Seborrheic Dermatitis? Help!
I've tried to make this post a bit more interesting with pictures etc to make it easier to digest. Cliffs is at the bottom of the second post for your convenience. As you can see I've put a lot of time into thinking this through and putting it all down on paper so if you have good knowledge on this subject I'd be in your debt if you'd pare some time to guide me in the right direction.
My mission was to originally bulk from 60kg to 90kg but this has taken a back seat because of this skin condition. This is my goal after I've got this fixed
I'm almost 20 and my seborrheic dermatitis is killing me. What should be a damn good time of my life is becoming real shit and it is getting steadily worse. I am getting additional dry skin spots on the right hand of my face. It has never been this bad in my life. Its awfully itchy and is pretty much all over my face, t-zone, forehead, eyebrows, eyelids, cheeks. I'm not convinced the primary cause is fungal... fungal creams have only served to make it flare, or do nothing. Pretty sure yeast isn't the issue. Its there on everyone... sounds more like my body is having a hard time regulating it. I used roid creams to keep the seb down before I found out how crap they really are for you. Having said that I haven't had a huge use of them over the years so I don't think they've had any lasting negative effects. Its horribly red and I hate going out right now, ditched a party last night because I didn't want to go out with this face on basically, also dread work and uni because of it. I'm a guy so its harder... given no make up and all. No cream or oil (besides roid cream) helps the skin, infact it all makes it worse, including things you think wouldn't be that bad like pure vitamin E from a capsule and oils that are just super on the rest of the skin like coconut oil.
Something must be really wrong because I used to have really really good, blemish-less, brown skin when I spent alot of time out in the sun as a real youngin (3-5 years old). I don't buy into the whole its a purely genetic thing but I think hormones might play a role. I think that means compensate for them with adequate vitamins, minerals or whatever it is, doesn't mean you're stuck with it. I've gone through periods without grains, wheat etc as well as dairy and I'm not convinced I have intolerances to either of them. I have struggled to put a correlation to intake of sugar / wheat and dairy with its flares. It gets increasingly hard to tell with Seb Derm because it goes through cycles, some of which are over long periods, some of which are very short. I'm sure stress doesn't help - fairly stressed because of full time uni + 3 days a week/job, gym x4 a week & this damn condition. Job is a further stressor because I have daily targets to meet. I've heard of conditions beginning with stress and feeding purely off stress, turning it into a cycle. I believe stress can contribute but I don't subscribe to stress exclusive conditions.
What I'm Doing To Correct This
Scrounging through a treasure trove of information known as the internet, (not to mention this juicy forum haha), I've come across stuff like Bee's Natural Healing and the whole candida thing, which I've taken on board but again I'm not convinced I have candida or whatever. I had a shit diet as a teenager (at one point was going through a Coke bottle a day, used to eat half a loaf of bread a day, you know truly deplorable behaviour lol) and yet it was not 1/2 as bad as what it is now. It did however slowly progress and regress to where it is now. It was getting fairly bad towards the end of last year where I spent a month in France e.g dry winter. I came back and Summer improved it a fair bit although it still had its moments despite all the sun exposure I got. We're in late Autumn now here in Australia. The days are fairly dry and the sun is hit and miss.
In this last week its gone from barely manageable to just awful. T-zone and skin near the right hand side of my nose has just exploded into full inflammation. Coincidentally, last sunday I started dosing a bunch of Vit's after reading about how a host of deficiencies in those can cause seb dem. It was basically everything on Bee's list:
Vit A (Although I've cut this after reading Cillakat's stuff on A to D ratios, looks like I get enough from diet as it is), B Complex & Niacin (Also removed for time being aka lots of yellow on toilet visits...), C (ascorbic acid), Probiotics (been through the loading phase and I'm empty and its damn expensive so now I'm using NOW Gr8-Dophilus), Vit D3, Vit E, Digestive Enzymes, Udo's Choice Oil Blend, Himalayan Salt for trace minerals.
and finally :
Betaine HCL (have stopped this, 1 Capsule gives me diarrhea. Why is this? Does this mean my stomach acid levels are just fine? I dosed it because there is a strong correlation with Eczema & low HCL).
