Seborrheic dermatitis is most often found on the scalp and face. But it can happen on just about any spot on the body with oil glands. Many people deal with seborrheic dermatitis on their backs, chest, genitals, armpits, neck, arms, legs and other parts of the body.
Personally, I do not have an issue with seborrheic dermatitis on other parts my body besides my face and scalp. But I have a product that I use for other purposes that would work GREAT for seborrheic dermatitis.
If you have seborrheic dermatitis on any random body parts, try Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub. Since it clears pores, kills bacteria, cleans off the sebum, and reduces oil production, it is a perfect foil for the ills of seborrheic dermatitis. Remember, SD is not dry skin, despite those confusing flakes! It’s more close to acne in the spectrum of skin ailments.
Start off using it a few times a week and increase or decrease as needed. If you feel a little too dry, a very light layer of Lubriderm lotion, which is good for both face and body and is a great price. Dermatologists love this stuff and so does yours truly.
- Keep skin clean and dry.
- Air dry well before getting dressed.
- Let skin breath . . . wear loose, comfy, breathable jammies around the house. Or nothing, wink wink.
- PLEASE keep your linens (bath towels and bed sheets) clean. Change often!
- Any topical you use on your face should be safe to use on most body parts. Double check with your doctor. Even your dandruff shampoo can help!
Like I said, I don’t use Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub for seborrheic dermatitis. But I LOVE it as a scrub on those zones susceptible to ingrown hairs thanks to waxing. Yes, that zone. It works! And, one more slightly embarrassing use – on my backside (AFTER I rinse of my conditioner). No more assne if I use it every time. So its a great multipurpose product to have in your shower.
What’s your best tips for random body patches of seborrheic dermatitis?
If you have seborrheic dermatitis on your face, you might be a little skeptical about trying a face mask. Your skin is too sensitive for that, right? Not necessarily! What’s great about a mask, is that it really cleans out those pores. As discussed before, seborrheic dermatitis kinda makes you think you have dry skin, but really its a gross yeasty oily situation oozing form your pores and causing drama. Deep cleaning can help rid yourself of that scourge!
An esthetician even told me I could occasionally do a “course” of deep cleaning. Meaning, I could apply a mask every day for 5 – 7 days in a row. This will really clean those pores. You can do that twice a year. It can clear up acne or seborrheic dermatitis.
Here some that I have personally USED, ranked favorite to least favorite:
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: This is the Internet’s favorite mask. And I have to say that I AGREE!!! It give you a deeeeeep pore cleaning and yet somehow it is actually does not irritate me. It words amazing on seborrheic dermatitis spots or acne zones. Its is a powder, basically dirt! You have to mix it with water or toner (I like Neutragena Acne Stress Control Toner). Do not use apple cider vinegar with it, as many bloggers have recommended. I spoke with an aesthetician and she said that vinegar should never be on your skin, as it will change the Ph balance. The biggest negative is how MESSY it is. For sure buy the mask kit, which makes it easier.
Anna Lotan Soothing Mask: This stuff is awesome! Its more for soothing than for deep cleaning, so I use this when I feel like I NEED MY SKIN TO LOOK BETTER ASAP. It is advertised also for using on a baby’s cradle cap.
Garnier SkinActive Pore Purifying 2-in-1 Clay Cleanser/Mask: This mask is great, because you can also just use it as a cleanser. I use this as my “deep cleaner” whenever I don’t feel like the mess that the Aztec Mud Mask makes. I also sometimes use it as a cleanser when I’m wanting a little more than my usual cleanser.
Dead Sea Mud Mask: I got this mask because I’ve heard a lot of good things from seborrheic dermatitis sufferers who praise the benefits of dead sea salt. This goopy green mask is very gentle, not too harsh. But it also doesn’t give you WOW results. It is a little bit clarifying, and a little bit soothing. But I included it for those of you who are hesitant to try a mask, worried that it will be juts a bit “too much” for your sensitive skin. This is a great first mask!
I saw this while searching Amazon for new products that cure seborrheic dermatitis. Goody makes this copper brush that claims to kill 80% of the yeast that causes dandruff. I was skeptical but it had great reviews and was only around $10. So I ordered it!
