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Seborrheic Dermatitis and the Potential Use of Apple Cider Vinegar

Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a skin condition that affects many people worldwide, causing discomfort, embarrassment, and sometimes even pain. It’s characterized by red, flaky, and itchy skin, primarily on the scalp but can also affect other areas such as the face, ears, and chest.

Despite numerous treatments available, people often seek alternative remedies due to potential side effects of conventional medications. One such alternative is apple cider vinegar. This article will delve into the potential use of apple cider vinegar for seborrheic dermatitis.

TLDR: While apple cider vinegar’s antimicrobial properties and impact on lipid metabolism suggest it could be beneficial, scientific evidence is limited. The article also discusses other home remedies for SD and emphasizes the importance of consulting a healthcare provider for treatment.

Understanding Seborrheic Dermatitis

Before exploring the possible role of apple cider vinegar in managing SD, it’s essential to understand this condition better. The precise cause of seborrheic dermatitis remains somewhat elusive with factors such as changes in the immune system, skin barrier function alterations, oil gland activity and presence of a yeast called Malassezia believed to contribute [1].


  • The role of Malassezia yeast in seborrheic dermatitis is well-established but not entirely understood.
  • Studies have shown an increased ratio of certain types of Malassezia yeast in patients with seborrheic dermatitis [2].
  • Individual susceptibility to dandruff does not always correlate with the number of Malassezia present [3].

Furthermore, recent research has found links between metabolic abnormalities and SD:

  • Patients with seborrheic dermatitis were found to have lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often referred to as ‘good cholesterol’ [4].
  • Dyslipidemia (abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood) is a common comorbidity in psoriasis, a related skin condition [5].
  • However, the relationship between metabolic syndrome and seborrheic dermatitis remains unclear due to limited studies [6].

Want to learn more about ACV and discover everything I know about seborrheic dermatitis?
A few years ago I decided to start summarizing and documenting my research. They are now available in an organized online book. You can read the complete book online for free here: Seborrheic Dermatitis – The Owner’s Manual

The Role of Vinegar in Metabolism and Lipid Levels

Given the potential link between lipid abnormalities and SD, it’s worth exploring treatments that can positively impact lipid levels. Enter vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, which has been shown to have beneficial effects on serum lipids and metabolism:

  • Vinegar intake has been found to help reduce hyperlipidemia (high levels of fats in the blood) and obesity [7].
  • Consumption of vinegar was found to suppress body fat accumulation [8].
  • Various fruit vinegars have been seen to normalize lipid profile in hyperlipidemic rats [9].

These findings suggest that vinegar may potentially help manage metabolic abnormalities associated with SD.

The Potential Use of Apple Cider Vinegar for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, known for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which could potentially help manage seborrheic dermatitis by:

  1. Killing Malassezia yeast: The pH-dependent activity of Malassezia yeast suggests that acidic solutions like apple cider vinegar could inhibit their growth [10].
  2. Reducing inflammation: Acetic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that might help soothe skin affected by SD.
  3. Restoring skin pH balance: The skin’s pH plays a significant role in SD, and apple cider vinegar could help restore this balance [11].

However, these potential benefits are mostly theoretical and based on the properties of acetic acid and vinegar rather than direct scientific evidence on seborrheic dermatitis treatment.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Seborrheic Dermatitis

If you’re considering trying apple cider vinegar for managing SD, here are a few ways to use it:

There are several ways to use ACV for SD. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Applying ACV directly to the skin: You can apply ACV to your skin using a cotton ball or a spray bottle. Be sure to dilute the ACV with water before applying it to your skin.
  • Adding ACV to your shampoo: You can add ACV to your shampoo to help reduce the symptoms of SD. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to your shampoo and mix it well.
  • Taking ACV orally: You can take ACV orally to help treat SD. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV with a glass of water and drink it once or twice a day.

Remember to always do a patch test before applying apple cider vinegar to your skin or scalp.


ACV is a natural product, but it can still cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects of ACV include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Dryness

If you experience any of these side effects, stop using ACV and talk to your doctor.

Other Home Remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Along with ACV, other home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis include:

  • Tea tree oil: Contains terpinen-4-ol that exerts antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects. Use diluted in a carrier oil.
  • Aloe vera: Soothes inflamed skin and may inhibit Malassezia with its antimicrobial properties. Apply gel from the leaves.
  • Honey: Has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Use medical-grade manuka honey for best results.
  • Probiotics: May restore microbial balance and regulate the immune response. Take oral probiotics or use topical creams.

Research on these natural remedies for seborrheic dermatitis is limited. They likely won’t replace conventional treatments, but may provide some added relief when used carefully.

My Results With Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Apple cider vinegar was actually one of the first things that I attempted to treat my seborrheic dermatitis with.

The very first time I used it my seborrheic dermatitis was still only affecting my nasal folds. I took a 1:1 mix of apple cider vinegar and filtered water and dabbed it on the skin. Immediately I felt the strong sting of the vinegar. My skin inflamed and turned bright red.

The flaking seemed to go away with regular application, but after each treatment my nasal folds stayed bright red for most the day (very embarrassing). So in effect I exchanged one embarrassing problem for another. In the end, after several weeks for hoping my skin would adjust to the apple cider vinegar I gave up and started looking for a different solution.

These poor results kept me away from apple cider vinegar for quite sometime. During this period my seborrheic dermatitis progressed and started to spread to my cheeks and forehead.

When to See a Doctor

Consult a dermatologist if OTC treatments and natural remedies don’t improve seborrheic dermatitis. Prescription medications like higher strength antifungals, calcineurin inhibitors or retinoids may be required for more stubborn cases []“.

See a doctor right away if you have severe, widespread symptoms or signs of infection like:

  • Extreme redness, swelling and pain
  • Oozing, weeping or crusting lesions
  • Hair loss
  • Fever, lymph node swelling or malaise

Severe seborrheic dermatitis can have significant physical and emotional effects. Working with a dermatologist ensures proper diagnosis and treatment.