About 1.5 weeks ago into went into total remission and I thought it was finally going. Take a look at this:
Today (7/5/11): I put Vitamin E on it for 2 days, not sure if this had anything to do with it going super red. I've stopped putting it on. The webcam is nice. The 'flash' on it makes it look a bit better than it is. Can't quite see all the red on the lower side but this'll have to do.
I know it sounds wussy but its heartbreaking to go from the first picture to the second in a week when you thought you finally had it under control.
Anyway, I was SO excited but that didn't last too long and its back worse than ever. A short duration of time before that it had gone quite bad and i brought it down with the big naughty naughty aka hydrocortisone cream for 3 days and then I think I started popping 10g worth of EPO because of the GLA along with upping my dose of shitty 180/120 fish tabs to about 5 a day.. or was it 10. Regardless, it calmed the hell down and I'm not entirely sure if either of them had anything to do with this or it was like some bizarre extension of the steroid that I've never seen before. Should I just drop the EPO? (The theory being a big dose of EPO helps those who can't metabolise fats properly or something... linked to eczema.) Anyway I dropped both shortly after & was using Udo's Choice Blend on and off. Been very lazy about this though, haven't had any in a few days.
I'm pretty sure I got it around puberty or as I was going through it... crazy hormones run in the family. My mother had horrible acne as a teenager and my sister is a teen and is currently suffering with acne too (though shes on accutane which has helped a good deal I believe, as bad as it is). Historically, acne has been pretty rare for me and I've only had the odd pimple here and there so again, I'm not 100% on that theory.
I've been dosing 15,000 IU of Vit D for about 2 weeks now along with 88mg of elemental zinc for 1 week. Both high doses but I chose my doses because:
• Don't get alot of sunlight, 3 days working and 2 days of uni (middle of the day) doesn't leave alot of time to soak up the real stuff. I didn't get a whole lot in school either and have had a shit immune system for ages (took week courses of anti biotics for sinus infections pretty much once a school term). Was always tired at school which wasn't just a lack of sleep. I am bumping this down to 10,000 though. It was on 15,000 just to raise it faster. I don't get sinus stuff that much anymore, but my nose is always blocked to some extent and frequently have the sniffles / runny nose and always feel dead at the end of the day but can't always get to sleep that easily. Mind magically turns on once I hop into bed. I don't consider my self to have ever been super sick and plagued with malady after malady or anything. I still managed to live an active life at high school, keeping my grades up, doing athletics, soccer and tennis over the course of the year and partying on the weekends. It was more a state of being generally run down more than one should be.
• I've done a zinc liquid test in my mouth. It starts out not very strong taste at all... maybe not even there, but quickly enough I get a mild taste of I don't know what. If I swish it around and stuff it feels all metallically / furry / weird on my teeth and stuff. If it goes on the left and right hand back corners of my tongue its a stronger taste (and also if i swallow it). I've done my best to interpret this on my own and think I am deficient. Given the way I have eaten in the past 1.5 years I am surprised at the very least. (Typically a good amount of meat, almost always beef, mince is very handy for a student trying to bulk ) I was going through 2.5 pounds of beef at one point to get excess calories due to super duper metabolism. As I understand it beef has a strong amount of zinc.
I think my diet is fairly solid right now. It consists of:
4x Bacon and free range eggs x4 and some vegies, usually 2 bok choys or a bunch of asparagus (Yes the bacon is preserved in nitrate/trite, trying to find a way around this. What kind of effects do those have on the body?)
1/2kg mince (Apparently these are grass fed and finished with grain, although they are hormone free. The same may not be said for antibiotics of which I have no idea of really knowing, best I can do) with asparagus or bok choy or brocolli
4 tbps coconut oil thru out the day as well as 4 garlic cloves (anti fungal, bacterial etccccc)
Dinner - usually some kind of red meat or chicken. I avoid all pasta etc, usually some brown rice to help stay out of ketosis, which I definitely do not need at 146 pounds 5'10.
Few bits of fruit usually apples. Used to have bananas but no longer... thanks to floods driving prices up to $15/kg. Dunno if this has any effect and what potassium has to do with this condition.
