NYC from SF 2 years ago. The winter makes it look drastically worst. It's been a lot warmer the past few days and my problem areas aren't as red. I'm guessing this has to do with the oil levels in the skin.

Currently I am trying the following for my Seborrheic Dermatitis:

- Head and Shoulders + apple cider vinegar + tea tree oil + water mixed. Been using 1 week. Wash face nightly. Seems to have been helping with the flakiness, not the redness (which is more bothersome to me).

- Avene redness relief cream and thermal spray water. Helps a little with redness and the dryness on cheek areas. Again this is a cover-up solution, not getting at the cause.

- Vitamin supplements:

Veglife vegan multiple, L-Lysine 500mg, Vitamin E - 500mg, Calmag, Betacarotene - 2500IU, Flaxseed oil - 1000mg.

- Colonix Pack and Flora Protect.

Hopefully this will help cleanse the bad bacteria, the pains I have been having on my left side and digestive problems/abdominal area pain the past few years. I think it's safe to say that my SD has gotten worst over the past few years and it could be in direct connection to the digestive problems I have been having.

Going to add next week:

- Mitamins Advanced Formula (MAF) for Seborrheic Dermatitis, In combination with the cleanse (mainly colon) I am hoping this helps get my body's nutrition levels balanced.

Have tried:

- Olay gental foaming face wash with aloe, will continue using nightly after if the Head and Shoulders mix does not work. Using both caused my face to dry out.

- Slew of lotions and anti-ance regimes.. baby lotion, Aveeno, radient Nutritioniste skin renew, Aquaphor, cover-up (which I think might make SD worst in area used) etc..

- Doxycycline

Mainly used for acne problems not direcly related to SD. Have tried a couple times over the years. Dries out skin.

- Desonide Cream

Helped red areas from SD a couple days, but this is more of a patch to the problem than actually getting to the root of what is causing it, so I am not using it anymore. Also thins skin.

- Tri-Luma Cream

Used for darkened areas on face, Melasma treatment. Irritates skin.

Used for digestive problems:

- Herbal Guard, Prima Clense, Mens Rebuild, used prior to SD condition worsening to cleanse body.



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Wow, thanks for taking the time to post that very thorough history. I know it's been 2 days since you posted, and I think you're not getting many responses because people are not very familiar with this condition. However be patient, more people will come!!

I am also not very familiar, but I was just wondering if you tried vitamin E oil from the capsules topically. It's simple but effective. Not a cure-all but might tone down the redness a bit.

As for your Head and Shoulders mixture, I think it sounds a little harsh. Maybe just try one thing at a time? People have had luck w/ TTO and ACV but I don't know too many people that are mixing them. As a matter of fact it's possible that one is inactivating the other in the mixture. I've only ever used the HS on my back, never on my face. I think it's just too harsh for the face.

Well good luck with your skin and I hope you feel better soon!!

Updated: 06.03.09


Wash with Eucerin soap free redness control wash in the shower.

Apply: Evoclin foam, Vit E oil on red spots, apply PCA moisturizer. Use Everyday Minerals makeup; mostly just to cover spots (I'm not a heavy makeup user and would gladly go without if I could just get my damn face to clear up).


Wash with Eucerin soap free redness control wash.

Exfoliate gently, with soft scrubby, only if necessary. Apply green cream level 6. Moisturize only if necessary.


Cut out milk and trying to cut out other dairy products.

Flaxseed Oil 2000 mg / daily

Vit E 400IU daily

Multi B Vitamin

Advil as needed for inflammation

Cheers! Here's to clear skin for everyone!!

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I read your post and I have the same issues you described. My seborrheic dermatitis is concentrated on my face. I am also vegan and am trying to find vegan skin care that contains ingredients that will help. If I find anything I'll let you know.

How has the progress been for you? Any suggestions/recommendations you have?

I look forward to sharing and talking with you.


Seattle, WA

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So I've tried a slew of things since my last post and from my experience here's what I can recommend.

Do a cleanse/liver detox/anti-candida program first and foremost.

Take your daily supplements. I take a ton since I'm vegan, but specific to SD I take Vit A, C, D, biotin, acidophilus, L-Glutathione, NAC, garlic pills, oregano pills, a probiotic before meals once a day.

Get your fiber, I take Benefiber. It is extremely important to have regular bowel movements.

Get some sun, very important for Vit D to work effectively and sunlight helps kill the fungus living on the skin causing the redness, flakiness, rash symptoms of SD.

Desonide cream spot treatments when SD problem area(s) become red/inflamed. Use a very tiny amount only when needed.

Moisturize. I feel like I've tried about every moisturizer out there. Use something that is oil/alcohol free and for sensitive skin.

A few weeks use of Dermarest, Head & Shoulders or Daktarin cream on problem area(s). Use every other day or a couple times a week.

Avoid mushrooms, sugar and food/drinks with yeast in them. If you drink beer, avoid beers with high yeast content. I realized the beers that I loved to drink had a high yeast count, which is why they tasted so good. Drink extremely filtered beers like Budweiser, PBR, Coors and light beers (Miller Light, Coors Light, etc).

That's about it, hope this helps someone. I've tried just about every suggestion I could find on these boards and these things seem to be the most important and effective for controlling SD symptoms.

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I will focus on the seb derm issues with this reply. I see you have your own regime figured out, but ill add my 2c.

As for the mixing of ACV (Apple cider vinegar) and HS (Head and shoulders) I wouldn’t advise that, as you have no idea which product is proving effective or ineffective for you; in addition ACV and HS are usually too irritating for most people’s skin.

The effective ingredient in HS is zinc pyrithione (usually at 1%) which is an antifungal agent known to help kill the malassezia yeast commonly thought to be a cause of seb derm. Like wise ACV creates an acidic environment in which the yeast cannot survive.

From my personal experience, the most effective remedies tend to be Ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione both available over the counter in 2% solutions.

For Zinc pyrithone try: ZNP bar, DermaDoctors born to be mild cleanser or as a last resort HS intensive treatment range.

For Ketoconazole try: Nizoral shampoo, 2% ketoconazole cream or possibly Daktarin Gold.

When using to above treatments try them for at least 2 weeks (preferably a month) before you give up on them. And dont mix products at first try one at a time. Also Im guessing that you know not to leave the shampoos on for longer than a few minutes before washing off.

Changing your diet to a low yeast, high fibre and low sugar option may be a good idea as well (as youve said).

Thats all the info I can think of at the moment. Good luck!

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