Overview of Seborrheic Dermatitis Face Treatments

In this post, I will try to cover all the seborrheic dermatitis face treatments that I have ever attempted. My experience with seborrheic dermatitis has lasted for roughly 3-4 years and started on the inside of my nasal folds.

At first it was just a few flakes, but after a few unsuccessful attempts to try to get rid of the few flakes it started to spread to the rest of my face. Additionally the issue plagued my scalp, but this was easily fixed with regular use of Head and Shoulders and I didn’t even know that dandruff equaled seborrheic dermatitis.

However, the scalp and the face are two different things. Facial skin is much more gentle and your face is the first thing people see when you talk to them. This makes treatment both critical yet quite challenging.

The treatments below are in no particular order, except the first three which were the most effective for me.

If you would like to provide more information or expand on any of them, then drop a comment at the bottom and I will get back to you.

Things That Worked

This section includes the things that appeared to have the biggest impact on resolving my seborrheic dermatitis.

Restoraderm Wash and Moisturiser

Restoraderm Nourishing Body Wash for SDRestoraderm Replenishing Moisturizer for SD

This was recommended to me by a doctor who noticed my condition accidentally.

She came up to me and said she had something similar before. She gave me a general breakdown of how she went about it and gave me a bunch of commercial samples to take home, specifically pointing out the Restoraderm.

At first I wasn’t actually too keen on giving any of her stuff I try. By that point, I’ve tried so many cleanser and moisturisers that I thought none of these would change anything.

It was only a short while after I started taking glutamine I decided to give the cleansers a try. At this time, my condition was already general improved, but I still had some dry flakes and desperately needed to find something to wash my face without causing any irritation.

Haven’t looked back ever since. The Restoraderm cleanser and moisturiser have been working for me for roughly 8 months as of this writing. The cleanser is gentle and is good for washing away sweat without really stripping the skin. The moisturiser is very light and a tiny bit goes a long way.

The best part was that this was my cheapest treatment. The kind lady gave me a huge bag of samples. In total there were about 4-5 twin sample packs (cleanser + moisturiser). Currently, I’m on my last one of the cleanser, but still have 3.5 of the moisturiser as I use it very sparingly.

Checking online I noticed the moisturiser is actually quite expensive. So I would recommend try to find sample packs of the stuff before you actually commit to it.

Maybe it’s not even the cleanser and moisturiser that’s working so well for me. Maybe it’s my general attitude. Maybe it has been the glutamine supplementation. Maybe it’s something else. I don’t know.

What I do know is whatever it is it’s working so I’ve been afraid to stop using the Restoraderm. Every now and then I go a few days without it, but typically I wash and moisturiser once a day before bed.

When I’m washing my face I can still see some flakes getting removed, but these are typically really small and from the inside of my nasal folds. Also, my ears can sometimes have some flakes as well, but these I can typically wipe away fairly easy. Everything else has been fully clear (forehead, eyebrows, cheeks).

September 2015 Update

The Restoraderm worked exceptionally well for about a year. My skin was free from seborrheic dermatitis and I was happy. However, there was a comment posted a while back which scared me a bit and then as summer came back around I noticed my skin changing. It was quite sensitive to the sun and I could see redness in areas that my SD used to be after relatively short exposure. In the previous year I had used sun screen to protect my skin and allow to heal, but this left me quite pale and I really wanted to have a normal skin tone. So, I went back to the drawing board and studied the patent behind Restoraderm along with as much research about seborrheic dermatitis as I could get my hands on (+300 research papers). All the knowledge I started to accumulate has been going into a book and has also helped me formulate my own solution, which is discussed next.

Biom 8 – Conditioning Oil


For the longest time I believed that seborrheic dermatitis was caused by oils and that it didn’t matter which specific oils. However, once I actually started researching the topic I began to understand the importance of oil rich sebum in the protection of specific areas of skin. Specifically, the scalp, the face and behind the ears (the exact locations which seborrheic dermatitis typically occurs).

As a result of this new knowledge along with some insights from various patents of other skin care companies I began trying to formulate my own solution. After testing various combinations, I had stumbled upon one that was extremely basic yet highly effective. Skin tone evened out, no more sensitivity to the sun and it almost feels like my skin became bulletproof (knock on wood). The best part is, that I don’t even wash my face with anything anymore. All I simply do now is rinse with water and apply the stuff.

