Sea Salt for Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment Guide and Research Summary

If you look around online you will find lots of testimonials on how people are able to control their seborrheic dermatitis symptoms with the use of sea salt washes, baths, and lotions.

Could something as simple as sea salt be the cure for seborrheic dermatitis?

This article reviews the most popular ways sea salt is utilized for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis and covers various usage tips that may be relevant if you go down this path.

If you’ve arrived here based on the idea that sea salt (specifically dead sea salt) may be a seborrheic dermatitis treatment that reduces the malassazia yeast population on your skin, you may be have a completely different understanding by the time you finished reading this.

How People Use Sea Salt to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Below are the three most popular methods in which people have successfully used sea salt to manage/cure their seborrheic dermatitis.

The reason I said both manage and cure seborrheic dermatitis, is that there are people who report complete remission of their seborrheic dermatitis using sea salt.

1. Sea Salt Water Soaks for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Some people have found that mixing a fairly strong solution of about 1 teaspoon of sea salt per half a liter of water, then soaking the affected skin for about 5-10 minutes extremely effective.

Sea Salt Soak for Seborrheic Dermatitis - Proportions Diagram

Magnesium rich sea salt appears to be superior
Various literature examining the usage of sea salt for the treatment of various skin conditions suggests that magnesium-rich sea salts (such as dead sea salt) appear to have superior effectiveness [1, 2].

2. Sea Salt Water Shower Rinses for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Another popular way to utilize sea salt is in the shower. Instead of taking the time to soak your skin in a salt solution, simply prepare a bit for the shower. Once in the shower take a handful of your pre-prepared mix and apply to the skin. Leave it on while you continue with your regular shower and simply rinse off with cold water at the end.

Typically most people recommend about the same proportion of sea salt to water as the soak above. Specifically 1 teaspoon per 1/2 liter of water.

3. Sea Salt Nasal Irrigation Sprays

Saline nasal sprays for use as a skin treatment

Recently I had a stuffy nose and someone told me to use some saline nasal spray. It was something I’ve never seen before, so it was a great discovery. The one I bought is just disinfected isotonic (which means its the same concentration of salt as your body) seawater and produces a very gentle mist.

It seems it would actually be perfect for misting the face with. The concentration will always be spot on, it will likely have more trace minerals present than strictly sea salt (if it’s actual seawater), the way it disperses the salt water solution evenly is a great benefit, and the convenience factor is there as well (easy to take with you).

However, since my seborrheic dermatitis has been controlled (using the approach discussed: here, I didn’t bother attempting this. If anyone gives this a try, please leave your findings in the comments.

Additional Tips for Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis with Sea Salt

Now that you know several sea salt treatment approaches you can try, there are a few treatment tips you should keep in mind:

  • Follow-up with a light moisturizer if you find the skin overly dry
  • Avoid contact with eyes
  • Try different types of sea salt (dead sea salt has the most evidence)

Dry Skin After Sea Salt Treatment and How to Moisturize It

Many individuals find that sea salt water treatments can be quite drying when you first start. In this case, a simple moisturizer can be helpful.

However, this is where it gets a little tricky since many popular moisturizers on the market actually aggravate seborrheic dermatitis. To maximize the positive results obtained from the sea salt it is critical to find a suitable moisturizer. For this you can take a look at my previous post one moisturizers I recommended for seborrheic dermatitis.

Most moisturizers contain a variety of oils which are believed to feed the exact fungus (Malassezia yeast) which is believed to be an integral part of the seborrheic dermatitis problem. The key is to use one without any oils known to aggravate seborrheic dermatitis.

Alliteratively if you can get away without moisturizing at all, even better!

Be Careful When Applying Sea Salt to Facial Skin Affected by Seborrheic Dermatitis

If you plan on applying the salt water solution to the face, close your eyes and cover your entire face. Once your ready to rinse off, make sure to rinse thoroughly so none of the salt water gets in your eyes. If it does get it your eyes don’t worry too much as it’s not going to do any long-term damage, but it will sting quite a bit.

What Type of Sea Salt Works Best for Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis

All the people that have provided successfully testimony for this treatment have used various sea salts with great results. For me personally, I did not notice much for a difference between the different types. The two that a lot of people swear by are Dead Sea Salt and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.

Dead sea salt has quite a bit of evidence that suggests it’s quite effective for psoriasis (a condition with many similarities to seborrheic dermatitis) treatment [3, 4]. However, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt does not appear to be very different than regular sea salt and this makes it a little questionable in my opinion.

How Dead Sea Salt Differs

Dead Sea Salt is quite high in magnesium especially compared to regular sea salt. Research evaluating the effectiveness of dead sea salt suggests that this is the key characteristic that makes it effective for various skin disease [5].

Additionally, since magnesium is known to act as a fairly strong anti-inflammatory and this could truly explain why some people report improved results with its usage.

Which Sea Salt Should You Use

In the end, it’s up to you. For me, good old regular sea salt worked just as well as the other options that I’ve tested.

For reference, here is a review of some popular salts:

  • Dead sea salt
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Magnesium salt (magnesium chloride)
  • Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
Various salts available for seborrheic dermatitis treatment

And if you do end-up experimenting, would love to hear how it goes.

Research Data You Should Consider – Impact of Sea Salt on Malassezia

During my time with this website, sea salt treatments have continued to come on my radar in one form or another. Whether it’s balneophototherapy (combination of salt water solution and UVA/UVB radiation) as a natural psoriasis treatment [6] or magnesium rich salt water soaks to improve atopic dermatitis [7], it seems that salt holds tremendous potential for those of us affected by inflammatory skin issues.