In Conclusion

While the potential use of apple cider vinegar for seborrheic dermatitis seems promising based on its antimicrobial properties and positive effects on lipid metabolism, concrete scientific evidence is lacking. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen [IMG: A doctor consulting with a patient about their skin condition].

It’s also worth mentioning that while some anecdotal reports suggest successful topical usage of apple cider vinegar for seborrheic dermatitis [2], more research is needed to establish its efficacy definitively.

The journey towards understanding and effectively treating seborrheic dermatitis continues with each new study bringing us closer to more effective treatments. In the meantime, exploring potential natural remedies like apple cider vinegar might provide some relief for those struggling with this common but frustrating condition.

89% of readers found this article helpful


  1. Rong Tao, Ruoyu Li, Ruojun Wang "Skin microbiome alterations in seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff: A systematic review" Wiley 30.10 (2021): 1546-1553.
  2. Jameel R Al-Obaidi, Mohammed Farouq Halabi, Nasser S AlKhalifah, Shanavaskhan Asanar, Abdulrahman A Al-Soqeer, M F Attia "A review on plant importance, biotechnological aspects, and cultivation challenges of jojoba plant." Biological research 50.1 (2017): 25. PubMed
  3. Avens Publishing Group "Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review." Avens Publishing Group 3.2 (2016).
  4. Betul Imamoglu, Sibel Berksoy Hayta, Rukiye Guner, Melih Akyol, Sedat Ozcelik "Metabolic syndrome may be an important comorbidity in patients with seborrheic dermatitis" Termedia Sp. z.o.o. 1.1 (2022): 158-161.
  5. Barez Burhan Abdulrahman, Ali Muzan Dhahir Elethawi, Hadi Mohammed Abdullah "Assessment of lipid profile among patients with seborrheic dermatitis" DiscoverSys, Inc. 9.3 (2021): 952-958.
  6. Aldona Pietrzak, Anna Michalak-Stoma, Graucyna Chodorowska, Jacek C. Szepietowski "Lipid Disturbances in Psoriasis: An Update" Hindawi Limited 2010 (2010): 1-13.
  7. Eleni I Petsiou, Panayota I Mitrou, Sotirios A Raptis, George D Dimitriadis "Effect and mechanisms of action of vinegar on glucose metabolism, lipid profile, and body weight" Oxford University Press (OUP) 72.10 (2014): 651-661.
  8. Jun-Hui Choi, Myung-Kon Kim, Soo-Hwan Yeo, Seung Kim "Short-term Cudrania tricuspidata fruit vinegar administration attenuates obesity in high-fat diet-fed mice by improving fat accumulation and metabolic parameters" Springer Science and Business Media LLC 10.1 (2020).
  9. Heitor O. Santos, Wilson M.A.M. de Moraes, Guilherme A.R. da Silva, Jonato Prestes, Brad J. Schoenfeld "Vinegar (acetic acid) intake on glucose metabolism: A narrative review" Elsevier BV 32 (2019): 1-7.
  10. Weerapong Juntachai, Athipat Chaichompoo, Sittinan Chanarat "Ambient pH regulates secretion of lipases in Malassezia furfur" Microbiology Society 166.3 (2019): 288-295.
  11. Minji Park, Ji Su Lee, Won Hee Jung, Yang Won Lee "pH-Dependent Expression, Stability, and Activity ofMalassezia restrictaMrLip5 Lipase" XMLink 32.6 (2020): 473.
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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.

Notable Community Replies

  1. Hi Auburn

    To me ACV was a miraccle on my seb dermatitis , i take only topical for two years and if lef my skin with no scales and clean.

    I took without mix whith water , 2 , 3 times per day , sometimes only two ou 3 days per week it was amazing.

    Then in the past 3 monhts I take rosacea the dermato confirm what i feel in symptoms.

    The symptom is that y cant be 5 seconds in the sun its crazy , y am always , always red and whith postules .

    Do you think it was Apple cider vinegar ??? Do Y try to much ??? Sould y return to it.???


    Thank you for listen , sorry my english

    Reply Permalink
  2. Hi Joao,
    Often strong acids like ACV had this effect on my skin.
    They strip away the protective layer and make it very sensitive to the sun.

    The sun can also cause excessive dryness and as a result further make things worse.
    Skin cells regenerate every 30 days or so. Unless you have any scarring, it is likely that it will heal.

    Every about a year after being clear from seborrheic dermatitis and inflammation, I still try to be careful around the sun.
    If I plan to be out in the sun for a long time I typically apply some very gentle sun screen.

    ACV was very strong for my skin and even though it did control flaking. My skin was typically always pink afterwards.

    Reply Permalink
  3. dan says:

    Couple rules to Apple Cider Vinegar.
    Firstly, you must apply it three times a day and never wash it off. Allow the vinegar to permanently soak into the skin. For first time users don’t use a 1:1 ratio, use 30% acv 70% water. Progress over the weeks to a more balanced 1:1. Use a cotton pad or napkin, dip it into the acv and rub it all over the forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. Face will be irretated at first, but allow the skin time to adapt- can take weeks. Do not use any other products to wash your face, do not apply ACV and then wash it off with other soaps later throughout the day. The ACV must be applied and never removed. After 15-20 mimutes of application the smell is completely gome, you will not smell like vinegar. This is the best solution, if youre going to complain and not allow the ACV time to work and allow your skin to evolve and adapt to the acidic content, then ACV will simply be another product of failure. Use it properly and your seb derm will vanish.

    Reply Permalink
  4. Hi Dan,
    Thanks for the tips, glad to see someone who has found something that works.
    How has this approach been working for you? Do you still use the apple cider vinegar for maintenance? How long have you been using it?

    Honestly, every time I tried the apple cider vinegar I couldn’t nail down a sustainable/maintainable method.
    Once again thanks for leaving the tips for other readers, hope to hear back from you.

    Take care.