The solution was initially offered exclusively to the community here are SkinDrone and feedback turned out to be fantastic. Now the solution is available to everyone else reading this and details can be found here.

Glutamine Supplementation

L-Glutamine for SD

For me, this seemed to have been one of the best treatment items as well. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence, but as I started supplementing everything started to improve.

Food choices no longer seemed to have an impact. The itchy and tingling sensations lessened. Overall I felt slightly better as well. Particularly I would feel more rested from shorter amounts of sleep.

First Attempt

Originally I purchased some L-Glutamine in 500mg capsules along with Zinc Cornisone, Biotin and MSM powder based on a recommendation I found online. This combination didn’t really seem very effective. It kind of worked, but my seborrheic dermatitis was still present. Additionally I couldn’t find much research on MSM and the Zinc Cortisone.

However, as time went by and research continued I kept seeing L-Glutamine popping up over and over. Especially in areas of gut tissue repair. So the decision was made and I gave it another go.

Second Attempt

This time I opted for the pure powder form and bought a big tub online (1000g). Received the tub and started taking a bit here and there with water. I wasn’t really sold that it will fix my problem so I wasn’t really sticking to any specific dosage. Instead, I would just take a bit here and there with some water.

Well, this didn’t really work out too well and my seborrheic dermatitis was still kicking around. The tub went on the shelf and my experimentation continued.

Research I kept reading kept showing potentially links between leaky gut and that area. Other things I found were that salt actually plays quite a bit role in digestion and I had been always reducing salt (due to all the bad press it gets).

Final Attempt

Once again I decided it was time to try to fix the gut. I started eating salt freely and enjoying more salty foods that I had before. Instead of being spontaneous with my glutamine supplementation I started to take it on a regular basis. Every single morning after I woke up I would mix a half teaspoon with a glass of water and drink it down. Then I would wait at least 30 minutes before eating breakfast.

I ended up sticking with this for about 5-6 months. Every single day taking glutamine and water in the morning before any food. The improvement was noticeable after a few weeks, but I decided to keep supplementing in fears of symptoms returning.

My first tub actually ran out and I ordered a second one. However, of the second one I only actually went through about 2-3 weeks of it. After taking glutamine for so long, I started to fear that my body might become dependent on it and lower its own internal production. So I decided to take a break. Since then I’ve been doing good without it so haven’t had a reason to start taking it again.

Another strange thing that happened was roughly after about 4-5 months of supplementing with it, my muscles actually started becoming sore for longer periods of time after workouts. This seemed strange as typically glutamine is taken to help speed up recovery. Instead, it felt like my muscles would almost become permanently sore after workouts. For example, my triceps were sore for almost a month straight. This was a little weird and is actually what made pushed me to give up supplementation.

Even now, I’m not really sure if it was the glutamine specifically that had all the positive results. Maybe it’s the Restoraderm that I’m still using, I’m not quite sure. But like I mentioned earlier, big meals seem to have zero effect on my skin. When my seborrheic dermatitis was at it’s worst a huge meal would result in general inflation of the skin and strong tingling sensation of all the areas affected. It’s hard for me to believe that a cleanser alone would be responsible for getting rid of these symptoms/sensations.

September 2015 Update

Since about half a year ago, I completely stopped supplementing with L-Glutamine. Firstly I felt that I didn’t need it anymore as my skin had improved and secondly I believe that long term supplementation can’t never be good. Since this time I did some research and basically found good natural sources of glutamine and simply attempt to incorporate these into my diet. The ones I focus most on include:

  • Eggs (whole eggs for breakfast)
  • Cabbage (raw cabbage juice is particularly good for restoring the intestinal lining)
  • Leafy greens (don’t eat too much of these, but they are a good source)

Home Remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis

This section covers the various home remedies and natural solutions for seborrheic dermatitis that I had tried over the years.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar for SD

One of the very first things I attempted to treat my facial seborrheic dermatitis with. It was quite effective at the beginning of treatment.

As time went on the effectiveness started to wear off. Additionally my facial skin started become sensitive to the acidity (skin would turn bright pink for most of the day). My skin’s sensitivity forced me to reduce the concentration and perhaps this is what made it less effective than originally.

In the beginning, I used a ratio of roughly 1:1 water and apple cider vinegar. Towards the end, I was attempting a mix of about 3:1. This treatment is definitely one of the top things I have tried and I’ve had many people message me through the website confirming it’s effectiveness.