When it comes to seborrheic dermatitis treatment, there were certain findings that contradicted many things I originally understood about the effect of salt water on our skin condition. Perhaps these findings will be as eye-opening for you as they were for me:

  • The understanding that application of a dead sea salt solution reduces the skin’s yeast population is speculative at best [8]
  • Killed malassezia yeasts applied to the skin of rabbits results in skin symptoms similar to those reported in seborrheic dermatitis and plaque psoriasis [9]
  • Similar outcome (to that of the above study on rabbits) was also demonstrated in a small study group of ten human participants [10]
  • A more recent paper from 2018 evaluating the impact of “dead sea climotherapy” (a treatment approach that requires travel to the dead sea to expose the skin to the combined effect of extended sun exposure and bathing in the salt-rich dead sea) actually showed that therapy induces a malassezia outgrowth – where these yeasts being to dominate the fungal flora of the skin post treatment
  • Application of concentrated deep sea water resolves atopic dermatitis through its effect on immune response regulation and reduction of inflammatory hormones [11]
  • The concentration of sodium is increased during bacterial skin infection; sodium influences immune system activation; and a high salt diet appears to aid against infection [12]

Taken together, the data suggest that the positive impact of salt on seborrheic dermatitis is likely to be the result of its effect on the skin’s immune response (reducing inflammation and regulating the way the immune system responds to malassezia yeasts) – rather than fighting the malassezia yeast head-in.

My Own Experience Using Sea Salt

For me, topical treatment with sea salt produced various outcomes. In some cases, it led to drastic improvement, while at other times, successive treatment could lead to worsening and aggravation of the condition.

My biggest success with salt came from loosening my dietary sodium restriction (based on the recent trends in health and nutrition). As I began to introduce sodium back into my diet, it seemed to have a significant impact on dampening my level of skin inflammation in areas affected by seborrheic dermatitis

My skin started to return to its previous condition and other health problems were also positively affected. It must, however, be noted that initially my sodium intake was practically nil and this led me to experiment. If your sodium intake is already high (from sources such as processed foods) it is highly recommended to first reduce these contributory sources before adding sea salt to your diet.

However, please take this with a grain of salt. 🙂 During this time, sodium intake was not the only thing that changed and it’s likely that the combination of my efforts had lead to the progressive improvement of my condition.

Perhaps chasing that single magic trick that will rid you of your issues forever is not as worthwhile as it first seems. Taking the time to understand your skin issues at a fundamental level is likely to prove a more resultful endeavour for most. And reading through the Seborrheic Dermatitis – The Owner’s Manual can be a good starting point for most readers.


Dead sea salt has been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations held high regards for its healing power and it was traded in markets all over the world.

  1. Many individuals have provided strong testimonials on the effectiveness of topical sea salt application in treating and sometimes even curing seborrheic dermatitis
  2. The most commonly used method is to mix a teaspoon of sea salt with 1/4 liter of water and use this to soak the skin for 5-10 minutes
  3. When using sea salt soaks; following up with a moisturizer, avoiding eye contact and trying different types of sea salt can be useful
  4. Most online communities suggest that sea salt treatment can prevent malassezia overgrowth and partially works through its antifungal properties, but the research suggests otherwise
  5. Dead sea therapy can actually result in malassezia outgrowth and it’s most likely the positive effects of sea salt treatment are related to its impact on the skin’s inflammatory response
  6. Based on current nutritional advice many of us aim to reduce our sodium intake, however, dietary sodium may play a beneficial role in the health of our skin
  7. Searching for a single cure is likely to be less worthwhile than using the time to further understand your skin issues at a more fundamental level

In the end, I believe that sea salt treatment (sea salt of any kind) remains one of the most influential, yet poorly understood natural treatment approaches to seborrheic dermatitis. If you would like more information in regards to my approach or would like to share your experience please drop a comment below.

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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

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  1. Christian borregaard
    Christian borregaard -

    I have had SD for the past 18 years, im now 36. The first few years, i used steriod cresm, when flareups got bad. But the cream had less effect and the area affected got bigger. I was finally told about the side effects of using steroid cream so I stopped and was now desperately looking for another remedy. I read about Nizoral shampoo and tabs. I took the tabs for a month and it totally cleared my SD and I thought I was finally cured. After 3 month it came back, now worse than ever. I started using Nizoral shampoo, and it worked about 4 years, then I upped it to 2% solution and it also worked a few years and finally I got another shampoo of 2.5% which also worked a few years. A few weeks ago, my SD came back with vengens. My back, chest and most of my face was affected this time and nothing seemed to be working. I went to the pharmacy and was about to use hydrocortisone, terbinafine cream and tabs well knowing how bad it is. On the day, I was about to start my treatment, I came across a site writing about sea salt for SD. I though, what do I have to lose from trying and it made sense… so I washed my face twice a day for 4 days and then once a day for 3 days and all the SD had cleared – gone! Without chemicals and expensive shampoo… just salt and water. It’s now 2 weeks and still no sign of SD!

    • Amber Gardner
      Amber Gardner -

      With a cream you can barely spread it far enough through the hair!! This is what I do.
      Diluting a little bit in some water inside of a spray bottle and spraying the scalp works great for me. I keep the water around for a while and it works later when I need it too.