    Reply Permalink
  5. neil says:

    Hello Michael,

    I decided to leave a comment since it looks like you have invested a lot of your time in crafting this wonderful and useful website. It looks like you have really dedicated a great deal of your time and effort on a very selfless act and you should be proud of yourself.

    About me:
    I am an early 20’s adult caucasian male, and I have had SD for a number of years, but only recently it has been getting much worse. During the first few years, it only appeared around my nose and I maintained it with hydrocortisone 0.5% / 1.0% steroid cream as prescribed by multiple doctors. I then learned about the side effects and wanted to find a better solution.
    I would go back and again this would be prescribed to me. It felt hopeless and I knew I had to take matters into my own hands.

    I believe SD is not actually a disease itself (arguable), and it is actually a symptom (genetic predisposition\hereditary) to a real health related issue which could be anything.
    Essentially, your body is reacting to something else that is wrong.
    I could write a 50 page report on everything about me, what I have tried and how it relates to SD, but this comment is about ACV.

    ACV is one part of a TWO prong approach.

    1. Fix the root cause.
    2. Try to reduce the symtoms (in this case SD).

    Now here are is my experience with apple cider vinegar.

    I was using a cleanser (Avenno ultra calming foaming cleanser) for a few months after I stopped using the steroid cream. Although it helped initially, it began to become ineffective and dry out my skin. The SD began to spread. I eventually tried ACV and here are my findings\recommendations.

    1. Before attempting to use apple cider vinegar, ensure you are using NO topical products for a week or so. (Your skin needs to adjust between routines you are trying and you need to be aware of what happens to your skin when you do NOT use the previous topical solution otherwise you may think the new solution (ACV in this case) is causing issues when really it might not be).

    2. The first few times, try a slightly weaker dilution than 1:1 and keep it on for a minimal amount of time and see if you are okay with it. Your face would go red for around 10-25 minutes after application and rinse and then look really good. I usually do this before bed.
      I am able to put 1:1 mix ( filtered water + ACV) using the dab method for 5-10 minutes as mentioned above.

    3. (Optional) My skin likes to plaque. so if I feel there is a layer of dead skin, while the ACV is being applied, I gently glide/rub my pinky finger on my skin to loosen it and it rolls off. (maybe every other day or every 2 days).

    4. I hop in the shower and rinse it off and also use ACV on my scalp for about 5 minutes and rinse it off as well. IT Works GREAT as a natural conditioner as well.

    After doing this daily, I noticed a great improvement in about 4 or 5 days. However (months later), it seems that it might be losing its effectiveness unfortunately. I noticed that with this routine, and lots of Sun, the results are great.

    I am still keeping this same ACV approach for now while I try to find and cure the root cause.

    Reply Permalink
  6. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for the kind words and thanks for the detailed recollection of your history and current routine.
    Many of the things you described are identical to my experience. I’m in my 20s, Caucasian and my seborrheic dermatitis also started with a tiny area on the right side of my nose. Same as you I’ve tried tons of different things to make it go away. At on point I actually attempted to write down all the things I attempted in a huge lis, but gave up along the way since it was way too much writing. Here on the website I’m trying to first go over all treatments that really stood along the way.

    For ACV my personal results were mixed. Apple Cider Vinegar was actually the very first treatment I have ever tried for my seborrheic dermatitis. At the very beginning when I had the tiny section of it around my nasal folds I attempted to get rid of it with ACV (recommended by a family member). At that time I was still unsure what it was and didn’t really go all out with the ACV treatment. Instead I went to a doctor and was give an anti-biotic + hydrocortisone cream. This helped temporary, but after I stopped using it the seborrheic dermatitis got much worse.

    The next dermatologist gave me an anti-fungal which also worked great at first, but as I stopped using it the dermatitis returned. Next doctor told me head and shoulders, after that I was given diet advice, then coal tar, then selsun blue and the list goes on… Later down the road after starting to really research seborrheic dermatitis and its root causes I once again stumbled upon stories of people having success with Apple Cider Vinegar. In the end though I was never able to get sustainable/maintainable results with it no matter what I did.

    Two things I know for sure. It strongly correlates with diet and stress. Not your typical stress, but more of an anxiety/second-guessing type of street. At least this seemed to be the case for me. Currently I’ve gone about 7 months practically seborrheic dermatitis free. The only thing I still experience is a few small flakes in my ears or on the nasal folds. My face is clear, eyebrows are clear, scalp is clear, hair line is clear, chin is clear and overall my skin tone is normal. When my seborrheic dermatitis was bad I couldn’t imagine that I could get away with 7 months without using anti-dandruff shampoo. And the strangest thing is that these results actually started to appear as I launched this website.

    It’s hard to pin point exactly what has given me my current results. Personally I think it’s one of the following:

    • Increased levels of sodium and iodine from food
    • About 4 months of daily glutamine supplementation (not supplementing any longer)
    • Daily cleansing and moisturizing with the Cetaphil Restoraderm line (doesn’t explain scalp improvement)
    • Stopped researching and reading online horror stories about seborrheic dermatitis
    • This website (has helped me to reflect instead of always looking for a cure)

    Hope I didn’t miss anything since your comment was so long. Stay in touch and once again thank you for taking the time to describe your current treatment (will likely be of great value to other readers). Best of luck with your seborrheic dermatitis and look forward to any updates from you.

    PS> Hoping to start up a Google Plus community later this week. It would be amazing if all the readers (seborrheic dermatitis suffers) from this website could all communicate and exchange information about their treatments, their stories, their history and current strategies. Will send you a invitation once it’s up.

    Reply Permalink
  7. Hi,

    After trying countless products both prescribed and natural, I started using ACV topically on my face and scalp (about 3 months ago) and had immediate results. It took 2 days, I almost couldn’t believe it! Diluted it with water, roughly 1:3 ACV:water, then used a spray bottle to repeatedly cover my face and head with it, leaving for about 15 minutes before showering (not using any other soaps or anything). The only thing I didn’t like was the smell (smells to me like dirty feet) and so I switched to plain old white vinegar. So far it has worked just as well and my skin isn’t as red after using it. I make a slightly stronger dilution - about 1:2, white vinegar:water.