As I understand, following every single post of Cillakat's I've been able to hunt down, the root cause is an immune dysfunction which is fixed by providing adequate Vitamin D & Zinc to the body.
To address this you need good digestion and an adequate amount of the vitamins and minerals you're lacking, as well as correct ratios for those minerals. Your system then has to utilise the amounts properly.
So basically, Mind = blown at her flawless skin after all the stuff she has dealt with and successfully treated by correcting her nutrition. Props to her - and everyone else here who is successfully managing their own conditions or attempting to.
However being on what supps I'm on... I am not seeing any results. If anything its getting/behaving worse and I'm truly disheartened. The one thing I have not being on lately is fish oil and I'm jumping right back on them today. I tried to match my stuff as closely as I could on nutrition data. How long does it take to replenish Zinc?
• I get plenty of water ~ 2 litres a day or more
• I've also had olecranon bursitis (weight lifting) for ~ 1 month now, still trying to fix, just got MSM + glucosamine + chrodnitio-whatever-it-is (another inflammation condition)
• Looking to get filters for water, shower and taps (Fluoride/Chlorine). would this have much impact
• Haven't drunk alcohol in 8 months, don't know how much of a difference this makes.
• I sometimes feel really lethargic / spacey on very low carbs (e.g just green leafy vegies). I eat a few bits of fruit and some brown rice to bring carbs up a bit for this reason.
• I get 16,000 IU of Vitamin A from my diet according to nutrition data. 9,000 of that is beta carotene. Just thinking back to the A to D ratio maybe this is too much?
• Thinking of going to a naturopath for assistance (thoughts?) Dermo's are beyond useless. The first dermatologist I went to told me we don't know why this happens but here have this topical steroid and this shampoo to burn your face off with. I can understand big pharma not giving 2c about the cause and manufacturing a bunch of useless crap to put on your face - but why does your local dermatologist not even bother to investigate? What has happened to the inquisitive nature of humans?
I've never found a profession so utterly uneducated in its own field and this has really motivated me to consider joining that field to investigate nutrition, how it effects skin etc. If i could cure one person's 'incurable' disease i.e any kind of eczema as a dermatologist I would feel I have contributed more to society in that one action than I could ever with the field I'm in at the moment (marketing). Currently disgusted with marketing theory, e.g creating additional needs etc (which are completely unnecessary and are fueled by greed...)
• Started dosing 21 fish tabs (yes I know lol... 180/120's) Like most fish oils the ratio is back to front but I'm desperate to get the inflammation down. This is the same reason as to why I'm not waiting a week for some stronger fish oil to get shipped from somewhere, its a bitch to source anything half decent in Australia. I am however going to get some with the proper ratio care of Cillakat's info in her sig.
• Its crossed my mind that meat is acidic. At one point my diet was all meat, potato for carbs, eggs, and at dinner some more meat and some vegies. For most of my life I've only had 1 serving of vegies (dinner). Only in the last few weeks have I been nomming through vegies at every sitting. Getting pH strips to figure out my body's pH state.
• Haven't done any system cleanses.
Here is my nutrition data info is anyone is interested:
A quick summary of this is that copper is really low in my diet?? Which I found surprising too. I've just done this today. I've had trouble tracking down if copper has anything to do with seb derm. I thought it was mainly zinc, vit D, magnesium interactions with a few other things and possible deficiencies of various B vitamins. Also D (obviously, gl getting that from a diet), Calcium, which I believe is not a big issue when Vit D is at a good level?
Thinking of cutting down the Zinc to like 40-50 elemental after seeing the copper just then. Interestingly low copper symptoms include dermatitis and pale skin. Over the years my mother has commented on my face looking pale. Despite building a tan this summer on my body, my face basically did not tan at all. Something to chase up perhaps? Body chemistry is so complex and I don't like playing with all of these supplements with such a precisely balanced machine. I ultimately want to build into a diet that gives me almost everything I require.
Also, it reckons I have 7000ish of Omega 6 & 1000 Omega 3. For the longest time I've popped like an extra 3-4x180/120 fish oils lol. Good lord. Bringing this down to 1:1 with ~20 fishies.