  2. susan
    susan -

    Hi Michael,
    your site is great for anyone suffering with seb. derm. I had a severe outbreak and some spreading of this awful skin condition. the corners of my mouth, lips and under my nose. nothing worked, and it turned into a vicious cycle of redness and flaking. the mineral sea salt has been fantastic. I am afraid to stop for fear it will return with a vengeance. I plan to continue once a day with the wash and will somehow incorporate something daily in the shower which would be more convenient. I will continue to follow your site and look forward to learning more on how to keep this condition under control more naturally. Also, I find the aveeno excema skin cream very nice and gentle on my facial skin. Who knew?
    thanks again for a great and informative site.

    • Amber Gardner
      Amber Gardner -

      The best thing that has worked for me is taking my eczema/psoriasis cream, diluting a little bit in some water inside of a spray bottle and spraying my scalp. Works like a charm. I keep the water around forever and it still works later on.

  3. Andrey Volokitin
    Andrey Volokitin -

    First of, thank you so much for all the research you have done and shared!

    Sea salt works for me, the trick is to find right salt to water ratio and stick to it. Don’t put to much salt or use this treatment for long periods, cause ,unfortunately, skin/ sd gets used to it. Try to rotate the treatment with alternative one (highly recommend raw honey one).

    the way i use sea salt:


    1. after shower, disolve minera dead sea salt in a bowl a soak my face for 1-3 mins.
    2. wash face with cold water and let it dry
    3. put on ‘gold bond healing’ on problem spots


    repeat 1,2
    3. put on aloe vera gel for face.

  4. Brenda Ramirez
    Brenda Ramirez -

    I’ve suffered with sebborheic dermatitis for years! Everything I tried was only temporarily. I saw a dermatologist and I was hopeful and that didn’t even work. I went on a low carb diet and didn’t even think about my skin condition. Within a few weeks my skin issue was gone!!! Around my period the hormones would make it flare up even more. That issue is gone! Carbs are sugars and I feel that treating the issue from the inside is the best solution.

  5. cindy
    cindy -

    Your site has really been helpful; I’ve made a list of things to try! I use Magnesium Oil Spray to get more mag (I’m overcoming adrenal fatigue), and discovered it makes THE best ‘deodorant’ ever! So I might just try it on the affected areas of my scalp, and see if it helps. I just made an essential oils roller containing org. jojoba as a base…Tea Tree, Lavender, Peppermint, and a few drops of Frankincense. I’ll try that for a few days first. I’m dealing w/ significant hair loss to sides of my head, and some on top. I discovered awhile back, it was initially caused by a build-up of L’Oreal hair color on my glasses earpieces (!). I’ve switched to a healthier hair color (Madison Reed), keeping mostly-organic diet clean, taking Biotin and SIBU liquid along w/ other supplements. I can see some regrowth, but I’m still shedding faster than it grows back. Thanks again for all your information!

  6. Carol
    Carol -

    My dermatologist told me the reason there has been an explosion of skin conditions like this is due to our public water, they now put chloramine in the water which strips the skin of natural defenses against skin conditions. So there is now an over-growth of skin yeast / bacteria disorders. You have to filter all water in your house /apt. To prevent this, which gets very expensive.

    • cindy
      cindy -

      This makes total sense! Two years ago, we got a chlorine-filtering shower head (from Amazon, for a little under $30, and a $20+ refill every 10-11 months: very hard water here) and it helps a lot. And we drink bottled filtered [usually] alkaline water now. Such rampant yeast overgrowth (Candida) is also caused by over-use of antibiotics, grains and dairy (for those sensitive to them), too much sugar and a generally processed diet.

  7. Florin
    Florin -

    Intetesting theory, never thought about it, but I can definitely confirm that my seborrheic dermatitis appeared at the same time I decided to reduce salt. I was really using too much, on virtually every food – on bread and butter, on vegetables, in yogurt, on meat, everything. They say salty is an acquired taste so one can easily reverse it. It took two weeks to get used to just the amount of salt already in these foods, and it wasn’t actually difficult, I also lost weight quickly (sodium in excess may lead to fluid retention), but I realize now I had cut down my salt intake abruptly – from too much to potentially too little salnow. My occasional and completely manageable dandruff turned into seborrheic dermatitis soon after, but never thought the two events might bed connected. This is definitely worth further investigations.

  8. Michael
    Michael -

    UV radiation works a treat – if you can’t sit outside go to a salon and get 5 mins once a week…couple that to a good moisturiser and diet…salcura zeoderm works wonders on my face…yes a few salt water baths (any sea salt seems to work) from time to time helps (with ketoconazole shampoo foamed up over head area)…if you can get a good mud face pack from Dead Sea also very good…no steroids they make it worse…manuka honey used as a face pack also very good but expensive…if you are using steroids forget all this it won’t help one bit…you need to stop steroids get on to these things wait 6 months for steroid damage to heal (push through flares) and eventually it settles right down as long as you keep a maintenance dose of the above up….steroids stop the healing!

  9. David Rasmussen
    David Rasmussen -

    I’ve been suffering from flaking and oozing scalp much of the summer tho it’s gotten worse in the last week. I also have patches of irritated skin on my back, face, arms, legs, feet. I did try laying on the floor and soaking my head in epson salt water in a pan.

    I researched salt water pools and a friend recommended a Salt Float company that I am planning to try in the next day or two.