    This and maintaining a healthy diet has approx. 95% controlled my SD.

    If I have a big weekend or something it might flare up in the following days and I use elidel cream (pimecrolimus - an “immuno-modulator” whatever that means exactly) for a couple days to get things under control quickly.

    Am about to start taking glutamine in the manner you do, to see if there is any difference.

    Peace, N.

    Reply Permalink
  8. Hi N,

    Glad to hear your seeing great results from using the Vinegar. I’ve heard good things about the Elidel Cream, but never got around to trying it. At the time when I heard about it I was dead focused on finding a natural treatment. Ignoring all creams and store bought stuff as I initially had really poor results with a ton of others (seemed like I was just wasting money all the time).

    Diet definitely does lots of good. If I really focused on eating super clean and a ton of vegetables I could keep the seborrheic dermatitis 95% away. But this eating still really wasn’t for me. I think this works so well as it speeds up digestion and keeps your insides clean.
    At first I actually didn’t mind the smell of ACV, however, because of constant usage on my face I learned to almost hate it.

    Best of luck with the glutamine, hope it helps. Definitely think it played a big role in my treatment, but I’m not using it any more as I didn’t want my system to become dependent on it. Right now the only thing I do is cleanse and moisturise my face with Restoraderm. However, the cleanser alone doesn’t explain my overall improvements (particularly the scalp). It’s really hard to pin it down, but I think glutamine, being more slack with dietary sodium, and consuming lots of seafood have had the biggest impact. Also for some reason I think iodine levels in the body really help control this thing (I’m not supplementing with anything, but through sodium and all that seafood I have a feeling my levels increased).

    PS. At one point I was applying iodine topically to try to increase bodily levels. It’s hard to say if it had a direct effect, but the period (only a few weeks) I was doing this was roughly about the same period my overall improvements started. However, this is also the exact period/time I started glutamine supplementation (the cleanser came a bit after). Haven’t included this information anywhere on the site yet as it’s extremely hard to say if the topical iodine applications helped at all (I would just take a qtip and rub a bit on my wrist).

    Hope you start seeing some improvements! Good luck.

    Reply Permalink
  9. neil says:

    For a while now, I have tried high concentration (1:1) once a day and I believe now that it is not the correct approach. The seb derm learns to fight back and build up during the day and it is difficult to maintain the skins health when it is being pushed back and forth.

    FYI (my seb derm likes to make my skin oily and builds up a tiny layer throughout the day)
    I use facial Blotting papers to control the oil throughout the day. (This is a life saver in public).

    I have changed my routine recently so that I am using 1:3 Ratio multiple times a day (aim for 3 times spaced out) I Leave it on for 10 minutes or so and rinse off.
    This is much better for results as it prevents the skins from getting oily and also from building a layer. A
    s a result, I do not need to attempt to remove it which can be rough on the skin.
    Lastly, with a weaker ratio, my skin doesn’t stay red for that long after application which is a big plus.

    Reply Permalink
  10. Thanks for the update. Hopefully it benefits some readers!
    The ACV ratio was really tricky for me as well. I was never too exact with my measurements, but it felt like the perfect ratio was quite illusive.

    Overall the skin redness was one of my the biggest issues with using ACV.
    Have you ever tried GSE (grapefruit seed extract)? I’ve had great results with it in the past. For me it actually had some of the best results from anything I tried. However, I’m a little skeptical to what it is exactly. Some medical papers (such as this one, not sure how long this link will work it is a Google cached version of a paid page) I looked at show that most brands of GSE are actually only anti-fungal due to a chemical that is added during the extraction process (the chemical is used in sanitizing products). Brands without this sanitizing agent fail to show any anti-fungal characteristics.

    All the best.

    Reply Permalink
  11. You’re ridiculous. Throughout this page you contradict yourself as if you’re subconsciously looking for something to focus on. Do you want the fail, or do you want clear skin.

    You know ACV helps you, but then you switch to a new product or stop/relax/lessen with the amount of X you use.

    You blatantly said the antifungal worked. That’s the first line for this disorder/infection. Because you must know that’s what it is, an infection.

    You’re never going to get clear permanently. You have to continue treatment to prevent the wild yeast in the atmosphere from colonizing on and in your skin.

    Use the prescribed treatment and do not stop when your face clears. You’re only in remission. Every competent doctor I know has said that you must take preventative measures as well as reactive ones.

    Great intro, but I suggest you focus more on research and less on anecdotes. You’re over thinking it apply the cream or gel or shampoo and continue to do what works. No more symptoms? Then stick with it.

    Reply Permalink
  12. Hi Michael,
    Sorry you found this post to be confusing. It does get confusing as I try to put down all the details I went through on paper.

    Your stuff about the yeast and about competent doctors appears to be quite incorrect. You say that the yeast in the air, that competent doctors know everything about it and that making it going away is as easy as sticking to an anti-fungal. If doctors had enough information about this yeast “in our atmosphere” they would have a specific approach to fixing the problem. If it was strictly a fungal infection of the skin it could then potentially be fully solved with an anti-fungal. However, most people admin this is not the case and anti-fungal treatment must be continued on an ongoing basis for the seborrheic dermatitis to stay away (Safe and Effective Treatment of
    Seborrheic Dermatitis
    , Topical Antifungal Agents for Seborrheic Dermatitis:
    Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
    ). Through this website I’ve met quite a few smart individuals and one in particular is currently having great success with nystatin, but even he has to continue this on an ongoing basis. Personally I’m not as comfortable continually applying an anti-fungal to my skin.

    Additionally research shows that internal anti-fungals can help resolve the issue as well. However, here once again maintenance doses typically need to be continued. (Comparison the Efficacy of Fluconazole and Terbinafine in Patients with Moderate to Severe Seborrheic Dermatitis, Management of Seborrheic Dermatitis and Pityriasis Versicolor).

