With much debate I’ve decided to share this piece of myself with you guys; I have Seborrheic Dermatitis. I’m deciding now to share because, I’ve realized that a lot of people have it; I’ve even found a whole blog dedicated to the research on how to cure it. Although this is not a serious condition it is annoying, especially when your scalp starts to burn and you can’t do anything with your hair because you’re constantly washing it. This post is going to explain what it is, where it comes from, the treatments I’ve done and researched, and if there is a cure. First, what is Seborrheic Dermatitis (SD)
“also known as seborrheic eczema or simply as seborrhea, is a chronic, relapsing […] disorder affecting the scalp, face, and torso [sides of nose, chest, and upper back] [that] […] presents with scaly, flaky, itchy, and red skin” (Oakley, 2014).
People usually get it around the time of puberty but there’s really no cause or reason why some people get it, some say it may be genetic and that it’s a neurological disorder linked to Parkinson’s disease; people have arguments on whether diet play apart, hormones, environmental, or a weakened immune system. So with that said it is not contagious, although it is considered a fungus on the skin.
I’ve seen all kinds of doctors trying to help me with this skin irritant, they all say the same thing or prescribe me the same thing; ketoconazole. I’ve explained to the doctors that I’ve been using ketoconazole for ten years and it hasn’t helped, I also noticed that when I reached 15 – 17 it had gotten a little worse; not sure what happened, but I think after a while of using it my body became immuned to it. They then prescribed me a steroid, as well as lowering my confidence by saying that they can not cure it, they can only prescribe me stuff to help me live with it better. I know for a fact that there was something they could’ve done, but what I failed to realize was that some doctors are lazy and are against alternative medicine; I wrote a paper on it lol. After countless times of asking different doctors — some of who had a different background than I — I gave up and kind of just accepted the fact that this something I’m going to have to live with and eventually — hopefully — grow out of one day.
Although, I felt like I was defeated my spirit wanted to keep going. I took to the Internet and tried to see if I could maybe not find a cure but at least stop my outbreaks from occurring; I read that some people believed that it was there diet that caused their horrible outbreaks. I agreed with that because there was one time I bought a big bag of M&M’s and I had way more than I should’ve and by the second day of wash day, my scalp was unbelievably itchy, so itchy to the point where if I’d used shampoo it wouldn’t help much, I just had to wash my hair with water. The second thing I read was that hair products play a role, which I strongly agree with too. When I use certain kind of products that have a gel type of consistency, it causes an out break; one time I had used gel on my hair and I wrapped a scarf around my head to let the gel settle. I think the fact that the gel was on my hair and the scarf was pressing down on it, it irritated the hell out of my scalp. It got so bad and made me scratch my scalp so much that, I had tiny cuts and boy did they hurt during wash day. The third thing I read was that my immune system may have been weak, which I don’t agree with because other than of my allergies I rearly get sick. I’m not sure if when I was doing my research it was referring to how often a person gets sick or how strong their immune system is against pathogens; although it definitely sounds like the same thing to me. I mean, of course once in a blue mood I get sick but I feel like my immune system is pretty good. The fourth thing I found was it possibly being genetic, people who have reported they have SD, say that it runs in their family usually more in men than females (although I’ve rarely seen men with SD).
Now since I found some solid information on this skin disorder I decided to look up some alternative methods on how to deal with this:
- Cinnamon has a wide arrange of health benefits as well it tasting good! Since my scalp seems to be inflamed when my outbreaks occur, I read and found that cinnamon helps with that as well as yeast that grows on the body. I started out by taking supplements and then rinsing my hair with it. Maybe from the reddish pigment it already contains, it frightened me that it may have lightened my hair a little. Aside from it burning a little once reaching my scalp I noticed that it didn’t do much for me. Now, I’m not no scientists but I took the supplements for a month or two and then did the rinse twice (my patience level is extremely low lol) if it’s not fast acting then it’s not worth my time.
- Sea salt. To my surprise a lot of people who have SD actually use Sea salt, when finding a product, though, you have to make sure it’s 100% rich in its quality. I’m not exactly sure what would happen if you use the regular store bought one, but everyone uses the non-generic one, so I go with the poplar vote. The sea salt really did help with my scalp, it kept the itching sensation down which was a plus, and all I needed to keep my research going.
- Biotin I had read that there’s a vitamin in biotin that can help improve SD in babies, and although I’m not a baby, I decided to buy some and try it. Aside from me taking biotin for years (for my brittle nails) it didn’t do much for my scalp, it did nothing at all.
- Head and Shoulders, Instant Hydration my mother actually told me about this, she has SD as well and she actually bought this product by accident. She tried it and told me about it, I tried it along with the sea salt and I feel like I finally have my hair back. Other shampoos cause me to have an outbreak after a while of using them and although it’s only been a couple of days, it’s working well so far already!
- Rose water, I was on YouTube one day looking at what other natural black girls do to deal with their SD and I saw this girl had mentioned rose water. So I looked up the benefits and it actually helps prolong the SD in coming back. Before wash day only use to last two days I was literally washing my hair every other day, now with rose water, it not only moisturizes my scalp but it keeps the itching at bay. I wash my hair every Friday and before I would need to wash my hair again on Sunday but now, I can hold out all the way until Friday!
It’s only been a couple of weeks — two to be exact — and I’m so happy with my scalp and hair. Now, don’t get me wrong, using all these products at once especially having 4c hair (or very tight coily hair) and has low porosity hair (hair that has a difficult time to absorb moisture), sea salt and head shoulders can be somewhat damaging to the hair. Although I deep condition like crazy, I finally feel like I found a balance.
This condition it’s very cumbersome, it’s not life threading or anything but it’s highly annoying. Imagine sitting in class, and not being able to sit still because you feel like your scalp is crawling; you can imagine it’s hard to focus, especially in an important class like statistics. When I had started doing my research, I hadn’t even known how many people had it, I’m not sure what the numbers are but it’s up there. It makes me feel less of an outcast knowing that people somewhat, (just somewhat) walk in my shoes. I hope that this post was very informative to you guys and although this research is on going, you might see more posts, whether you have SD or not hopefully you can take something away from this. Until next time ❤
Update: it’s been sometime since I posted this and I’m proud to say that it’s been holding up. I recently got box braids and decided to make a salt solution with just water and salt, and spray my scalp down every day. I literally have no flaking, or bad itching; I almost want to say I’m a little cured. I want to try this salt solution on my skin to see if I get the same result (plus I’ll show picture), plus a hair route.
With Love & Sweetness,
Oakley, Amanda. “DermNet New Zealand.”Seborrhoeic Dermatitis | DermNet New Zealand. DerNet New Zealand, July 2014. Web. 25 Dec. 2016.