    • steve
      steve -

      Salt pool is only 3200 ppm, you can’t even taste it. Ocean is 32k ppm. A tablespoon to a liter is maybe a little more than that

    • Benjamin
      Benjamin -

      Been suffering from scaly flaky red inflamed scalp for more than 20 years…
      Tried many steroid creams, shampoes essential oils, sea salt…..

      today I put on extra virgin olive oil on my scalp (massage and leave on for couple of hours then rinse) and…..all the flakes are gone and has not come back…. omg cannot believe this

  10. akshay
    akshay -

    please suggest me can we use this sea salt on our scalp or not Please answer me I am suffering this for 2 years its urgent for me

  11. Brenda
    Brenda -

    Hi, I have sd around my mouth and it makes me so self conscious. I saw you mentioned a saline spray that was isotonic. Do you remember the brand of the one you bought? Please write soon. Thanks!

  12. Charity
    Charity -

    Just curious what kind of moisturizer do you recommend for the hair? I have SD all over my scalp. Hair is thinning daily, it seems and very dry. I thought about using the Dead Sea Salt as a rinse in the shower but worry about it drying my hair out more than it is already. Thank you

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Charity,

      First of all, sorry for the delay in response.
      Everyone’s skin is different, but two natural ingredients that have really stood out to me from my readings are:

      1. Caffeine
      2. Arginine

      In correct amounts, these two appear to have good outcomes for overall scalp health (hair growth, barrier function, hydration).
      The Reversing Seborrheic Dermatitis and Hair Loss post goes over them in a bit more detail (with references).

      Don’t have any experience with any of the products that contain these ingredients, so can’t really suggest anything.
      However, working on a scalp formulation myself which uses both of these.

      Hope that helps and you can find something that works for you.
      If you have the time, please let me know how things unfold (or have already unfolded).

      All the best.

    • steve
      steve -

      I have used H&S conditioner for mine, works well. Not the shampoo and conditioner combo.

    • Amber Gardner
      Amber Gardner -

      Try a SHAMPOO BRUSH! It sounds counter intuitive to scrub on the worst areas but it helps so much! I have tried everything for years. Nothing works except to scrub off the flakes. It seems the flake build up in the worst areas cause the itching so when the flakes come off the itching eases up.

  13. Alli
    Alli -

    How often should I wash my face with dead sea salt? Should I also use soap or just water when I am not having a flare?

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Alli,

      Hard to really say as everyone skin behaves a little different. Plus, personally I wasn’t able to find along term approach with the dead sea salt. Overall though, knowing what I know now I would use a small concentration of salt, once every day and use only slight cold water to rinse my face.

      However, as I mentioned I wasn’t able to find a long term approach using the salt. It worked really well initially, but after continued usage my skin became quite dry. Perhaps I was using to much and didn’t have a solid schedule going, not sure. The method I’ve been using since last summer with great results can be found here: My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0

      Hope that helps and let me know if you find a solid approach with the dead sea salt.
      Best of luck.

      • Alli
        Alli -

        Thank you for your reply!
        It doesn’t dry my skin out at all, in fact it acts like an exfoliant and an emmolient. I never use any kind of moisturizer. I’ve learned that its all about skin and scalp pH, which is 5.5. I use water with that pH, which is also the pH of the dead sea salt. I also wash my hair with the water and organic ph balanced shampoo for the seb derm and a vinegar mix as a conditioner in the shower. I wash my face twice a day and the only time it seems to flare is when I am dealing with a lot of stress. I need to manage that better. I fill a bowl with 5.5 pH water, let it warm up to tepid, add the salt and just splash it on my face concentrating on the worst area. Then I spray the same type of cold water when I am done. I was at the dermatologist last week and told him what I’ve been doing because he was amazed at the difference.

        Stress and junk food flares it, but I eat a pretty clean diet. I also spray a probiotic on my face to kill the microbes.

        I will check your method out.
        Thanks again!!!

        • Michael Anders
          Michael Anders -

          Hi Alli,

          Thank you for the detailed update and happy to hear you’ve found a good approach for yourself.
          If you have the time, perhaps you can email me (via the contact form) a detailed write-up of your approach and I could add it to the main post. Perhaps future readers may find it helpful.

          Hope your skin keeps improving. All the best.

  14. Jacqui
    Jacqui -

    Uhoh, its in my ear!
    I made sole with pink salt, put it in a bottle to use as spritz or mist. (Sounds like soul–ay)
    I miss all the ocean swimming I used to do!
    I will send you titles of two books….both on water and salt.
    My face got better but other issues took my time and attention.
    It may be that a cleansing fast might be best to improve gut health……but meanwhile i do appreciate your thorough coverage of this health issue

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Jacqui,

      Thanks for the feedback and sharing your experience.
      Look forward to any updates.

      All the best.

  15. Bjorn
    Bjorn -

    Currently have facial seborrheic dermatitis.. used steroid cream previously but after stopping it, symptoms came back and SD came with a vengeance.

    Just bought epsom salt, I read around that it’s similar to dead sea salt.. Just wondering, how often do you have to apply, and how do you go about applying it? Like how much water do you mix with the salt, and how do you rinse your face with it, how long etc.

    Thank you!

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Bjorn,

      Hard to say with epsom salts as they are mangesium sulfate as opposed to magnesium chloride and sodium chloride.
      When using sea salt or dead sea salt I would typically mix about a tea spoon to a large salad bowl of slightly cold water. Then I would dip my face in the water for as long as I could. After I was done I would simply rinse off and go on my way.