Additionally I’ve tried using a variety of different brands as some claim that the “mother” has a strong impact on its effectiveness. However, in my experience I did not find this to be the case. Regular store bought Heinz apple cider vinegar worked just as well as Braggs or other unfiltered varieties. To their credit, these unfiltered varieties tasted much better for general consumption.

Also, I attempted to consume the ACV on a regular basis to treat the seborrheic dermatitis on my face. Daily consumption of apple cider vinegar with water had no effect on my facial seborrheic dermatitis.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda for Seborrheic Dermatitis

My attempts with baking soda were very inconsistent. The reason for my trial with it is that I’ve read many forum posts claiming it has been effective for treating facial seborrheic dermatitis.

The method I tried was simply mixing a tablespoon in a cup of water and washing the face with the solution. Towards the end of the wash, I would leave the solution on my face and hop in the shower. Then simply washing it off at the end of the shower.

The biggest benefit of the baking soda treatment was that it was very effective for removing the dry skin layers. Additionally it did not cause any redness/pinkness as did the apple cider vinegar treatment. It actually had quite the opposite effective on the skin. Parts of the face, where the seborrheic dermatitis was most present, gained a dull appearance and redness significantly decreased.

Major problems of this treatment started to arise a few hours after each treatment. The skin would typically become overly dry and this would actually start to cause excessive flaking in portions of the face where seborrheic dermatitis was worst.

The outcome of my attempts at this treatment, therefore, were inconsistent. Sometimes the dryness never even presented itself and when this happened the treatment was extremely effective. However, if the dryness did hit, it was quite strong and the skin would flake even worse than usual.

Additionally I’ve made several attempts to regular consume baking soda for several weeks before bed. This was picked from several forum topics I’ve read. Others claim that the baking soda works by solving interval fungal issues which then manifest themselves in the form of seborrheic dermatitis on the face. For me, the regular consumption of baking soda had no apparent effect on the seborrheic dermatitis on my face.

Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea Salt for Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis

I’m not going to go into too much detail on this treatment as I’ve written a post that documents my experience in great detail. To summarize things sea salt did seem to have a significant impact on the seborrheic dermatitis on my face.

Soaking the face in a bowl of dead sea salt water would remove flakes/scales and help clear the face. However, issues with drying and intermittent hypersensitivity made the facial soaks a poor treatment choice. From all the sea salt I tried, it did not seem to matter if it was dead sea salt or regular sea salt (actually regular Trader Joes sea salt seemed to work better)

The biggest benefit for me was gained I believe from becoming more slack in the salt in my diet. Previously I had been restricting dietary sodium as most health publications repeat over and over the negative effects of salt in the diet. All the food I ate, I ate unsalted.

After some reading about sodiums impact on digestion and the connection between seborrheic dermatitis and the gut, I decided to try to bring salt back into my diet. This seemed to have a positive effect on the parts of my face most affected by seborrheic dermatitis. However, it is hard to say the exact role it played as shortly after I added several other treatments to my regimen that further enhanced my results.

Green Tea

Green Tea for Seborrheic Dermatitis

This is quite a simple and straightforward treatment I picked up from a forum. Basically, all I did was steep some green tea and use the bag to dab my face. This seemed to help soothe the skin and had an overall anti-inflammatory effect.

My biggest disappointment with this method was that it did not do anything to help stop the flaking. So perhaps this treatment might be a good choice paired together with something like ACV or something else that effectively removes and prevents the flakes.

Raw Honey

Raw Honey for Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis

One of my most successfully treatment approaches was raw honey. This method was one of the most time-consuming and annoying. Especially since I’m a guy and walking around for 3-4 hours with honey on my face is not very relaxing.

You can see more details on my experience with raw honey in this post. In summary, the raw honey worked amazingly well. It was effective in both removing the flakes, healing the skin, reducing inflation while additionally moisturizing the skin. Due to these amazing benefits of this seborrheic dermatitis face treatment, I’ve gone through about 2-3 jars of 500ml raw honey (did eat some of it as well).

This biggest issue with this seborrheic dermatitis facial treatment is that it is extremely time-consuming. Also as I used the treatment more and more the results seemed to diminish. At times, it seems to even begin to irritate the skin on the face most affected by seborrheic dermatitis.


