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WHAT IS SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS?
Seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin condition and is a type of eczema i.e. dermatitis. It can occur at any age but is most common in babies as 'cradle cap' and in middle age as a chronic condition often triggered by stress and anxiety. It is characterised by oily, scaly patches of skin that result from a disorder of the sebaceous glands (oil-secreting glands). The word “seborrhoea” means “flow of oil”.
In this condition, the oil glands release a yellow, puss like substance and as a result the skin develops scaly patches which can be yellowish, dry or greasy and flaky. The skin can be red, burning and inflamed, and it may or may not be itchy. The scales can form plaques or patches which can be thick and waxy. Seborrheic dermatitis may be confused with severe dandruff, however unlike dandruff, seborrhoea may also be found on the eyebrows, eyelids, forehead, ears, chest, armpits, groin, and the skin folds beneath the breasts or between the buttocks. It is the combination of dry, greasy, itchy, flaky, inflamed skin that makes it a particularly difficult condition.
WHAT CAUSES SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS?
Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by the malfunctioning of the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for the secretion of oil.
The actual cause of this malfunction is not known but it may be linked to:
● Nutritional deficiencies in essential fatty acids, biotin (a B vitamin) and vitamin A - all of which are important for healthy skin. Biotin for example helps your body use essential fatty acids and assists in promoting healthy skin, hair and nerves.
● The effect/overgrowth of a yeast organism Pityrosporum ovale, which normally resides in the hair follicles
● Food intolerances most commonly to dairy products and gluten.
● A high level of toxicity in the body or an overactive immune system. An unhealthy diet i.e. an increased consumption of junk food, saturated fats, alcohol and sugars can cause an imbalance of nutrients in the body which in turn can cause an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans. This can then lead to an overactive immune system which produces histamine and eventually an eczema-like condition. As a result the Candida yeast attacks the oil glands behind the ears, on the side of nose, scalp and chest.
● Stress and anxiety in adults which can act as a catalyst in the manifestation of this condition.
Apart from these main causes, there are other factors which are known to increase this condition. These include: genetic disposition, oily skin, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and rosacea and AIDS.
It is generally acknowledged that seborrheic dermatitis is caused by the internal malfunctioning of the body rather than any external factors.
DIET & LIFESTYLE ADVICE:
Experts recommend a diet and lifestyle change.
- Eat a healthy diet composed of 50-75% raw foods i.e. plenty of raw fresh fruit and vegetables, including green leafy vegetables
- Some studies suggest a link between skin disorders, including eczema and psoriasis, and gluten allergy, therefore a gluten-free diet could be helpful
- Other foods to avoid are chocolate, dairy products, white flour, fried foods, seafood, nuts and anything containing sugar – even undiluted fruit juice which contains high levels of natural sugar
- Cutting down your intake of sugar, junk food and saturated fats and increasing your fibre intake can help reduce Candida infestation
- Increase your intake of essential fatty acids by eating more oily fish, seeds and nuts, and vitamin E which is found in avocado, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed oils, wheat germ and oatmeal. Both of these nutrients help your skin to keep its moisture intact and prevent dryness
- Do not eat any foods containing raw egg. Egg whites contain high levels of avidin, a protein which attaches to biotin and prevents it from being absorbed. Biotin is needed for healthy hair and skin. Mayonnaise and some types of ice cream contain raw egg
- Eat foods which are high in biotin such as liver, kidney, herrings, cooked eggs and some fruit and vegetables (sweetcorn, watermelon, cauliflower, tomatoes), especially dried mixed fruit
- Avoid smoking and drinking - these can aggravate skin conditions and inhibit the treatment measures.
- Many nutritionists recommend a fasting program once a month to improve this condition – see Cleanse Detox & Fibre
- Wear clothes made of natural fibres that allow the skin to breath. Avoid tight clothing.
- Exercise regularly - to keep the mind fresh and the body active and help eliminate toxins
- Relaxation and plentiful sleep are so important. Ensure that you take steps to relax by practising yoga or meditation for example. Do not underestimate the effect of the mind on the health of the body. Stress has a negative impact on the whole body including the digestive system and the skin, and can cause inflammation to occur.
Conventional treatments are topical and do not deal with the internal causes of the condition. These include salicylic acid bath, selenium sulphide and coal tar soaps. Steroid solutions are also used however over usage of steroids has known side-effects and can also increase the resistance of disease-causing organisms. These treatments can all worsen seborrhea because they contain chemicals which may irritate the skin.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEALTHY SKIN & DIGESTION:
Taking steps to boost the immune system, support healthy skin, digestion and liver health are important for many skin complaints.
See our SEB-DERM Kits
DermaGuard Complex - includes burdock and sarsaparilla, nettle and antioxidants such as lycopene, Vitaflavan, vitamin A, and zinc with Dandelion, rutin, folic acid and vitamin B6 to help maintain healthy skin.
Avoid chemical-based and pharmacy products which are likely to worsen your condition. Try never to pick at or scratch the affected skin it will make it worse.
Natural skin products are the best approach when dealing with Seborrheic dermatitis. In addition to the Seb Derm Lotion or Colloidal Silver-MSM Spray that are options in the SEB-DERM Kits we have a NEW and comprehensive selection of specific natural skin care products at the following links:
Seb Derm Lotion, Tea Tree Soap, Seb Derm Shower Gel, Seb Derm Conditioner
Please contact us for specific advice if you need any help
NB. This information is in no way intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are unsure as to the suitability of any of the products or recommendations with regard to your condition please consult your doctor. If your doctor does not approve of complementary medicine it may be helpful to find one who does.