    Honestly the attitude in which you bashed me is quite off-putting. I don’t’ owe you anything and you clearly found this website because you were searching for a solution yourself. So why bash me instead of sharing you knowledge on the subject and suggesting edits as you see fit…

    Through this website I’ve met others who have found that Apple Cider Vinegar has been as effective for them as many anti-fungal agents. So why would someone use a commercial anti-fungal when they can go grab a bottle of natural ACV from the store?

    For me the ACV was inconsistent and made me skin overly sensitive and baby butt pink. So I felt like it wasn’t the best treatment for me. Instead I kept search for something that would work and eventually found something that’s been working for over 8 months now (I’ve outlined my regimen here). This is all without using any anti-fungals, no dietary restrictions or any other treatments. Haven’t had to even touch an anti-dandruff shampoo through all of the +8 months.

    IF there are any inconsistencies in the post or my writing it’s because I have not had the amount of time needed to proof read. I’m doing this just so I can share my experiences.

    The way you wrote your comment makes you appear that you have solved the condition. Perhaps you would like to share your in-depth knowledge?

    Reply Permalink
  13. becka says:

    Apple cider vinigar is my solution! I was diagnosed a few months ago and, after doing my reasearch, was not hopeful I would ever find anything that worked for me. I have crazy sensitive skin and rosy cheeks so I have to be very careful about what I use on it. I was prescribed a heavy steroid cream, which you are not supossed to use on your face, and it would work for about a week and then my SD would come back with a vengeance. I started doing some reasearch on home remedys and loads of people said ACV worked for them so I thought it was worth a shot. I bought braggs ACV, grabbed a shot glass, poured half ACV and half water, doused a cotton ball in it and dabbed it on my problem areas (I.e. My t zone and cheeks). It smells like stinky feet and it turns your face red but all that goes away after 20 min or so (for me anyways) After about a week I had a huge flare up, worse than anything I’ve had before. I refused to give up on this BC it worked for SO many people and I had tried everything else I could find, baking soda, honey, peroxide you name it. I was on the edge of giving up entirely and just curling up in a ball and scratching my face off. Sure enough after about another week of using it it started to slowly go away and a week after that it was completely gone. I litterly jumped with joy. They said one of the ways to get rid of it was to avoid stress… Well I’m a police dispatcher so that’s never going to happen for me. ACV IS MY LIFESAVER. I still use it once a day after washing my face with honey and I follow up with moisturizer. I beg anyone that has SD to atleast try this. I truly hope the writer of this blog finds their solution. SD is a lifelong affliction and there is no known cure, it’s incredibly heartbreaking when you come to terms with that but don’t give up. Your solution is out there somewhere. Tell the universe to suck it and fight back.

    Reply Permalink
  14. Hi Becka,
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Glad to hear that the ACV hit the nail on the head for you. :slight_smile:

    From everyone I’ve talked to it seems like one common trait is the wide assortment of treatments everyone tries.

    One thing that stood out most from your post, is that you had to endure the initial negative results in order to finally find success.
    Perhaps I always gave up the ACV too early? Maybe I had to just endure that period?

    Luckily I eventually found something that ended up working for me as well (here is what helped me).
    Stress, alcohol, sweat, food, and typical triggers are no longer an issue.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply Permalink
  15. My flares follow a pretty normal pattern. But I also believe I’m having allergic issues as well. After spaghetti or pizza, ( i always ask for extra sauce ) I’m getting itchy, raised patches on my chest and face. My normal SD flares are red, dry patches with mild itch. But what I’m talking about w the tomato sauce ( at least I think thats what I’m reacting to ) is a whole different beast, with an itch that is absolutely unbearable. So often I’ll scratch the raised patch until the itch is gone, and often it bleeds. I’ll use cortizone or ACV on those patches. It stings pretty bad but after that dries, then i coat with a zinc based lotion. HOnestly, I’ll use baby diaper rash cream ( desitin or butt paste ) with the best results. Check labels as those creams have zinc oxide ranging from 13% to 40%. THe 40% will dry up any rash, weeping or bleeding, that I have in one night. But it will stain pillowcases and thats one of the downsides. I’m in the early stages of ACV as a remedy for existing patches. Best defense against this is a good offense and thats coconut oil and a light zinc ointment mix. When I’m slacking, and fail to do this, then my flares come. Thats when I use the ACV and butt paste. I used to use peppermint oil and butt paste but that got to burn too bad.

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  16. Hi MJ,
    Thanks for checking in. Before I seemed to have similar effects to some tomato stuff as well. Mostly in their cooked form (from canned tomatoes), fresh tomatoes seemed to be okay.

    Have been avoiding them even after starting to take glutamine. However, after slowing starting to add them in it’s been okay. Still avoid daily eating of these types of foods though (spaghetti, pizza, chilli). Let me know if you read over this post or if you’ve tried similar suff?

    The butt paste (Sudocream specifically) left a really intense white coating on my face. Was very hard to get it all of with just water. If I used some wash to get it off, it seemed to effect results. The peppermint oil seemed a little intense, so never ended up trying it, did your skin need to adjust?

    Additionally mine seemed to follow some sort of pattern also, but when things started to get better those patterns faded away. Reading psychological stuff for school also made me wonder if there is a mental aspect of it as well. Some of the studies I read connected it to (this one takes it to the extreme) a mental aspect.

    Look forward to any updates. Hope you can find something that makes the skin behave normally. Take care.

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  17. Hi my son has all the symptoms especially around nose, cheeks and forehead that flared up after he had dengue fever. I did not want to use any over the counter medicine so I researched. Now he washes his face with a diluted baking soda water daily followed with application of virgin coconut oil on the face after the wash. For hair he uses diluted ACV as final rinse. Able to keep the flare up in control. Hope that helps.

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  18. Hi Ur,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully that keeps it gone for good.
    For reference, how old is your son?

    All the best.

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  19. Can I get an invite to your Google community if you have created it? Takk!

    Also; I have felt for a while that SD was connected to stress factors. I will try the increase in sodium and iodine.