Propolis for Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis

This treatment was very ineffective for me, but I did give it a few tries. Basically what I did was mix a bit of propolis with the raw honey treatment hoping to improve its effectiveness. However, this usually resulted in added difficulty trying to wash off the honey as well as it seemed to increase irritation.

Vitamin C Supplements and Serum


This one forum post, in particular, got me excited about the possibility of getting rid of my seborrheic dermatitis for good. It seemed too simple and straight forward I had to give it a try.

After multiple treatment attempts with several weeks of 5-10 gram daily doses of vitamin c in the form of ascorbic acid I saw very little improvement. The ascorbic acid did seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and did reduce redness. However, it didn’t seem to have any effect on reduces the flakes on parts of my face affected by seborrheic dermatitis.

One thing that did seem to work really well was eating lots of grapefruit. Typically if I ate a bunch of grapefruit I would begin to notice my skin improve. My thoughts are that grapefruit has a cleansing effect on the guy and helps the body clear toxins. I’ve even read that if you eat a bunch of grapefruit with some medication that it would cause the medication to become ineffective.

Another thing I tried with all the ascorbic acid I bought was making my own vitamin c serum. However, this serum was very ineffective and produced no apparent results on the seborrheic dermatitis on my face. If the serum was too strong it would cause similar irritation to that of the apple cider vinegar due to its acidity. Perhaps a chelated form of vitamin c might be more effective specifically for seborrheic dermatitis (did not try this with chelated forms).

Commercial Products for Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis

This section covers the majority of commercially available products I had attempted in order to treat my seborrheic dermatitis. A portion of them are targeted at scalp treatment, but this didn’t stop me from trying them on my facial skin.

Head and Shoulders – Pyrithione Zinc


This treatment was very effective for seborrheic dermatitis on both my face and my scalp. It would remove the scales, reduce inflammation and was not overly drying on my skin. However, it did seem to have a negative overall effect on my skin (especially the face). Skin tone become dull and the skin become overly sensitive to the sun. Also, the skin seemed to gain a splotchy appearance.

Overall it felt like each time I used this treatment I was just blasting my face with a powerful bomb. It seemed to basically destroy all the living organisms and bacteria both good and bad. The effect of this was that when I did not use the treatment on a regular basis the seborrheic dermatitis would return very quickly.

One a side note, I have a strange feeling that head and shoulders might have been a part of the problem to begin with. Previously it was my go to shampoo even before seborrheic dermatitis affected my face. When I was in high school I sometimes had a bit of dandruff. So based on advertisements I started regularly using head and shoulders. To this day, I remember someone from way back told me not to use it as your skin can become dependent on it. Basically, this person told me that if I used it I’m basically locking in my dandruff problem for good. However, I didn’t take these words too seriously and continued using it for several years. Then once I started getting seborrheic dermatitis on my face I thought back to these words and thought there might be a connection. But even with these feelings I still attempted use H&S and other pyrthione zinc containing products to treat the seborrheic dermatitis on my face and scalp.

Cerave – Cleanser & Moisturizer

Around the time that I first got symptoms of my seborrheic dermatitis, I had a person who prescribed me the treatment tell me I should try Cerave. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but as my seborrheic dermatitis progressed I remember his recommendation.

Didn’t get any samples of it as I didn’t know that samples were so widely available at the time. Went into Wal-Mart and bought a full bottle of both the cleanser and moisturizer.

It was gentle and seemed to calm things down. Used it for about a week and my skin seemed to be doing okay. The results were not drastic, but it seemed to be helping the flakes and generally calming things down.

Over time, my skin started to hate the moisturizer. It would actually get more oily and greasy than usually. Additionally the flakes were still there. It would soften them up and make them more visible, but they were still there.

Both bottles are still pretty much full and sitting around. Overall I would say the Cerave was no very effective for the seborrheic dermatitis. However, I did see a review on Amazon claiming it worked well for them (which drove a big part of my purchase decision as well).

SebaMed – Cleansers & Moisturizers

When trying the Cerave I also saw great reviews for this product. Additionally I remembered it from a sample I received a long time ago (also when my seborrheic dermatitis was only starting).

When I had the sample my skin wasn’t all that bad yet. But using the cleanser seemed to make my skin was completely clear (this was before it spread past my nose).

The only reason I stopped back then was it was I didn’t think I need it any-more nor I knew the full extent of my problem. Additionally I thought it was just a coincidence that my skin was clear.