      As noted in the article this worked really well at first, but after about a week results disappeared.
      Cetaphil Restoraderm products worked really well for quite some time and currently I’ve made my own solution which I’ve been using for the past 2-3 months.

      Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best of luck.

  16. Steve McCauley
    Steve McCauley -

    My problem is seboreich derm in my eyebrows bad to the point of so much inflammation and scale til eyebrow hair is falling out. I’m gonna try this because my sodium is always low and this seems to sound very interesting

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Steve,

      Let me know how it goes. Would be interesting to hear the experience of someone else.
      Mine never fully went away with neither the salt soaks or the sodium increase. However, being less restrictive with sodium may have played a significant role in overall recovery.

      This is approach has completely gotten rid of it for the past 5-6 weeks. And here is what had helped tremendously prior to this.

      Hope things go back to normal for you. Best of luck.

  17. Dan
    Dan -

    I am trying a higher salt diet along with Sea salt plus distilled water face soaks at 1/2 tsp per liter h2o.
    This new research study lead me to try this.
    “Cutaneous Na storage strengthens the antimicrobial barrier function in skin…”
    With a conclusion that increasing sodium content in the skin by a high salt diet boosted activation of macrophages and promoted cutaneous antimicrobial defense. Now you have a mechanism of action for the healing of seb derm.

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for the article. Good to see some data to explain what I had experienced as well.
      The only issue though is it may not be a good approach long-term or individuals who have medical reasons for avoiding too much sodium.

      How has this approach been going for you?

      This is what I’ve been doing for a bit more than a month now.

      All the best.

  18. Mike
    Mike -

    Yes this actually seems to mirror my own experiments in regards to my thinking in slightly changing my my skins ph using added sodium chloride aka table salt in a 2ltr bottle of water and drank over the course of 2 hours in the gym. I have found that the skin around my nose and sides of face became clearer currently I have stopped this to check what happens and I’m having a flare up going on to use it again and I’ll post back

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Sounds good. Thanks for the update!
      I’ve sent you a private message as well, with all the current done book chapters (still working on the editing though).
      All the best mate.

  19. Connor
    Connor -

    Hey Michael,
    I used the salt method last night for my facial SD using the mixture of half a tea spoon to 250ml, I watered my face then poured the salt mixture of my face leaving it for 5 minutes then I washed off, in the morning (now) the redness was reduced but the SD is still there, so I have a few questions, how long should I keep doing this method for e.g 1 every day or twice a week? And will my SD be gone in how much time ? Thank you 🙂

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Connor,

      If your SD keeps improving, simply keep at it. On average I found that it takes about a week for everything to clear up (if treatment is actually working).
      For me though, the sea salt seemed to become less effective over time and then stopped working all together.

      A more complete outline of everything I’ve tried is outlined in the “Overview of Seborrheic Dermatitis Face Treatments” post.
      The Restoraderm mentioned there has been working for about a year now. However, just in the past month I think I may have found a more specific (food) related issue. However, I still need time to know for sure. If you want a preview of that approach there is a link and password for it in this comment on that overview post.

      Let me know if I’ve missed anything or if you want any other questions.
      Hope that helps mate and best of luck.

      • Connor
        Connor -

        Okay yeah I’ll keep it up for a couple more days and see how it goes! I’ll read the other overview of seboherric dermantits later in the morning. Perhaps a preview would be good thanks 🙂 one more question, should i just wash it over my skin or let in soak in and use a cotton bud? Which method is better in your opinion? Thanks heaps Michael

        • Connor
          Connor -

          Also when I do apply the salt with water on the face it doesn’t seem to sting? Is that normal

          • Michael Anders
            Michael Anders -

            Hi Connor,
            For me, I found that the facial soaks were much more effective than just washing with it. After the soak, I would typically rinse with cold water and let air dry.
            All the best.

          • Michael Anders
            Michael Anders -

            In terms of the stinging, I found a big factor to be the state of the SD. If the skin is damaged you may experience some stinging. If it is just in the general inflamed & dry state, the sea salt shouldn’t cause any stinging. However, I guess the concentration of the sea salt will also play a role.

  20. Nicholas
    Nicholas -

    Hi Michael,

    I have had seborrheic dermatitis on my eyebrows for almost 5 years. it started as a Gunk of dead skin on my eyebrow and grows into a full blown flaking all over my eyebrows.
    the problem with SD in eyebrow is that it causes serious hair-falling and get me stressed, sparse eyebrow looks terrible on me, and the worst part is that i am a 17 years old teen boy. my appereance matters so much for me :'( :'(

    all these 5 years, i tried to treat my eyebrow with Shampoos like Head nShoulders, Selsun, and Nizoral 2%, LIMITED TO NO SUCESS AT ALL :'[] :'[]

    so, my question is, is it safe to apply Sea Salt to my eyebrows??
    i am a little bit obsessive and i don’t want my eyebrows to fall, each time it falls my heart mourn out of anxiety and depression,

    thanks for reading,
    reading your post actually sparks a new hope in me!

    i hope someday, we will ALL be freed from SD .


    recently i moved from indonesia to New zealand, the weather in NZ was so cold and it gets my SD worse,

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Nicholas,

      Sorry to hear about your story, however you are not alone and quite a large number of people face the same issue you as you (me being one of them). Best thing to do is to try and stay calm, and perhaps start a food journal.
      One of the biggest things that had a negative impact on my SD was all the crap information on the internet regarding the topic. So be careful online and always be sceptical when reading.