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  20. Hi Týr,

    The Google community never got much attention and there’s no discussions that took place there.
    Everything seemed to happen in the comments section of the website.

    Today I finally sat down and implemented the social addition to the site.
    Now people create discussion groups, provide personal updates, and send each other messages directly on the site.
    That main page of that component is here.

    Hope that helps and look forward to hearing from you.

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  21. nickp says:

    Acv 100% works for me.

    I’m 26 and have had sd on my head and face for about 6 years. The only thing that worked was selsun blue but I hD to put it on my face daily and it made me over produce oil and kinda lost its effectiveness and even though I read about acv I neglected to ever try it, until about 5 months ago…

    I quit washing my hair (only use water now) and no longer have hair problems and my dandruff and itching subsided plus no odor ever, but that’s not the mirical; I just started putting 1:1 braggs acv and water on my face with a cotton pad after a shower daily, and now I don’t have seb D anymore… Simple as that, I swear to god it works amazingly it makes the redness go away and makes my skin so even and not flakey, I’m so happy I thought it would never go away, just do what I said I use nothing else at all just soap to clea. My arm pits and genitals, nothing else. So good luck do it daily and enjoy a smooth complexion :slight_smile:

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  22. shane says:


    It was refereshing and re assuring to read through al your comments (except for that one idiot who was being smart for no reason;)

    Im in my early 30’s, have suffered with SD for about two years now. It is driving me insane and like everyone else Ive tried steroid creams, diet changes, gold bond ultimate, Aveeno,…Nothing has ever really been affective and I find it really hard to pin point a trigger.

    It truly is devastating hearing your GP say Ahhhh yeah this is SD, you cannot get rid of this, try head and shoulders! That was it! €55 for that. But Ive been researching a lot and I applauded Michael for providing and collecting all this info.

    So I am going to purchase ACV and also the glutamine suppliments and see how I get on. I pray its a positive result but I am dreading the flair up off the first week! Its just such a shame I got this because I am truly beautiful and it is an awful waste! Hahahaha only kidding!

    Il let you know how I get on and once again thank you to everyone for sharing your do’s and don’ts.


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  23. shane says:

    Ps: I live in Ireland and many of the Health Food Stores here said Bragg ACV is serioiusly hard to come by, of late, because of supply and demand. He told me the company used to employ seasonal workers from Mexico etc but due to new employment restrictions they basicaly don’t have the man power to meet the demand. So it will be another 3 weeks before he gets another delivery in. I take it there are other brans just as effective yeah??

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  24. Hi Shane,
    Thanks for the positive comment :). Yeah, it’s quite a crappy condition. Feels like everything should be normal, but your skin just doesn’t stop messing around. Not sure if you saw the main post, which kind of summarises my whole experience, but I’m guessing you did (since you mentioned glutamine). There’s quite a bit of discussion going on there in the comments.

    Another treatment that a reader actually brought to my attention is Nyastatin. He wrote a post and that can be seen here. Also lot’s of feedback and discussion in the comments as well.

    Out of all the discussion and outlined treatments, those two seem to have had the most positive results for people. Especially considering their relatively small popularity (traffic wise).

    Hope something does end up working for you. Best of luck!

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  25. Honestly, I don’t really think Braggs is much better than any of the other premium unfiltered apple cider vinegars. One that I purchased from a local Canadian producer was actually better than the Braggs (especially for drinking). The commonly accepted rule is that it needs to have the mother for best results.

    Honestly though, the first acv vinegar I tried was just a regular cheap Heinz and it worked just as well for me topically. I believe, it’s just the acidity (specifically malic acid) that kills bacteria. For drinking though, the premium stuff has a much richer taste.

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  26. Hey Nick,

    Thanks for checking in and glad the ACV is working so well for you.

    Similar to you I quit using all the hair wash products I used before. However, I haven’t completely got rid of shampoo.
    Instead I’m just using a high quality extremely moisturising shampoo, it seems to have improved my overall scalp help and things balanced out. It took a while to wean off of dandruff shampoos thought. It seems like as you stop using them, the scalp isn’t sure what to do at first.

    If you would like, share your complete approach and I can append it to the main post.

    All the best.

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  27. shane says:

    Yeah it is quite an extensive read! I read through lots of it. The re occurring thing I noticed is the same rule doesn’t apply for everyone but then there are solutions that appear to have a high success rate and if nothing its amazing to find a place with all these suggestions.

    So today is my first day to use it, my skin hasn’t flared up too much thank god. I used 2 tea spoons mixed with 2 tea spoons of water. I just dabbed it on the problem areas for about a minute and allowed it to try in. Hate the smell!! But beggars cant be choosey :slight_smile: Its funny because today I could feel it about to break out, that tingling and tightness and so Im glad to begin today.

    Funny you mentioned the link to because I began reading about that today!!! Seems like another strong contender. Kinda wish I tried that one first because its much easier to use I imagine and no harsh odour. Anyway I will let you know how I get on and keep you up dated.

    Thanks for everything:)

    In general do people wash it off or leave it on?

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  28. I’m using your way to treat my SD (1 tbs of ACV and 2 of distilled water), my skin isn’t irritated and maybe tomorrow I’ll start applying it in 1:1 proportion. I just have a tiny problem with the smell because it doesn’t fade away and I think everyone around me can feel it :expressionless:

    I have just applied it for the 6th time, still no improvement but I hope for the best.

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  29. Apple cider vinegar has worked well for me but the sd keeps coming back. Is ACV ok to use everyday in the long term?