So after Ceraves failure I naturally thought back to this product. Went to the pharmacy and bought myself a moisturizing cleanser bar. Worked great for about two weeks and my skin was clear. However, results seemed to deteriorate rather quickly. Maybe this was a different SebaMed than I used before?

Went back to the pharmacy and got one of the most expensive ones they had. It was about ~$20 and the description sounded too good. However, as I tried using it my results were even worse. This one actually inflamed my seborrheic dermatitis and made it act up.

After that experience, I still tried to use the cleanser bar a few times in hopes it would start working. Never obtained any sustainable results, so eventually stopped using it. Still have about half the bar left and sometimes use it as hand soap (seems to last forever).

Aveeno – Oatmeal Cleansing Bar

This one didn’t work for me at all. Bought it roughly around the same time frame as the SebaMed. It actually inflamed my seborrheic dermatitis and made it much, much worse. Also in the shower this bar seems to melt away extremely fast. However, in a soap dish I’ve been using it to wash my hands for quite some time. It’s probably been kicking around for more than a year now.

Aveeno – Moisturizer

The Aveeno moisturizer was actually recommended in the Dead Sea Salt post on cure zone. It was the one the original poster used with great results. So naturally when I bought my big bad of dead sea salt I got a tube of this as well.

My results were not as great as the gentleman on CureZone. It would make my skin a little too oily and seemed like it didn’t let it breath. It did help soothe and moisturize the skin after the dead sea salt, but it would actually make the seborrheic dermatitis return quicker than without it.

So I gave up on it rather quickly and just resumed the sea salt treatments without it. Instead of this one I tried the Gold Bond described next (picked this up based on a YouTube video I saw).

SudoCream – Rash Cream

Was advised by someone I knew to give this a try. It’s used for diaper rashes and is known to be excellent for healing skin. It actually does work extremely well for the both the flakes and the redness. The biggest problem is it is really hard to gently rinse off.

To get this stuff off, you really need a good face wash. And that’s where the problem lies. As soon as start applying some power the wash the stuff off, it aggregates the skin. This aggression typically brought back my issues rather quickly.

I still make use of this stuff here and there. It’s really good for single small areas that can be easily wiped. As soon as you start smearing it all over, it gets’s a little tricky.

SkinMD – Shielding Lotion

This was purchased due to their effective Amazon sales page. Everyone’s skin needs a shielding lotion.. right? My logic at the time was I put this stuff on and shield all my seborrheic dermatitis away.

Bought a bottle of it down in the States during one my regular trips. Used it a few times and that was it. All it really did was aggregate my seborrheic dermatitis that’s about it.

Additionally I tried to give it a go as a hand moisturizer just so it wouldn’t go to waste, but it’s not very effective for that either. So it’s been sitting around ever since.

Grandpa’s – Pine Tar Soap

This soap just smells awesome (at least for me). It’s got the scent of a burning pine tree and the looks to match. Also, you can really feel the glycerin in this soap, it’s super moisturizing.

The only reason I found it was that I was in search for a natural alternative to Neutrogena Coal Tar shampoo which was recommended. Online reviews made it seem like the perfect alternative.

For my face, the results were actually pretty good. It seemed to destroy the seborrheic dermatitis. As soon as you washed with it, the flakes would smudge/roll of the skin. I could actually see layers of skin being melted away.

Also, the moisturizing effect was strong enough that I had no need to moisturizer with anything after using it. My biggest issue was that the peeling skin would still persist and the skin would actually become quite sensitive to the elements.

The redness wouldn’t really go away either. The skin was mostly flake free, but it still looked a little splotchy and not overly healthy. So I resumed my research for something else.

Gold Bond – Moisturizer

The one I bought was the exact one used in that YouTube video linked above. It was the Healing Aloe or something like that.

This stuff worked much better than the Aveeno. Even though it had a thicker feel to it, my skin would absorb it quite nicely and it wouldn’t cause too much excessive oil.

It was actually one of my most used moisturizers and it did work quite well. The trick was to put it on a few minutes after the dead sea salt when the skin was still moist. This would lock in the moisture and allow me to use much less of the moisturizer.

As I kept using it my face started reacting slightly different to it. The splotchyness returned and it was like my skin didn’t want it any-more. It became too thick and heavy feeling. So like all their others it went into my cupboard.

This stuff is quite good as a hand moisturizer though. Especially if your hands a really dry. It’s quite thick and leaves a nice coating. It doesn’t seem to do much of that “healing” it promises, but the coat of oil helps the hands feel good and allows for recovery.