So here’s the deal. I use it one to two times daily and saw a MAJOR improvement on my dandruff in just a week. MAJOR. I had actually ran out of dandruff shampoo so I thought I’d go crazy and try using solely this crazy copper brush. (And note that in the past going sans dandruff shampoo/sans any shampoo – I’ve tried it all – has only caused my dandruff to go absolutely bonkers.) I would genuinely say that the brush does more than dandruff shampoo.
The key is to make contact with your scalp more than actually brushing your hair. And you should do it for at least a few minutes at a time. I usually use it before I take a shower, just quickly running it over my scalp while the water warms up. (Do not use IN the shower.) I sometimes bring it with me to the couch while I’m sitting there watching my nightly shows. I will brush for ten minutes and my hair gets crazy. But let me tell you . . . it works!
Now I’m treating my scalp to dandruff shampoo twice a week and this magic copper brush as often as possible and seeing the best scalp I’ve seen in a decade. For real. Give it a try and tell me if it worked for you too!
Got skin drama? The first choice many of us turn to is makeup, right? Unfortunately, when you’ve got seborrheic dermatitis (major redness, oily skin and crazy-dramatic flakes), makeup sometimes makes it worse. With 20 years of seborrheic dermatitis AND makeup wearing experience, I’ve got a few tips. I can’t promise miracles, but try these suggestions for making the most of a scaly situation. (Contains affiliate links)
1. Flakes Be Gone: Makeup on top of flaky skin just does not work. Then you’ll just be wearing flakeup (get it?!). Honestly, no makeup is better than weird beige-colored face dandruff. Gentle exfoliation can help prepare the skin. Now, if you over-irritate the skin it will end up red and oily. But try a konjac sponge, Clarisonic or a product with a very, very gentle scrubby quality. You can carefully pick off the worst of the worst flakes but don’t make things worse!
2. Pat Pat Pat: For all your moisturizers, serums and foundations . . . use a patting quality rather than a rubbing quality. The rubbing can create more flakes. Those little foam wedges work great for this, though they do soak up some product. Use a clean one every day please! Bacteria is like fuel for seborrheic dermatitis.
3. Prime Time: You need something to create a smooth layer over the skin, before the foundation. Try Maybeline Baby Face (about $4.50). I love it! Only use a tiny amount and smooth it on AFTER your moisturizer is dry, then wait until primer is dry before applying makeup. The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is even more amazing, but costs a bit more ($16).
4. Go Green: Since green is opposite red on the color wheel, it helps tone down redness. So as weird as it seems, rubbing on green creams won’t make you look like an alien, but actually might make you look more human. A great affordable option ($10) is L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Anti-redness Color Correcting Primer, which is perfect for an all-over reduction of pink skin. But for a serious fight against glaring red patches, try something like Dermablend’s Redness Concealer. It’s amazing! If you ever find that a green product is just a little TOO green, try mixing it with your moisturizer, primer or foundation for a custom redness-reducing product.
5. Powder with Caution: Only use powder if you are having a flake-free day. It can make your skin look dry and dull. The exception to this rule would be mineral powders such as Bare Minerals, which are used in place of a foundation and can actually look pretty great on seborrheic dermatitis. I used Bare Minerals for YEARS and found that it not only looked good on my skin, but improved my skin’s condition!
6. Try, Try Again: It’s all about trial and error, my friends! I’ve tried dozens of foundations and I’m still looking for something that works. Right now I am loving ELF Foundation Serum.
What is your best makeup tip for seborrheic dermatitis?! Please share in the comments. Most of all, dig deep into your emotional reserves and exude beauty and confidence from within. Honestly, nobody is staring at your flaky nose if you’ve got a big smile, sparkly eye shadow, a dirty joke, a clever anecdote or an act of kindness. Sorry for the cheesiness, but I truly believe that while makeup is fun and can give you a nice boost of spirit, you can be beautiful without a trip to Sephora.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a confusing skin disorder – it’s presents like dry skin . . . but it’s also kinda greasy. It’s red and easily irritated . . . but you can’t just baby it, or you’ll never kill the bacteria/fungus causing all the drama. This makes choosing a moisturizer for seborrheic dermatitis plagued skin a difficult task.