      Sea salt is safe for all skin, however you might have issues if your skin is excessively raw and damaged. In this case the sea salt will cause burning and can irritate the skin further.
      A way to overcome this obstacle is by simply diluting with more water, until no irritation occurs. However, then the solution may not be as effective.

      If you haven’t yet, consider checking out the “Overview of Seborrheic Dermatitis Face Treatments” post. I’ve covered as much as possible from my experience there. The Cetaphil products mentioned in that post have had fairly good success for a significant amount of people, but some reported irritation. So try to get samples if possible. Additionally, you may want to consider joining the community, as it’s a good chance to communicate with others going down the same road.

      I’m currently trying to write a book on the subject. However, it’s quite hard as most of the medical community currently has no clear explanation for why some of us have SD, while others don’t. However, I believe I’ve uncovered a few things that may connect us. Will email you with any updates on this (need to do a bit more testing).

      Hope that helps and all the best.

  21. Eateban
    Eateban -

    I tried the pink himalayan salt baths and afterwards it gave me terrible terrible itching… Dont understand why

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Eateban,

      It’s really hard to say why this happens.
      I’ve had similar experience. Sometimes it would burn, other times it calm it instead.
      However, I wasn’t using himalayan salt, just regular sea salt or dead sea salt.

      Also I had magnesium salt flakes. These burnt my skin like crazy.
      Strange thing is that it (the magnesium flakes) would burn and then actually provide relief. But it didn’t really provide a fix though.

      Hope that helps.

  22. Nenita Long
    Nenita Long -

    Im really interested to all the information re: SD. Right now Im suffering itchy scalp and some small rashes in different areas of my body and I am already so depressed about it..
    Thanks for the info…

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Nenita,

      Hope some of the info helps. If you haven’t done so already consider reading through this post.
      It’s a quite long, but covers my whole experience with SD. Strange enough my scalp went away as my face got under control.

      Hope some of the information on the site helps.
      All the best.

  23. Neerja
    Neerja -

    Apple cider vinegar

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Neerja,

      Braggs apple cider vinegar is really popular here in North America. However, in my experience it really doesn’t matter all that much.
      Seems like any quality apple cider vinegar is practically the same.

      Perhaps check out some local stores. I would imagine it would be available.

      All the best. Let me know how things turn out.

  24. Neerja
    Neerja -

    Thanks for response MICHAEL
    Can u tell me one more thing?? From where should I oreder it online?? I mean which one will be the best….

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Neerja,

      Just to clarify, what are you trying to order?

  25. Neerja
    Neerja -

    I am suffering fron SD too on my face nd scalp
    Right now I am applying the creams and shampoos which r prescribed by dermatologist but I am not getting the effective results.Even I feel like this SD becomes worst when I apply facewash.What should I do? Should I use dead sea salt or apple cider vineger? I scared of SD.Plzz reply soon

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Neerja,

      Thanks for checking in. Sorry, but I don’t really have a clear cut answer.
      This is the regimen that has worked for me. Other readers have reported great results as well, but others didn’t see any changes. Additionally, it might be fairly difficult to find the Restoraderm wash in Indian, but I’m not sure. Perhaps you can update in this regard.

      Overall these appear to be the three most popular treatments on this site so far:

      1. Restoraderm
      2. Apple Cider Vinegar
      3. Nystatin
      4. Sea Salt

      Another post that might be of interest to you is this one. It’s basically an outline of my experience with everything that I had attempted.

      Hope that helps and sorry I don’t have a clear answer for you.
      Unfortunately, seborrheic dermatitis appears to be quite complex and differs significantly among sufferers.

      I’m currently going through a ton of medical papers trying to find a more concrete answer. Will update as I have more details

      All the best.

  26. HeavyMetalJess
    HeavyMetalJess -

    I’ve been using dead sea salt for my scalp. At first, it was almost magical (though extremely painful) to use. I was mixing it with my conditioner to make it easy to apply. Now, it doesn’t seem to make quite a strong improvement. It really only ever reduced itching and reduced the amount of flaky. It never cleared up my SD completely. I saw your other post about your current regiment and might have to give those things a try.

    Is there a better way to be using sea salt on my scalp as a topical relief? Direct application in the conditioner can be quite painful if there are open lesions or cracking. Would soaking my scalp in water be better? If so, what do you think would be a useful concentration?

    • Amber Gardner
      Amber Gardner -

      Diluted apple cider vinegar gives serious relief.

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      The best way I found was the head dunks. Rubbing the salt into my scalp was okay as well, but not as effective. For the soaks I was using about a teaspoon and half for about 2-3 litres of water. It was never precise thought, I just kind of put in as much I felt would make the water similar salinity to ocean water.
      Not sure how this would work out, but looking back I might have considered adding a drop of iodine to the water if I was still going with this treatment approach. Way back I tried directly applying pure iodine on the spots, but that was way too crazy and slightly burnt my skin.

      It’s strange to see why the salt stops working so quickly. For me it was quite magical at first too, for about a week I was riding high and thought I had everything figured out. Then it kind of just stopped working.
      Even now though, I still think sodium and iodine might play a role however. I eat quite a bit of iodine rich foods and I’m not really watching my sodium intake as intensely as I did before. This seems to help the sweat glands behave more naturally.

      Let me know which route you end up perusing. Best of luck either way!