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  30. shane says:

    Well I have been using ACV for 5 days now and I’m not sure what I should expect. I have a remaining print. Not the extremes it can be but almost like it’s continuing the SD to remain at low ish level. Am I expecting too much too early? Shall I continue on? I apply it 3 times a day. The past two days I’ve been applying it dabbed on tissue straight. It hasn’t been too irritating. Just looking for guidance in this early stage:)

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  31. Sorry just to clarify & share my results using ACV I sprayed it onto my face (focusing around the nose, cheeks and eyebrows) an average of 3 times daily for just over a week. Initially starting at a 2 : 5 ratio ACV to water and later topping up my half full 50ml spray bottle of the same previous ratio with water diluting it. This is because I don’t think you need a stronger mix once the inflammation has gone. It seems though you do need maintenance once the SD has cleared, skipping a few days and then reapplying at the start of a flare up won’t have as much effect as using prevention methods because I think once the SD has began a flare up it needs to complete its course.
    Recently my SD had cleared up using the method above, I suggest it for roughly a week. I did it for longer as I wasn’t sure if the redness left behind was scarring or inflammation. Turns out it was scarring. I read here on this site that green tea was good for reducing the redness which was when I stopped the treatment mentioned above for 36 hrs to let my skin adjust applying noting onto it which I didn’t FEEL i needed to. I did this to apply green tea for at night over the course of 2 days. This didn’t work and the SD has come back pretty hard. (I saved my morning green tea bags beforehand and stored them in the fridge, made a 6 teabag soup and washed my face with it and let dry, I also rubbed the teabag on the affected areas after and let dry)
    I am back on the ACV spray treatment that I was on before which I find or hope to be the least damaging and still effective. I do have concerns about the safety of long term daily use though. I know there’s a strong acid called Malic acid in the ACV so I am really not sure if it’s ok to use everyday. If it is than that’s great and I’m over the moon with joy! Please let me know, thanks :slight_smile:

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  32. Hi Shane,

    Yeah for sure, what works for one person doesn’t necessarly work for someone else. Out of all the stuff discussed on this site it looks like the most feedback has been from the restoraderm, nystatin, or apple cider vinegar (roughly in that order).

    Yeah, apple cider vinegar was a pain the ass for me as well. Also the results were mixed. Sometimes even with consistent application, my SD could just start raging and would just take time to settle.

    My current approach has been going strong for almost a year. I think I started roughly in June-August last year.

    I’m in the process of putting together a comprehensive piece on why sd occurs in the first place. I’ve got a good hypothesis and I’ve been digging through medical papers to try and make a case. But basically it’s a combination of internal immune system issues and topical infection.

    Usually you would want it wash it off. I’ve read people leaving it on, but that’s overkill. Plus you smell like vinegar… :slight_smile:

    All the best and let me know if you have any updates.

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  33. Hi Michael,

    The consensus seems to be that it’s okay long term. People have been using it for ages, plus it’s natural.

    Our of curiosity, what method of application are you currently using?

    All the best.

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  34. Hi Shane,

    My results were really similar to yours. No matter how long I kept up with treatment, the results wouldn’t improve beyond a certain point. It was best for removing and control flakes, but my skin never really fully healed up.

    If you want to stick to an all natural method, maybe check out honey. Between the two honey seemed to work better for me.

    Hope that helps. PS, sorry for the late response.

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  35. Hi Michael,

    As I mentioned in my previous most, it’s like fine for long term use. I’m not a medical professional or anything, so I can’t really give advice. However, from everything I’ve read it appears to be fine.

    Your body is really good at telling you things. If the skin decides that it had enough of the ACV, it will let you know. :slight_smile:

    Crazy to hear that you had such a reaction to the green tea. Perhaps it was just that the lack of ACV allowed the malassezia to re-establish?

    If you like, join the community and we can discuss things further. The comments section make the discussion harder to keep track of. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye out for any medical papers on the safety of long-term application of topical malic acid (i’m currently trying to write a comprehensive piece on the origins of SD).

    All the best!

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  36. Ok thanks again, I’ve started taking the L-glutamine every morning before my green tea now. I’ve been looking online for Cetaphil restoraderm products online and I want to find the correct one, are you using the restoraderm “body” cleanser and moisturiser on your face?

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  37. After 2 weeks of using this method flakes appeared on my forehead and under nose, tiny wounds that itch every time when I move my mouth. Skin became drier on red stains, and just it, it’s like worse than before using ACV, I’ve never had flakes ;_;

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  38. Hi Mathieu,

    Sorry to hear that. It’s crazy how apple cider vinegar can have such different results for people.
    My theory is that the acidity of ACV is too far different than the skin’s natural level. Here is an article that explains this quite clearly. For people that have great results from it, they either have a different strain of bacteria (different bacteria thrive at different ph levels) present on the skin, or are maybe using something else to effectively return the skin to it’s natural ph level.

    Hope that helps. All the best.

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  39. Have you tried using probiotics? My wife takes one a day with dinner and that seems to have drastically improved her eczema. She still is having issues with eyebrows so we are trying the ACV now.

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  40. Hi There,
    Tried a large number of different types and even made my own (kefir, saurkraut, water kefir), but none of these seemed to be of much assistance. I tried to go over all the treatments I’ve tried previously.

    Which specific probiotics were of use to your wife? Best of luck with the ACV.

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  41. james says:

    Hey everyone, I thought I’d chime in on things that have worked for me with my SD. I’ve had SD for about 3 years now and at first my doctor misdiagnosed me as having Tinea Versicolor. So for about 2 1/2 years I was using the wrong products and treatment methods on my skin without having any idea why things were not getting better (it was very frustrating). I finally went to see an experienced dermatologist and he diagnosed me as having SD and prescribed me creams. I used the creams for a few months but with very little improvement. I started doing some searching and found out about a probiotic called vsl 3 which is a great way to cleanse your insides and balance out the good and bad bacteria of the stomach. It seemed to help a little but once I stumbled across ACV things really got better for me. I am black and read about SD conditions from all different skin types, personally for me I had the best results of using organic unrefined ACV on my face which I put in a spray bottle and spray liberally 3 times a day. I DO NOT use a 1:1 ratio, but believe if you have sensitive skin you should dilute it because it may cause damage if undiluted. I’ve used to method for about 3 weeks and my SD is 90% cleared up. I had some on my scalp around my nose and forehead and on my cheeks so it was very noticeable. If you still find you are having problems I suggest people try a product called Doxigel. It is basically vitamin B in a cream form which is supposed to be applied 3 times daily also. I have not personally tried it but have heard some success stories. Sorry for the long response but hopes this helps some people as I wouldn’t have found a treatment if others hadn’t done the same for me.