I apologize in advance for any incoherent thoughts. My brain is always fleshing out 10 ideas at the same time. There are so many unknowns with this and it frustrates me to no end.
• This is all speculation & my own research. Haven't had any professional consultation.
• Seb Derm is really bad and I'm desperate to correct it, really feel like its limiting my quality of life, especially socially, despite everyone I've come into contact with being respectable about it. It doesn't feel like its cycling anymore. Just feels/looks constantly bad, rashy, red, many little bumps, some flaking. Dry.. yet oily..
• Dosing lots of Vitamins, Minerals, - Vit D @ 15000 (moving to 10,000), Zinc, Magnesium, mountain salt for trace elements, probiotics, digestive enzymes
• Need help / guidance, been getting worse since Vit D / Zinc - don't know how long it should take to correct a deficiency.
• Haven't done any cleanses or whatever. A bit skeptical. Anyone had good experiences with those? I'm sure the body has its own cleansing systems....
• Maybe Copper is lacking...?
• I've made sure my supps are in the proper forms e.g chelated amino's for zinc, mag, natural forms of vit E, etc. Working on getting 'biologically appropriate' fish oil.
• Should I cut out evening primrose oil and be done with it? (Will it hurt my ratios?)
I have a little journal here if anyone wants to follow how this progresses:
How long have you been eating primally? As my SD is about 95% gone, one year in. It was never as bad as yours, but pretty bad on my scalp, behind the ears, eyebrows, side of my nose, plus circular patches on my back and chest. I didn't do anything special with supplements, just changed gradually to a PB way of eating.
The only thing that helped beforehand - essential oils. Lots of personal trial and error involved there, but if it's very red and inflamed I would start with a blend of lavender and chamomile in grapeseed oil. Nothing stronger - steer clear of fierce things like tea tree for now. Erm... you will probably want to use this overnight, as I doubt you want to smell of flowers .
If it got worse after taking all those supplements, how about cutting them all out for a few weeks? You can add them in gradually, one at a time, allowing each one a week or three to show its effects.
about the mince you get, grain finishing wipes out the benefits of earlier grass feeding, so you are getting more omega 6 than you want
think about getting some of the cleansing clay mask (already mixed) from here -
I had a horrible breakout of cold sores that spread to my chin, itching, oozing (sorry for the gross factor), applying that clay soothed the itch, dried up the oozing and allowed healing. I had to do it for at least a few days in a row, but it worked. I also took megadoses of vitamin C every day, like 5 grams at a time.
Last edited by Wenona1975; 05-07-2011 at 03:36 AM.
Reason: more info
@Hilary I've been primal for the majority of 2 years now. Its only in the last year or so that I've become strict about it and mainly stuck to beef, eggs (mince and whatever mum cooks at night) and vegies. This helped my energy levels ALOT.
Back in highschool I used to have oats and whatever, left me feeling pretty bloated. Having said that from Sept - Dec of last year I used potatos and brown rice to keep carbs up when I was going gyming to replenish my muscles etc.. So you could say I am not entirely primal. I haven't noticed any major swings in it as a result of diet. Back in Year 11-12 where I thought grains grains grains and vegies were healthy it was better than it has been since 2010-2011, so I don't really know what to think. Maybe I just haven't given it enough time.
I'm definitely inspired by your success though and I'm thrilled you managed yours, it sounded pretty mean. It IS curable right? I hate everyone telling me "its not curable" and "just see a dermo" to which I say "what so i can get another steroid prescription..." and they just sigh lol.
From December 2010 - January 2011 my diet fell apart as we went to France and had no choice but to eat what was put in front of me. 2 Weeks ago I started eating just green vegies and meat and eggs after I ran into the anti-candida diet. Leaves me feeling very tired / spaced out though. I think I work best on some carbs and I'm not keen on being in ketosis theres no need for it given my weight.
And yes I have chosen to cut out all the B Vitamins, Vitamin A, maybe even C I'm not quite sure about it yet. I'm not so sold on not supping for zinc, after my swish test and the Vitamin D, especially because Cillakat firmly believes its related to the immune system not working properly as a result of insufficient Vit D & Zinc.