  27. art
    art -

    My scalp irritated easily with this problem. I e tried three different dermatologists and nine work. Only relief I get is when I have very short hair so I have to cut my hair ever 10-14 days. How much salt to water do I need to use for my scalp and how long do I keep it on. Thank you in advance

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Art,

      Sorry for the delay in response. For the salt I was using about a teaspoon mixed and just rubbed it into my scalp.
      For me it seemed to help better than most of the other natural treatments. However, sometimes it would work while other times it wouldn’t. Not sure why this happened. Apple cider vinegar on the scalp was okay as well, but same thing (sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t).

      Anti-fungal shampoos (Head and Shoulders or Tgel) always seemed to work though. However, they often left the hair feeling unhealthy. For about the past year I stopped doing everything and just switched to a highly moisturizing shampoo and it seemed to work. But, here again I’m not sure if it’s because of the shampoo or from taking l-glutamine. Take a look at this post, I’ve tried to outline my whole journey (most the treatments I tried are here).

      Short hair did seem to help when I had issues, but I don’t think it was the decisive factor.

      Hope that helps and look forward to hearing any updates.

  28. Kathi
    Kathi -

    Im testing this method I went to mama jeans health food store and picked up “real salt natures first sea salt” is that going to be what I would use

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Kathi,

      Thanks for the update. Hopefully it works out for you. Personally I think most the sea salt is the same. The expensive dead sea salt from Amazon had worse results for me than regular Trader Joes stuff.

      If you find the time, drop an update as you have some time to test the salt. Additionally this post might be of use. It’s my most comprehensive summary of my whole experience with seborrheic dermatitis.

      All the best and look forward to any updates.

  29. Amber Gardner
    Amber Gardner -

    Just really started treating mine after realizing my eyebrows are disappearing. Didn’t have any sea salt in hand so used table salt. Worked some at least. I feel so clean right now.

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Amber,

      Thanks for the update. Yeah I always wondered if table salt would be as effective. In a way I thought it might potentially even work better due to the added iodine.

      What method did you use to apply it for the eyebrows? Just the simple facial soak?

      • Amber Gardner
        Amber Gardner -

        I mixed a pile of salt in my T-gel shampoo lol. Let it sit for a few minutes. Washed my face with the salt/shampoo.

        • Michael Anders
          Michael Anders -

          Sounds like a crazy combination. Lol. T-Gel was powerful enough for me on it’s own. You think the combo made it better?

          Also a good friend of mine used Castor Oil and Caffeine to get a grasp on premature balding. Maybe something too look at. However, not sure how it either of those would interact with seborrheic dermatitis.

          Best of luck.

          • Amber Gardner
            Amber Gardner -

            I have it really bad. Knew I had scalp issues but didn’t realize it was the reason my face was so red until my eyebrows started disappearing and I had to do something. T-gel gave a bit of relief, but mostly just left me itching crazy. So I discovered salt. Helped a bit more, but ultimately it has proved not to be any kind of quick cure.

            Apple Cider Vinegar is a God sent so far. Haven’t been this white and flake free in years and this with a few applications in one day. I pour some diluted over my head in the shower. I have some diluted in a spray bottle for touch ups which also gives my hair a lot of body! And I have some in a little container to use as an astringent. Much better than salt!!!

          • Michael Anders
            Michael Anders -

            Thanks for the update. Great to hear that it’s working out so well.
            If you like, send I can append your specific approach to the main ACV post.

  30. Mathieu
    Mathieu -

    Hi, I started salt treatment almost two weeks ago. It’s a carnalite dead sea salt, and i’m adding one and a half teaspoon for 1 litre of hot water. I mix it in a bowl and then soak my face in it for several minutes (5-10). After 1st week there was a huge improvement on the affected by SD areas (i have it around my nose and under eyes, on ‘good days’ you can see almost a full butterfly. In my case it’s only reddish, it doesn’t flake, before salt treatment it was greasier than other parts of face and i had to wash it few times a day cause it got sweaty.) All redness ALMOST disappeared, you could still see from close distance that something is not alright. 2 days ago, after 12 days of doing my morning/evening soaking regime, SD returned and i don’t know what to do. It seems that my skin got used to salt, becasue in first week when i was working out i litteraly sweated out all this salt I ingested in by soaking. I also felt like i ate some salt, not anymore, it’s like my skin stopped absorbing it. Can you please give me some tip? Should I continue my regime, buy a new pack of salt (this one is going to end i few days) cause maybe it will change for good(little pimples appeared, since SD started in octobre i havent got any in infected area). I’ve read about honey treatment on your GREA GREAT site and I think that I’ll try it next if salt completely fail, but six months…man, it’s so long. I’m 20 and deeply depressed, I’ll appreciate any help from you. Greetings

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Mathieu,

      Thanks for the positive feedback.

      It’s hard for me to say if you should keep going or that the sea salt won’t help any longer. My experience was pretty much identical to yours. At first they worked exceptionally well (skin calmed down, flakes went away). Then one day (couple weeks in) the salt treatments just seemed to stopped working. Flaking and redness returned and the salt became ineffective. Hard to say why this happened/happens.

      In terms of the honey treatment, the one documented in the medical study is quite intense. I was never able to stick to such a strict regimen. Maybe that’s why I was never able to fully make it go away with the honey. However, overall it did seem to be better for me than the sea salt treatment. Even after it became less effective, it was still quite good at controlling it and keeping flakes at bay. The biggest issue was the amount of time the treatment took.