    Reply Permalink
  42. Hi James,

    Thanks for the details. Will look into the Doxigel.

    For me the results I managed to obtain with ACV never really met my expectations. Personally I wanted to achieve complete remission and healthy looking skin. While the ACV would always leave my skin quite raw. Currently I’ve found a method which has worked exceptionally well for me, but I’m still waiting for community members to provide feedback.

    All the best.

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  43. I have had SD since I was in my late teens. I am in my early thirties now. My SD occurs on my nose, ears, and scalp. I used a topical steroid cream for years as per my dermatologist- but recently started using Young Living Essential oils a few months ago. I am happy to report that I only need to use my steroid cream once every few weeks for a flare up. I use one drop Frankincense and one drop Lavender mixed with smaller than a pea size amount of unrefined coconut oil. I put this on my face everyday after my shower. I plan on ordering Young Living’s lavender shampoo/conditioner to try this out and see if it makes a difference because after years of using coal tar shampoos and tea tree oil shampoos which only relieve symptoms sometimes, I wanted to try something new. I tried using ACV this morning on my scalp and I did not realize I needed to dilute it with water… Man, this burns! So I washed if off after 2-3 minutes. But after that, the itchiness was gone. So I will try ACV again but diluted and see if regular use of it helps too.

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  44. Hi Whitney,

    First of all thanks for checking in and sharing your experience.
    That is very unfortunate that you have been battling with this for so long.

    Yeah, ACV can be quite intense, especially on damaged skin.

    Have been working on a book recently and if it’s of interest you can read a draft of the SD chapter here:
    All About Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Overall, from everything I’ve read I believe SD is related to messed up lipid metabolism and fatty acid synthesis at the skin level.
    Basically, our skin is failing to produce the correct oils it needs to protect itself.

    So overall it needs a multi-faceted approach to treatment:

    • Improve lipid digestion
    • Strengthen the immune system
    • Rebuild skin barrier

    To help with the last component I’ve actually ended up making my own solution a short while ago.
    Details on this can be found here:
    My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0

    Hope that helps and best of luck!

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  45. salman says:

    ive got SD on my scalp, so i was wondering how often should i apply the diluted acv solution on my scalp, is once a day sufficient?

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  46. A few months ago I started to get SD. Now after everything I have thought of I noticed it started exactly when I took raw MSM. I was taking it for my joints actually, however I remember my face broke out BAD with acne like I was 13 years old and then the acne went away and this came about.

    I have seen a doctor and I am on fluconazole going on about 11 days now and I really have seen some MINOR improvement. I must eat low carb now for other medical reasons. Insulin resistance however I am not diabetic nor pre-diabetic… Something is up with my endocrine system.

    Either way that is not the point, I tried ACV a short while ago, and while I should have read more I applied it directly to the scaly spots. LET ME TELL YOU… My face felt like it was on fire from the acid… but not too terrible to tolerate. However I noticed my skin was changing to a whitish color and after 15 minutes passed I went into the mirror and the redness started to go away and the flakes were just falling off… they usually adhere pretty well to the skin…

    Next time I do this, I will definitely dilute it… that was my fault for not reading up on it more, however… If it can keep the scaling away and the redness lasts only <30 minutes, I would be willing to do this daily. I will give it a try for a few weeks and see what if it works.

    I am 30 and never ever had skin issues with my face like this before until I took that MSM and all this started. I know it had to have something to do with that because how bad the acne breakouts were, it was terrible and normally I do not have acne at all on my face.

    I will update in a month and hopefully things have gotten better. I do notice that lotions only make the scaling worse but hides it at the same time. After I shower it is freaky looking, depressing too. I am upset this has happened because it is not like most of the rest of our body which is covered up, people see you daily, and people judge… whether they like to admit it or not.

    I wish everyone else well too and hopefully this works.


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  47. Hi J.C.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and the timing couldn’t be more perfect as there was another recent comment that shared the opposite experience (MSM resolved their seborrheic dermatitis).

    My personal experience with MSM was ultimately unhelpful. I attempted to take it based on some forum post I read a long time ago where someone stated it cured their SD. However, for me all it did was really stuff me up. It felt like my face got a little puffy and my nose was constantly stuffed. SD remained unchanged.

    MSM is produced via chemical synthesis and is not extracted from any plants/natural materials. Personally I think it’s usage in medicine is questionable at best, however there are a ton of self-reported cases all over the internet.

    Look forward to any updates and hope you manage to get things under control.
    Wish you all the best.

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  48. basil says:

    I am glad I found this forum as I have been suffering from SD for years now and every time I go to doctor they just prescribe steroid creams but with no hope at all up to now. I am from Dubai city, so I am glad that this technology called internet connected all of us and made us share our experiences and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
    My SD is in my eyebrows, and it’s really bothering me as I used to have thick eyebrows before all of this started. I recently made a purchase from Amazon for apple cider vinegar Bragg and your positive comments have encouraged me to start using it and I got the instructions on how to use it as I was confused…I would like to thank each one of you, and I will update you after a month about my achievement with this oil.

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  49. Malassezia infections for many years in Tzone of face.
    Tried doctor recommended dandruff shampoos, some relief occasionally.
    Tried Px steroid crème prescribed by family doctor, only to be told not to use it on my face by a dermatologist.
    Male, mid 60s, multiple health issues.
    Applied Braggs ACV to facial skin with soaked cotton ball, did not rinse, once in evening.
    Stung for a few seconds, then nothing. Smell left within a couple minutes. Skin redness, but was red at the start.
    30 minutes later applied organic coconut oil to affected facial skin.
    Within two applications, much improvement.
    Third day, skin almost completely healed.
    Will continue evening regime and post again if this fails, if you do not see another post from me, consider this to still be working for me personally.
    I wish you all to find something that works for you.

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