1. Treat it like dry skin
Your skin is reddish and flaky . . . so it’s dry, right? Not necesarily! If it is seborrheic dermatitis, then your epidermis has been catfishing you! Surprise! The source of your problem is more like a rash caused by oil/yeast. So fight the urge to just slather it with moisturizers, oils, creams, etc. Certain oils, such as coconut oil, may be useful for the cleaning of your skin, though it shouldn’t be left on. And using a light moisturizer can help with the appearance of those flakes. But overall, don’t go crazy.
2. Flake it off
Think you can just flake off those crusty skin patches and all will be well? Sorry, but no. If you need to spiff up for an evening, sure you can gently peel off the worst flakes but it is a slippery-slope to obsessive flaking off . . . resulting in an even worse appearance than before. Irritation causes more oil to ooze out your pores (nice image, right?) and can just inflame the heck out of your skin. This goes for both scalp and face, or anywhere else. Treat the source of your problem (see derm), not the symptom (flakes).
3. Put up hair when wet, or wear a hat over wet hair
I’ve learned this from personal experience and from commenters chiming in. This logic applies to seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp (dandruff), obviously. When you put your wet hair up in a ponytail or bun, or if you throw a hat on top of damp hair . . . it just creates some weird sort of greenhouse. It’s like your head is all humid and the dandruff becomes this mushy gloop. And your head gets all itchy and maybe oily. I think fresh air is key to keeping flakes at bay.
4. Skip showering or shampooing
A lot of people are sort of anti-shampooing these days. There are even advocates suggesting we all bath much less. It’s true, bathing may be America’s 2nd favorite pastime. And that can dry out your skin and hair, especially with harsh soaps and chemicals in our products. I personally have tried, on several occasions, giving up the shampoo for weeks at a time. I have tried lowering the frequency of my showers. But I have found that seborrheic dermatitis needs frequent cleaning. Certainly don’t over-do it, stripping your skin of all oils. But, in general, you’ve gotta gently wash away the oils that are causing your SD.
5. Give up hope
The truth is there is not “cure” for SD. You’ll probably have to deal with it for years. But it can absolutely be improved! You can have lovely skin again if you explore your options and commit to a skin care plan. I have cried big fat tears because I was embarrassed and ashamed of my skin. I have avoided parties and dates. I have spent tons of money trying to fix it. And after getting educated on the topic and trying a variety of solutions, I’m now able to keep my skin in pretty good shame. People often comment on how great my skin looks. Don’t give up, you’ll find the best way to kick seborrheic dermatitis to the curb.
A while ago, I was shopping in the skincare section of a fancy-shmancy organic-feeling Santa Monica shop and noticed several different packages of something called a konjac sponge. A woman grabbed two for her basket and started raving to me about this wondrous cleaning tool. Her skin looked gorgeous so I turned to Dr. Google for more info.
Apparently, the konjac sponge is made from a porous root vegetable in Korea.
Ew WHAT? I’m using that thing ^ on my FACE?
Once they are transformed from weird root into sponge, they turn into a miracle worker for sensitive skin. With a soft, bouncy texture, it is much easier on your tender epidermis than a washcloth or (shudder) loofah. Dermatologists confirm that konjac sponges can clean your pores, offering a deep clean even when you have makeup, SPF and excess oil to deal with.
I ordered the charcoal konjac sponge ($10) because they may add an extra benefit for oily skin. When it showed up, it was HARD and crusty and I was afraid I was about to take a pumice stone to my delicate skin! But then you run it under water for a minute and it transforms into that soft, bouncy sponge I was promised.
My skin was left soft, glowy and CLEAN, without feeling at all dry. I used some mild cleanser with it and only needed a tiny drop for a rich lather. I honestly love it ALMOST as much as my Clarisonic. I alternate their uses and my skin has never looked better.
I replace my konjac every two to three months. I try to keep it bacteria-free by carefully squeezing out as much water after using and then hanging it up in my bathroom (but not shower). It dries fully before I use it again and then once again transforms into a soft sponge when wet.
Since the konjac sponge gently cleanses and exfoliates, I absolutely endorse it for your seborrheic dermatitis plagued skin.
***This is just my opinion. You may want to consult your doctor or dermatologist before choosing treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. The above link is an affiliate link, but my recommendation is 100% my authentic opinion. Thanks for your support!