      Not sure if your have read this post, but I try to sum up mostly everything I tried (some stuff is missing, but it’s a huge post as is). Towards the end of it I describe my current treatment technique. That regimen has been working out quite well for me and my seborrheic dermatitis hasn’t bugged me for ~9 months now.

      Additionally I believe the whole depression, stress, and anxiety add another layer to the seborrheic dermatitis problem. It seems to almost create a cycle, which can drastically diminish results.
      The right information is good, but too much information seems to create a ton of problems.
      Lot’s of the forums I have come across in my journey have had a lot of disheartening info.. This definitely didn’t help. Reflecting and mentally going back to when things were normal really helped calm the mind.

      Hopefully you find something that works for you on a long term basis as well.
      If you do end up trying my approach, let me (and other readers) know how it works out.

      Best of luck and take care!

  31. Millicent
    Millicent -

    Can the mixture be put on your scalp?

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      When using sea salt on my scalp I usually massage it in. Leave it for a couple minutes. Than shampoo the hair to remove the residue.
      Other times I don’t even shampoo. However, using too much or too often seems to dry the scalp for me (which is why I usually shampoo).

      Before when I had thick scaling on the scalp. Baking soda seemed to do the trick a bit quicker than sea salt.

      All the best.

  32. Susan Graves
    Susan Graves -

    Furthermore, pure aloe is wonderful if yo u live in an environment that can grow it please
    make yourself a plant of aloe you will be so happy you did. The aloe in it’s purest form
    soothes the inflammation of the dermatitis even on the scalp … I use pure aloe on my face each morning
    instead of anything chemical …

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Yeah, I heard great things about Aloe.
      It’s been used in my family since I was little and my parents always have a few plants around the house.
      For some reason anytime I tried to apply freshly squeezed aloe on my seborrheic dermatitis, my skin would go crazy, becoming even more inflamed!
      Knowing how amazing aloe vera is I kept attempting to use it against the seborrhea, but always had the same result (inflammation).

      However, I’ve read quite a few posts of people saying it has done wonders for their dermatitis.
      For me this was a prime example of “Everyones skin is different”.

  33. Susan Graves
    Susan Graves -

    Hi, I have been suffering from SD on my scalp for a year and half now and I
    have been to a few dermatologists and all they give me is prescriptions for
    cortisteriods and dandruff shampoo but research further these things are temporary
    fixes and in the end you will lose your hair faster . So I ordered a natural dandruff
    shampoo it doesn’t smell all that pretty but applying a bunch of creams does not
    either so you weigh the two evils right? I live by the ocean and started going to
    the beach every weekend, filled up two gallon jugs of beach water changed to a gluten
    free diet not that I was allergic to gluten but I may have a sensitivity and actually
    my scalp felt good going to the beach… well now the weather is getting cooler and
    my scalp is in aggravation mode so last night I took my dead sea salt and purified water
    and dissolved it to a two cup rinse and 8 oz to a spray bottle and used it on my scalp this
    morning nice… M intuition told me to try it I did and I will keep on doing it . I believe in my
    heart that salt makes the difference like yourself I wasn’t much of a salt person but since I
    developed this I have actual cravings for salt and the salt water has proven more beneficial
    then creams and shampoos from a dermatologist and saved my hair from probably more
    falling out. I hear all of you that suffer from this it is rather depressing but learning in your own
    way how to deal with it you find the hope that is not the end. I miss nice smelling shampoos
    but the aggravation of what I feel could not match the one day of a nice smelling shampoo
    that is for sure so bland I will be ….. Salt and more salt is what I say…. oils be gone!

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Susan. Thanks for the details.
      Glad to hear that you found something that works for you!

      Which natural anti dandruff shampoo did you end up trying? Jasons?

      For me I ended up getting some natural one from Amazon with Pale Shale Oil, but it was like 30 dollars for a small tube. So that was a bit too steep for a re-order.
      Currently I’m just using a “mostly” natural moisturizing shampoo, seems to be working fine.

      The salt added back to my diet seems to really have helped. Also avoid milk as much as I can, as it seemed to closely correlate with flare ups for me in the past.
      Stuff with gluten makes up large part of my diet. When looking for the cause of my seborrheic dermatitis other forums convinced me that gluten was responsible.
      At that time I did everything I could to stay away from gluten, but honestly avoiding gluten didn’t seem to have any direct effects for me.

      Also washing with sea salt is really nice. Seems to almost fortify the hair.

  34. roberto
    roberto -

    Hi! Just to give a big thank you from portugal! Started using sea salt and it helps a lot! 🙂

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Roberto,
      Thank you for the positive comment. 🙂
      Glad to hear that it helped you!
      In which method are you currently using the sea salt?

  35. Ted Turner
    Ted Turner -

    Michael can you email me that solution also

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Hi Ted,
      Thanks for leaving a comment. I’ve gone ahead and just written out my current regimen on the website.
      You can see it in detail here:

      Please let me know if you want more details or feel like I’ve left anything out.
      Would be happy to help as seborrheic dermatitis was really affecting quality my life at one point.

  36. mark
    mark -

    Hi i was just wondering , did the sea salt remedy help out with reducing the redness?

    • Michael Anders
      Michael Anders -

      Haven’t updated the site for a bit.
      The sea salt remedy was really great at first and reduced the redness fast. Made my skin almost a pale/tan color. However, after that it was on and off (sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t). I stopped using it since it made my skin dry.

      Recently I finally found a pretty solid solution for my skin though.
      I’ve sent you an email to the address you provided with the details. Please let me know if my method works for you.

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