Glycerin Bar Soap

Can’t really pick out any of the glycerine soaps that stood out. They were more or less all the same. Their great soaps and I learned what a quality natural soap feels like from trying them.

These are actually the types of soap I now use for general hand washing and showering purposes. For the face, however, they were a bit too strong.

When using them, they would dry the skin and strip the oils quite thoroughly. These seemed to quickly activate both flakiness and oil production.

So for me the glycerine soap turned out to be perfect for general use, but not for the seborrheic dermatitis.

T-Gel – Coal Tar

By now I’ve stopped using the pine tar and was finally desperate enough to give coal tar a try. The ingredients didn’t seem all that bad and what if it could make things go away..

Bought a bottle from the local supermarket and gave it a go. Turns out, this stuff works exceptionally well. Flaking stops and redness quickly subside. It is quite gentle and was much better for my facial skin than head and shoulders.

The smell of the coal tar was covered with some really potent fragrance, but the fragrance didn’t seem to have any negative effects.

Went through a whole small bottle of this stuff and bought a second one. However, even though my skin was not visually affected by the flakes I could still feel something wrong. The tingling and itching sensation was still there.

The skin also got inflamed rather easy and it seemed like it was generally much more sensitive. Going out in the sun was typically a bad idea as the skin becomes quite sensitive to it. 20-30 minutes in direct sunlight and my seborrheic spots would quickly begin to produce loads of oil and start getting quite red.

If I stay in the shade, kept away from harsh environmental factors (dirt, too much sweat, etc.) than the skin would be well off. However, my lifestyle didn’t really permit for so much carefulness. So I decided it the coal tar was not the best long term solution for me and the search continued.

Grape Fruit Seed Extract (GSE)

This one was another one of the most effective treatments I have ever tried. The very first time I tried it, I was blown away. It magically reversed the seborrheic dermatitis completely. My skin was normal and flake-free in just two days of using the stuff.

At that moment, I was extremely thrilled. This must have been it, the magic bullet that would make it go away forever. As time went by, just like the others, it’s effectiveness started to fade away.

In total, this stuff worked really well for 3-4 months. Towards the end of the 3rd month, it’s magically powers started to become less magical. It would work, but I had to start using it more often to keep the seborrheic dermatitis away. Sometimes I would even wash my face 3 times a day with the stuff.

It wasn’t long until my face began to become splotchy and flaky no matter how much I would use the stuff. That was that and I started researching again.

Additionally I tried drinking the stuff to get rid of “internal issues” that might be causing the seborrheic dermatitis. But this was never effective.

One a side note about a year later I decided to give the GSE another go as I still had some left. To my surprise, it worked its magic once again. In just a few washes, my skin was absolutely clear. This didn’t last for long this time around. About a week or two and the fantastic results went away once again.

My theory is that whatever is causing the seborrheic dermatitis (likely the malassezia) learns to adapt to the GSE. Also if you check read about GSE online you will find that it’s probably not the Grapefruit Seeds that make it effective. Actually it’s likely the chemical cleaning agent that is used in the process of it’s manufacturing (same agent that is used in many commercial hand sanitizers). There are studies that show if GSE is manufactured without this cleaning agent than it has lost all of it’s anti-fungal powers

Dietary Modifications

I’m going to try to make this section small. If you would like further information just ask me in the comments below.

For dietary modifications I think I’ve tried absolutely everything you can find online. Saw tons of naturopaths and took a huge amount of advice.

Here’s a basic list of all the things I tried:

  • Avoiding red meat
  • Water fasting
  • Juicing
  • Avoiding night shades
  • Avoiding eggs
  • Avoiding all caffeine (including teas)
  • Lower protein intake
  • Staying away from saturated fats
  • Avoiding vegetables oils
  • Eating tons of coconut oil
  • Gluten free diet
  • Cutting oats
  • Eating only rice
  • Avoiding carrots
  • Getting rid of nuts
  • Avoiding honey
  • Staying away from fried food
  • Avoiding fruits
  • And many other modifications
The above list should give you a general idea of everything I attempted, there’s probably some stuff missing, but I hard to remember everything off the top of my head. If your thinking of tried something drop it in the comments and I’ll let you know if I’ve ever given it a try.