(Contains affiliate links)
For years, I thought I had DRY sensitive skin. I’d SLATHER on thick creams and goopy oils. It would soften up the scales so I thought it was working. But my skin still had a rashy quality and the flakes always came back. I’ve learned that seborrheic dermatitis is really OILY skin, that is somewhat sensitive, but mostly just cursed with a weird fungal rash.
Through much research and a lot of personal trial and error, I’ve discovered some amazing skincare products for seborrheic dermatitis. Let’s start with daytime moisturizers! Three of these hover around $10 so there’s something for every price point.
1. Paula’s Choice Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion: This one is perfect for those of you wanting to treat your seborrheic dermatitis, but you also want to ward off wrinkles. (Not that I’d know anything about that. Wink, wink.) A lot of anti-aging stuff is far too irritating for those of us struggling with SD, rosacea or sensitive skin. This is super light and labeled “For Extra Sensitive Skin.” It provides a matte finish and works great under makeup. Paula’s Choice also makes a similar product with mineral sunscreen added!
2. Cetaphil DermaControl Moisturize with SPF 30: What a catch-22 . . . To protect our skin, we need sunblock. To keep your skin healthy and clean, the last thing we need is sunblock. But wait! I finally found a high-SPF daily moisturizer that smells neutral, offers a matter appearance, doesn’t irritate, won’t clog pores and actually HELPS prevent acne or seborrheic dermatitis flares. This is my day-to-day lotion now, since I spend a lot of time outside with my kids and God got real cheap with the melanin when he made me.
3. Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15: If redness is rival, this should be your daily go-to. It contains extract from licorice root, which soothes inflammation. And of course it is oil-free, fragrance-fee and has a specially-formulated gentle sunscreen added. But the real perk? A subtle green tint which contracts red skin tone! Love.
4. PCA Skin Anti-Redness Serum: This is another great option for reducing redness. Many dermatologist recommend PCA because they use only premium ingredients that deliver excellent results. Though a little more pricy, this serum offers great redness reduction for most who try it.
5. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin: Our most affordable option comes from, this is the choice for you if you just want to keep it simple. Oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance free, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic. Just good, basic, very light moisturizer for sensitive, oily skin.
I’d love to hear your recommendations! What’s your favorite daytime moisturizer?
While discussing seborrheic dermatitis with a friend, she asked if I had looked at my diet as source for a cure. This is a common response these days . . . but I’ll admit I’m a skeptic that food can cure seborrheic dermatitis.
I try to consume lots of veggies, fatty fish, yogurt/kefir (yay probiotics!) and good ol’ H2O. I think (hope?) these simple steps give my skin (and overall health of course) a nice boost. But personally, I’m not willing to make dramatic diet changes in order to save myself from face dandruff. Why? The same reason I won’t make dramatic diet changes to save myself from fatness. Twenty years of dieting (or even the more acceptable term “eating healthier”) have taught me that restriction leads to binges. (Read this great article full of reasons nots to diet.) So for me, no food is off limits.
That said, I certainly understand that some people may really have very real food sensitivities that contribute to skin conditions. One commenter on our site said that pork flares up his skin problems! (A bummer to give up bacon, but worth it I think.) You can experiment on your own or find a good food sensitivity test practitioner.
Eat in a way that feels wholesome and right for YOU. I combed the web to find a few of the most common nutrition cures for seborrheic dermatitis. Do your own research and talk to your doctor before diving in.
Gluten free: Big surprise, right? But truly, dandruff CAN actually be a symptom of Celiac’s Disease. And there are anecdotal accounts of seborrheic dermatitis due to a gluten sensitivity.
Paleo: Did cavemen have seborrheic dermatitis? Hmmm. This diet eschews grains, dairy and sugar. All sorts of health benefits have been touted by adherents to this popular way of eating, including a decrease in dandruff.
Low-fat: Totally opposite of paleo! It is said that malassezia (the yeasty fungus that is destroying your skin/life) feeds on saturated fat. So some have found that reducing the fat in their diet, especially of the saturated variety, sends SD packing.
