Oh dandruff. You flaky white devil.
And here’s the first thing you need to accept about dandruff: it isn’t easy to get rid of and you most likely will deal with it your entire life. I sometimes read about someone claiming to have “cured dandruff forever!” Well, good for them. But I’m pretty skeptical that they cured it forever. Like the terminator, dandruff will be back. Especially if the type of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, which is the most common cause of scalp flakes.
You can read my summary on seborrheic dermatitis here, but basically it’s oil and yeast that causes a rash. The rash is itchy, flaky and sometimes red or yellow. So while I know I’ll always be fighting with this obnoxious condition, I have crowned a new hero in the flight against flakes.
I have discovered a NEW FAVORITE product for taking down the scaly beast: Scalpicin 2 in 1. It’s an over-the-counter product that you can sometimes find at drugstores or buy on Amazon. (Get subscribe and save because you’ll want to keep using it. And you need a lot.) Basically its a 3% salicylic acid/aloe/vitamin E solution that comes in a handy squeeze bottle so you can apply it all over your scalp, without it getting your hair grody. Unlike dandruff shampoos, you just leave it on. Back when I struggled with acne, salicylic acid always did the trick (benzoyl peroxide always dried me out and irritated), so I’m not at all surprised that it worked on my seborrheic dermatitis. Remember, seborrheic dermatitis is NOT about dryness. You don’t have dry scalp! You have an oily, yeasty, rashy scalp!
So salicylic acid dries it gently and kills the bacteria. I’m not saying it will work for everyone, but it has done wonders for me. When I got my first bottle, I went a little crazy, applying it OFTEN and LIBERALLY. I used up that entire bottle over the course of a weekend, but you wouldn’t believe the results. Now I continue with my usual dandruff routine (cycling shampoos), but instead of having to do it daily (and with “not bad” results), I use the medicated stuff just 2 – 3 times a week. In between, I use tea tree oil shampoo that I pick up at Trader Joe’s. And my scalp is better than ever. I use the Scalpicin 2 in 1 a few times week.
If you really struggle with the ITCHINESS of dandruff, you might be more interested in Scalpicin Max. This is a hydrocortisone solution so it relieves the itch fast. I haven’t tried it because I don’t struggle too much with the itchies and also because I just love the Scalpicin 2 in 1. To be clear Scalpicin Max does NOT have salicylic acid, so it’s more about relieving your symptoms than curing the source of the problem. However, if you are constantly scratching your head, that will only make the dandruff worse so this product could be YOUR cure.
Good luck and let me know if Scalpicin works for you! It’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to skin/scalp care, so share your results with us. I’d love to hear your Scalpicin review, good or bad.
(This article contains an affiliate link for coconut oil if you are interested in trying this interesting solution. Thanks!)
It’s a bit on the trendy side, sure. Coconuts are everywhere, man! Paleo dieters and vegans alike are buying oodles of the stuff, in the form of flakes, oil, milk and water to make their meals. People are taking shots of oil as a nutritional supplement! And everyone is in love with coconut oil as a skin care product. I used it for nearly a year as a means of helping my seborrheic dermatitis. I posted about it here. A few helpful commenters pointed out that coconut oil is actually . . . GASP . . . comedogenic (aka it clogs your pores). But people on forums and blogs are raving about coconut oil healing seborrheic dermatitis or curing acne. Hmmm . . .
I just had to go on a search to try to get the truth about coconut oil!
Coconut oil is antimicrobial, anti fungal, antioxidant and antibacterial – which is all GREAT for treating seborrheic dermatitis (whether on your face or scalp). It’s also a way to moisturize without the chemicals, fragrances and other irritants that are part and parcel of store-bought creams.
Indeed, coconut oil is comedeogenic aka it clogs your pores! And clogged pores are actually a big element of seborrheic dermatitis. Though I did feel that the worst of my seborrheic dermatitis cleared up while using coconut oil, I did find that the pores on my nose were even more clogged than usual. Also, remember that the while SB seems like dry skin, it is really caused by oil/yeast, so treat your skin more like oily or combination skin than dry skin. So, maybe we don’t need to go crazy with the oily moisturizer? It’s really all about balance.
I think some people find that using coconut oil helps seborrheic dermatitis because of it’s anti fungal/antibacterial properties. And it may have clogged their pores a bit, but it possibly clogged their pores with coconut oil, replacing the yeast, fungus and skin oil that causes the seborrheic dermatitis. Does that make sense? A lot of the raving online is from people who used it for a short time. For example, one woman who had struggled with seborrheic dermatitis on her scalp (dandruff) for her entire life cured it a few years ago by doing a three week course of leaving coconut oil on her scalp for one hour, three times a week. So perhaps there are some benefits that out way the negatives?
My Favorite Solution
I discovered that many people used coconut oil as a FACE WASH and it helped their acne or seborrheic dermatitis! You know how oil and water just do NOT get along? So the idea is that washing your face with water won’t really help remove the oil from your skin. Many experts point out that coconut oil should be used only as a facial cleanser and then rinsed off well. This makes a lot of sense! I’ve been trying this by warming up the coconut oil in my (clean) hands and slathering on my face before taking to my pores with the Clarisonic. I use coconut oil in the morning and in the evenings I use it to remove my makeup quickly before washing with Simple Refreshing Gel Cleanser.
Everyone is different. There isn’t one magic cure for seborrheic dermatitis, and it might just be something you need to try for yourself. I have totally changed the way I am utilizing coconut oil. That’s why I call this The Seborrheic Dermatitis Blog. I’m chronicling my journey to heal my skin and I am not the authority in this manner. But at least I can share my story and the loads of information I collect and we can help each other out with tips and tricks!
You tell me . . .
Have you tried coconut oil on your seborrheic dermatitis? Did it help or hurt? Has adding it to your diet helped your skin condition?
I have made some changes in my skin care routine for seborrheic dermatitis on my face. The more I learn, the better I get at treating my seborrheic dermatitis. The biggest thing I’ve learned in treating seb derm is that, though it LOOKS like dry skin, it is really oily. It needs a thorough yet GENTLE cleaning and LIGHT moisturizing. Here are some of my fave products, and I’ve included affiliate links below. You can trust that these products are what I truly use on my rash-plagued face!
In the morning, I wash my face with Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel. It is mild, yet cleans well. If you are very oily-prone or are struggling with a major seborrheic dermatitis breakout, then you might want to use a toner as well, at least in your trouble areas.
Then I apply two great products for seborrheic dermatitis. First, I use the Boots Anti-Redness Serum on my rashy/red areas. At about $15 – $20 (Amazon is usually cheaper than getting at Target), this is my most expensive product, which I think is pretty good. Plus I only apply a little bit in my trouble areas as needed. It works really well at reducing the redness that usually comes with seborrheic dermatitis.
Then I slather on Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15. It’s just a very basic, non-irritating day cream with the all-important sun protection. Perfect!
After a hard day of motherhood (i.e.: lots of dirt and sweat and stress), I wash the yuckies off my face with my beloved Clarisonic and another dose of the Simple Refreshing Facial Gel Wash. I talk more about using the Clarisonic on seborrheic dermatitis in this post. Then I apply a thin layer of Eucerin Redness Relief, it only costs around $12 – $15 and lasts me two to three months. No need to buy crazy-expensive night creams, people!
I really love both the Simple products and the Eucerine Redness Relief products. If you’ve tried any others, please comment below. I’d love to know – what products help with your facial seborrheic dermatitis?