Overall out of all the modifications I made, I noticed some strong correlation between calorie restriction and general improvements. For example water fasting would make the skin clear right up without any topical treatments at all. It would just normalize all on its own.

Also, I learned that high fat and high carb meals would typically cause things to get worse. My theory was that the fat would slow down digestion while the carbs would sit for longer in the stomach fermenting and causing issues.

These finding lead to research leaky gut and the potential of gut lining issues. Which I believe finally lead mine in the right direction. My final and most successful regimen was taking a bunch of L-Glutamine in hopes of patching up my gut.

This seemed to have done something as I have become much less sensitive to large meals and poor food choices. The full outline of my regimen is here. Since then I’ve actually stopped taking the L-Glutamine, as I felt I didn’t need it any-more and didn’t want my body becoming dependent on it.


In addition to dietary modifications, I attempted various supplements in order to try an minimize any potential deficiencies.

Vitamin Supplementation

This is actually another huge area of experimentation I had. Much of the information online suggests that the body might be missing some vitamin and, as a result, the seborrheic dermatitis occurs.

With all of my experimentation, I didn’t really find a specific vitamin supplement that provide long-lasting relief. Overall Vitamin C actually stood out the most. It seemed to help stop inflammation after large meals.

Here’s a general list of all the vitamins I tried:

  • Vitamin C (ascorbate, ascorbic acid, and a few natural sources such as camu camu)
  • Vitamin D (liquid and capsule)
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B complex (regular one from the store and a “natural” one from Vitamin Code or whatever the company is)
  • Biotin (gave me rashes all over my body)
  • B6 (no effect)
The big top 3 (C,D,E) I tried a few different brand and forms. Didn’t see any difference and have most of them laying around somewhere. The Vitamin C is the only thing I’ve actually continued taking on a regular basis. It’s actually quite good as a breath mint.

The Biotin was definitely one of the worst things I tried. I started becoming itchy all over and my rashes started forming all over my body. At first I didn’t even make the connection, I thought it might have been some soap, insects, or something else. As soon as I stopped taking the biotin everything returned to normal.

Fish Oil Supplementation

Sounded like a great idea and the concept makes sense. Get more Omega 3 in the system drive down inflammation and force seborrheic dermatitis to go away. Only if it was that easy..

First I bought general fish oil and took that for a few weeks. Didn’t see much improvement and the after burps felt like rancid fish oil. So I thought maybe it went bad.

Went back to the store bought some Wild Salmon Oil capsules and thought those might be different. Took them for a few more weeks and didn’t see much difference, except those fish burps once again.

For my third attempt, I bought the more expensive liquid form online. It actually tasted pretty god and had some citrus added to hide the overwhelming fish taste. However, to my disappointment again I saw no direct improvement in my seborrheic dermatitis.

Overall I would say that fish oil wasn’t very effective at doing anything for my seborrheic dermatitis.

Mineral Supplementation

Minerals such as zinc, calcium and several others have been proposed by various online sources to be helpful in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. However, none of the mineral supplements I had attempted did anything for my skin. Granted, I likely didn’t stick to any of the them for long enough to balance any deficiencies as I was concerned with getting too much instead. In my mind supplementation overall is not a good solution unless you are certain of certain deficiencies as you can do more harm then good.

Miscellaneous Treatments

This section includes various other things I had attempted.

Fluoride Free Toothpaste

Read on a forum someone who said their seborrheic dermatitis went away completely just by getting away from fluoride toothpaste. Well, that didn’t seem to hard, so I gave it a shot.

Bought two tubs of Jameson’s and one tube of Tom’s of Maine to give it a try.

Overall changing toothpaste had no effect on me. I’ve slowly been going through my tubes, but they are overwhelmingly minty. Personally prefer more gentle toothpaste so at least it wasn’t a total waste of money.

Oil Pulling

This is a supposedly ancient Indian practice which can remove toxins from the body and improve all aspects of health. Came across it on some forum which a member indicated that it helped with their seborrheic dermatitis. After about 3-4 weeks of daily oil pulling with coconut oil I didn’t observe any effects on my seborrheic dermatitis. This made my give up and look for something else.

Conclusion of Seborrheic Dermatitis Face Treatments

This has been quite a large post and I covered most of the things I tried along the way. Looking back there are still a few supplements I missed (mainly minerals, internal antifungals and other random things, but I’m tired of writing.