Alkaline diet: This diet is all about reducing acidic foods, which some believe will aggravate dermatitis. Acidic foods include oats, barley, berries, peanuts, butter, olive oil, coffee, squash, corn . . . ok, the list goes on and on. You can also go to town with alkaline foods like alfalfa, broccoli and pumpkin to name a few. This just sounds complicated. Good luck being a dinner party guest.
Yeast-reducing diet: SD is a result of malassezia yeast, so it’s a just connect-the-dots concept to reduce yeast in the diet. That means giving up baked goods, cheese, mushrooms, soy sauce and all booze. Reduce or eliminate sugar, which promotes yeast. So pretty much everything wonderful in life. Sigh.
Supplements/nutrients: Ah, why not just pop a few supplements? I’m skeptical of vitamins but I did try biotin when I had the post-birth hair loss after my second baby. My hair grew back (thank to the biotin? who knows!) but I did not see a change in my skin. Other supplements touted as miracles for seborrheic dermatitis include folic acid, zinc, selenium, potassium, B12 and fish oil. Probiotics are also a common suggestion from the natural cure crowd. I’m not sure if it helps my skin, but I try to get a yogurt or kefir serving in most days to help my digestive and immune systems.
What diets or supplements have YOU tried to help your seborrheic dermatitis? Have you seen results?
Two weeks ago I sat down and wrote a spring cleaning checklist. Each day I tried to cross off one or two of those tasks, like organizing my junk drawer or scrubbing down my fridge. And I’m feeling so great that I want to take the “spring cleaning” spirit to every area of my life – including my skin.
Confession? I have hardly been washing my face lately. With a new baby, a wild preschooler and a new season of House of Cards . . . I have shamefully climbed into bed in a zombie-like state . . . with zombie-like skin to go along. I can’t believe I’m admitting that I go to bed with makeup (and dirt, grime, pollution, oil) clogging my pores. But it’s true. I’ve been slacking and my skin has been suffering for it.
Here is my skincare spring cleaning checklist:
1. Declutter the skincare: I really don’t need a medicine cabinet bursting with creams and cure-alls. I got rid of everything I didn’t like or didn’t use, along with anything more than a year old. Bonus points for me: I also tackled my makeup!
2. Like, LITERALLY clean the dkincare: If my skincare bottles and facial tools are covered in germs and makeup dust, how much good is it to get my hands covered with that stuff and then go rubbing my face?! Yuck. Warm soapy water and some clean towels made everything look fresh and clean. Oh yeah, and the same goes for makeup, makeup brushes, etc. I also cleaned the storage zones for my toiletries, just because I was feeling a tad overachiever at the moment.
3. Analyze and make a wish list: After decluttering and cleaning, I analyzed what was missing in my skincare products, like an eye cream, a new mud mask and a big stock of nose pore strips, which I’m always running out of. I made a wish list and have slowly started looking for the right products to fill those skincare needs.
4. Set up for success: I created a face-washing station. I filled a cute basket with some headbands, hair ties, bobby pins and clean white washcloths to dry off with. And of course my favorite cleanser and lotions. Instead of having one bottle of cleanser that goes back in forth between shower and bathroom counter, I bought an extra for my shower! If you travel a lot, take this time to have your toiletries bag stocked with all your best skincare items. Make it easy to be good to your skin!
5. Be a realist: I SHOULD wash my face properly before going to bed. But as Voltaire once said, perfection is the enemy of good. So I loaded my bedside table drawer’s with a package of the wonderful Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Wipes. If worst comes to worst I can at least get the top layer of gunk off before heading to sleepy town. I also included a container of Neutragena Acne Stress Control Cleansing Pads, in case I am feeling extra oily and a tad ambitious.
Alright, so now I am feeling a huge improvement in my skincare. Do you have any other steps to spring cleaning your skincare? Comment make me happy and just might cure your seborrheic dermatitis.*
*No, it won’t. Sorry. That was manipulative.
(For your convenience I linked to some products on Amazon. For my convenience, they are affiliate links! Thanks!)