Discover my current regimen (since August 2015) more info

Exploring the Potential of Aloe Vera for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis, a common skin condition, is characterized by large flakes of scalp skin that are visible within the hair or on horizontal surfaces below the hair. It’s often associated with excessive oiliness and irritation/redness of the scalp []. This condition affects seborrheic areas of the body, including the scalp, face, retroauricular area, and upper chest. It’s characterized by flaking, scaling, inflammation, pruritus (itching), and erythema (redness) [1].

In this article, we’ll explore how aloe vera might be used to help manage seborrheic dermatitis.

TLDR: Aloe vera, with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, shows potential as a natural remedy for seborrheic dermatitis, alleviating symptoms like itching and scaling. However, a patch test is advised due to possible allergies. Lifestyle changes and conventional treatments also help manage this condition.

The Power of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties [2]. These properties could potentially help in reducing the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. Aloe vera contains bioactive compounds that exhibit emollient and antioxidant properties which can soothe the skin and reduce inflammation [3].

Topical application of aloe vera has been found to be effective for seborrheic dermatitis as it can help in reducing itching and scaling [4]. However, it’s important to note that some individuals may have allergic reactions to aloe vera so patch testing should be done before using it as a treatment.

Other Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel has several benefits for the skin. It’s effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced hyperpigmentation (CIH) [5]. The gel can reduce the visibility of hyperpigmentation and can be used as a topical treatment for CIH [6].

Aloe vera gel also has moisturizing properties due to its vitamin E content, which can help increase skin elasticity [2]. Additionally, aloe vera gel contains antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids and saponins, which can support in increasing skin elasticity.

Furthermore, aloe vera gel can be used in cosmetic preparations such as:

  • Hair tonic
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Shampoo
  • Creambath
  • Liquid soap

It’s also been found to be effective in reducing phototherapy-related side-effects in vitiligo patients.

The Role of Aloe Vera in Seborrheic Dermatitis Management

Aloe vera could be considered as an alternative or natural remedy for managing seborrheic dermatitis due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Applying aloe vera gel to affected areas may help reduce itching and scaling associated with seborrheic dermatitis [4]. The frequency and amount of application would depend on the severity of the condition.

While more research is needed to fully understand the clinical effectiveness of aloe vera for seborrheic dermatitis, initial studies suggest that it could be a potentially safe and effective natural remedy for managing this skin condition.

How to Use Aloe Vera for Seborrheic Dermatitis

The most common way to use aloe for seborrheic dermatitis is as a topical treatment. Look for pure, 100% stabilized aloe vera gel from the health food store. Gel sold in tubes may contain preservatives so check the ingredients list. Or snip a fleshy leaf from an aloe plant and scoop out the fresh gel within.

Frequency: Apply aloe vera gel to affected areas 1-2 times per day or as needed for itchiness.

Amount: Use a liberal amount to moisturize the skin sufficiently.

Gently massage the cool gel into patches of seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, face, ears, chest, or other locations. Allow it to soak in for a few minutes before washing off any excess. Some people report best results leaving aloe gel on overnight then rinsing it off in the morning.

Safety Considerations

While aloe vera has been found to be generally safe for use in various applications, some individuals may still experience allergic reactions [7]. Therefore, it’s recommended to perform a patch test before using it as a treatment for seborrheic dermatitis.

Studies have shown that aloe vera gel is safe and fairly effective in the treatment of stable vitiligo [7]. The gel has also been used as an edible coating on fruits and vegetables, acting as a barrier for gases and water vapor and extending their shelf life, without any safety concerns [8].

Conventional Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Conventional treatments for seborrheic dermatitis include topical antifungal agents, mild topical steroids and immunomodulatory agents like tacrolimus and pimecrolimus [9]. Additional therapies include lithium gluconate/succinate, salicylic acid, sodium sulfacetamide, glycerin, benzoyl peroxide, mud treatment, and phototherapy [4].

Lifestyle Changes for Managing Seborrheic Dermatitis

Modifiable lifestyle factors play a critical role in the onset and progression of skin diseases including seborrheic dermatitis [10].

Lifestyle changes that can help manage seborrheic dermatitis include specific dietary patterns and total antioxidant capacity. A high fruit intake was associated with a lower risk of seborrheic dermatitis, while a “Western” dietary pattern was associated with a higher risk [3].