Perhaps in the next few days I might make an adjustment and add a bullet point list of whatever else I tried. If you would then like me to expand on any of the items, just drop a request in the comments.

So for the conclusion. Overall I feel like there are too many face treatments for seborrheic dermatitis available online. This resulted in lots of unnecessary stress and a huge amount of wasted time on research.

Dermatologists seemed to be of very little use and the ones I saw told me I’m stuck with this for life. Which is actually quite aggravating. Their sole job responsibility is to solve skin conditions, then why are they so useless?

Anti-fungals and commercial products did seem to help control the symptoms. However, they also seemed to force you to continue using them. While also having a general negative impact on the overall condition of the skin. Natural treatments and all sorts of supplementation were also mostly hit or miss.

Topical treatments that were effective at first seemed to wear off and stop working. Especially some of the best results could be obtained almost instantaneously, but would go away with time. No matter how hard to you wanted the results to stick around.

Everyone’s skin is different and that is apparent when you look at all the stuff online. However, many people can agree that there is some relation between seborrheic dermatitis and the gut.

Hopefully some of the treatment information I outlined here is of benefit to other who like myself have to face the ugly effect of seborrheic dermatitis. If you would life more information or have the time to share your own experiences feel free to use the comments below. Best of luck to everyone fighting this thing and hope the information I covered on these seborrheic dermatitis face treatments can be of use to you.

100% of readers found this article helpful

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.

Notable Community Replies

  1. kelly says:

    Hi Michael,

    You said that you were using Restoraderm Cleanser and Moisturizer. I googled it to see if I can purchase some to try out but Cetaphil Restoradem body wash keeps coming out. Is that the Restoraderm you are using or a completely different one?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.


    Reply Permalink
  2. Hi Kelly,

    Sorry about the confusion. Someone actually pointed this out previously, but I forgot to clarify in my writing.

    This appears to be the one I am using right now: http://www.cetaphil.ca/en/products/restoraderm.
    My sample packs are labeled different, but the ingredients are identical. Here is a picture of my samples. My last sample of the cleanser/wash is almost out and I’m planning to purchase a full bottle from Wal-Mart (saw they had it on the shelves) here in Canada.

    One other thing to note is that some of the ones listed of Amazon.com have a slightly different ingredients list.
    Not sure if that is the newer formula or the older one. Also I don’t know if that formula works as good, better, or worse.

    Maybe try a local pediatric clinic, I believe they commonly carry samples for child eczema.

    Best of luck. If you can, post an update on where you end up finding it.

    Reply Permalink
  3. Hi Kelly,

    So I ended up going down to Wal-Mart to finally get a full bottle (samples are almost done). Here they are on the shelf here in Canada.

    At first I didn’t even think they had them any more as they are not near the other Cetaphil products. They were off to the side with some moisturiser products.

    As an additional bonus they have coupons on the back (wash has $2 off moisturiser coupon and vice versa).

    Reply Permalink
  4. nick says:

    Michael, thank you for setting up this website and passing on your knowledge. I have had red and flaky skin (nose, sides of nose, eyebrows) for the last 20 years. I didn’t even realise it was seb derm until someone mentioned it about a month ago.

    When I washed my face with soap, acne lotion, or most types of cleansers, it made my face dry and didn’t clear it up at all. So I tended to just use moisturiser (nivea and then e45). I realise now although this helped with the dryness, it just led to more inflammation.

    After reading your blog, I have been using cetaphil cleanser twice a day for the last two weeks and my skin has cleared up and is the best it’s been for 20 years. I don’t really use the moisturiser as it seems to make me a touch red and shiny.

    It’s great to just have normal skin again at last and once again thanks so much for your help!

    Reply Permalink
  5. Hi Nick,

    Thank you for the update. Glad to hear that the Cetaphil helped. It’s shocking how long some people can suffer with seborrheic dermatitis. 20 years is a significant part of ones life.

    Did you also get diagnosed and prescribed creams? Did you previously attempt any anti-fungal creams?

    Similar to your experience none of the other cleansers were as ever as effective as this one.

    As for the moisturizer I use an extremely tiny amount. Typically while my face is still wet I just take a dab and it mixes with the water on my face. The 30ml samples can last me for 3-4 months with nightly use. It feels great massaging my skin like this. However, it’s good to hear that even without the cleanser is just as effective.

    Thanks again for leaving the update. Glad my writing has made a difference. All the best.

    Reply Permalink