I will look into the essential oils, thankyou very much for your suggestion
@Wenona1975 I didn't know about that... jeez that is a real letdown. Do you happen know if the ground beef on nutritiondata is based on grain or grass fed? It says the ratios per 100 grams are:
Total Omega-3 fatty acids
Total Omega-6 fatty acids
So thats about 7.6:1 Probably grain fed? My current fish oil intake should compensate for that, I used the nutritiondata to calculate how much extra O3 I'd need.
Also, I have never heard of diatomaceous earth. I'm assuming it contains silica. I will look into that thankyou
In regards to the Vitamin C, yes they are hard tablets. I haven't had any of the side effects and I go through 4,000 IU a day. I'll pick up some chewables to see if theres a difference or not. Does it matter what the Vit C should contain? At the moment, mine is all Ascorbic Acid
I will also investigate the clay when I get my debit card back..
Last edited by sayaz; 05-07-2011 at 03:57 AM.
Reason: added stuff
it's best to focus on reducing your intake in the first place of omega 6, instead of consuming them and then trying to compensate with omega 3 intake. But that could definitely be a contributing factor to inflammation, the omega 6 you're consuming.
Originally Posted by sayaz
Yes, diatomaceous earth has the highest amount of silica of any source you can find. It tastes a bit like chalk, so if that bothers you then you can mix it in a green drink or something. Another benefit of d.e. is it kills any parasites it comes in contact with.
Ascorbic acid is fine. You could look for the powder, which wouldn't have any fillers or extra ingredients, then decide on a way to take it. Of course that is VERY tart/bitter, maybe you can use stevia or a similar healthier (than sugar or artificial) sweetener.
Remember, everything in moderation -- STOP whatever you are doing to excess. It could be what is causing your problem. Whatever you are putting on your skin STOP for a week or so, when restarting keep a journal.
With all the beef you eat I doubt that you have a zinc deficiency. 6 oz of beef will get you 100% of your daily zinc requirements.
If you are eating right the only supplement you need is vitamin D (assuming if you are not getting adequate UVB rays from the sun) but no more than 2000 IU per day unless you know for sure that you are deficient. If you are not eating a healthy diet (or you are not sure) take a multivitamin.
I have never had seborrheic dermatitis but I have had skin issues some of which were resolved when I started eating 4 tablespoons of sunflower seeds a day to make sure I was getting 100% of my vitamin E requirements. Adequate vitamin E is essential for good skin health.
I know this is an old thread but found it during my internet search. I have been suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis for the past 3 months. I went to my primary care doctor and did two rounds of oral anti-fungal (Ketoconalzole 200 MG), first a 3 day course which helped somewhat then it came back with a vengeance and then a 7 day course that did not clear it up. I found some information on the web about salt water treatment. I got some course sea salt and put about 2-3 teaspoons in the sink and washed my face and poured it on my head, then I gently massaged another 2 teaspoons directly into my scalp. I am doing this twice a day. So far I see immediate results. After massaging the salt in I just leave it on my scalp. I think it is killing the Malassezia fungus that is basically overproducing due to too much sebum (oily skin). Anyway for those folks that find this thread they may want to try a sea salt treatment. Or go swim in the ocean if you are close to a beach.
I have had it on my scalp for a long time. It comes and goes. I have steroid lotion from my doctor to keep it at bay. I don't know if eating PB has been helpful or not. It hasn't been as bad of late. I do eat a lot of coconut oil though and that's supposed to be anti-pathogen.
I never thought it'd be curable, it just went. Not absolutely completely - there's the occasional crumbly bit of scalp or flake in an eyebrow now and again (central heating is not my friend), but it never gets really bad.
Random thought about dietary tweaks - maybe vary the brown rice with white? Or quinoa? Or sweet potatoes? Or, you know, just a variety of alternatives? I'm no kind of expert in any of the nutritional stuff, but I'm aware that the brown part of brown rice is a mixed blessing. And more generally, an alternative (or addition) to trying to chase down specific nutritional deficiencies with pills is to eat a grand mixture of foods - fish rather than fish oil capsules (cheaper, too), a mix of animals and a mix of different parts of them, nuts, seeds, great multicoloured mountains of different veggies...