In addition to diet, making further changes to your daily habits may help keep seborrheic dermatitis under control:

  • Manage stress – Lowering stress can help reduce flare-ups. Try relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises.
  • Wash with a gentle cleanser – Limit washing to once a day and use mild, fragrance-free products.
  • Avoid skin irritants – Steer clear of potential triggers like harsh soaps, dyes, and fragrances.
  • Wear loose, breathable fabrics – Tight collars and sweaty hats can worsen seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Exercise regularly – Working up a light sweat may decrease frequency of flare-ups.
  • Get some sun – Limited sunlight can reduce symptoms but avoid burning.

Personal Experience with Aloe Vera for Seborrheic Dermatitis

As someone who has personally struggled with seborrheic dermatitis, I have experimented with using aloe vera gel as a natural remedy. I tried both directly applying the gel from the leaf of an aloe plant and using store-bought aloe vera gel.

Initially, I was hopeful that aloe vera would help manage my symptoms. I found that it did provide some relief from itching and scaling, which are common symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. However, I also experienced some negative side effects.

After using aloe vera gel for an extended period of time, I noticed that my skin became raw, sensitive, and red. It seemed that I may have had a sensitivity or allergic reaction to the aloe vera. Diluting the gel with distilled water did not alleviate these side effects in my case.

Despite my efforts to make it work for me, I eventually decided to try other natural remedies for seborrheic dermatitis. While aloe vera may work well for some individuals, it did not provide the desired results for me personally.

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, aloe vera has the potential to be a natural remedy for managing seborrheic dermatitis. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a promising option for reducing symptoms such as itching and scaling.

However, it’s important to perform a patch test before using aloe vera as some individuals may have allergic reactions.

While more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness, incorporating aloe vera gel into a skincare routine may provide relief for those with seborrheic dermatitis. Additionally, making lifestyle changes and using conventional treatments as recommended by healthcare professionals can further help manage this skin condition.


  1. uaIlko Bakardzhiev "New Insights into the Etiopathogenesis of Seborrheic Dermatitis" Symbiosis Group 4.1 (2017): 1-5.
  2. Da Vardy, Ad Cohen, T Tchetov, E Medvedovsky, A Biton "A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of an Aloe vera (A. barbadensis) emulsion in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis" Informa UK Limited 10.1 (2008): 7-11.
  3. Muercia Ferreira, Marta Teixeira, Elvira Silva, Manuela Selores "Allergic contact dermatitis to Aloe vera" Wiley 57.4 (2007): 278-279.
  4. Luis J. Borda, Marina Perper, Jonette E. Keri "Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis: a comprehensive review" Informa UK Limited 30.2 (2018): 158-169.
  5. Chia-Chi Chiu, Yi-Wen Hsiao, Yu-Chuan Wen, Tsung-Yen Chang, Shih-Hsiang Chen, Tang-Her Jaing "Aloe vera gel for prevention of chemotherapy-induced hyperpigmentation: Four case reports" Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health) 102.25 (2023): e34037.
  6. Ariyanti, Eni Masruriati, Haini Santi, Dwi Sulistyowati "Formulation stability analysis aloe vera leaf extract gel and shell shell collagen" Universidad Tecnica de Manabi (2022).
  7. Somanaboina Padmakar, G. Ajay Kumar, Navneet Khurana, Sweta Kumari, Biplab Pal "Efficacy and safety of natural Aloe Vera gel in the treatment of stable vitiligo" Elsevier BV 22 (2023): 101332.
  8. Nida Firdous, Moazzam Rafiq Khan, Masood Sadiq Butt, Maratab Ali, Muhammad Asim Shabbir, Ahmad Din, Abid Hussain, Azhari Siddeeg, Muhammad Faisal Manzoor "Effect of Aloe vera gel-based edible coating on microbiological safety and quality of tomato" Informa UK Limited 20.1 (2022): 355-365.
  9. Claire Wilson, Joanna Jaros, Vivian Y. Shi "Complementary and Alternative Approaches I" Elsevier (2022): 276-286.
  10. Sophia Hu, Pratibha Anand, Melissa Laughter, Mayra B.C. Maymone, Robert P. Dellavalle "Holistic dermatology: An evidence-based review of modifiable lifestyle factor associations with dermatologic disorders" Elsevier BV 86.4 (2020): 868-877.
  11. Martijn G.H. Sanders, Luba M. Pardo, Rebecca S. Ginger, Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong, Tamar Nijsten "Association between Diet and Seborrheic Dermatitis: A Cross-Sectional Study." Elsevier BV 139.1 (2018): 108-114.
Last Updated:
in Seborrheic Dermatitis   0

About Michael Anders

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

Share Your Thoughts

(will not be published)

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation