Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition characterised by an itchy, sore and flaky scalp; like eczema on other parts of the body, seborrheic dermatitis can come and go, flare-ups being caused both by external triggers (like chemicals, cosmetics, damp or yeast infections) or internal ones (such as stress, low immunity, nutrient deficiency).
Because sensitive, itchy scalps can actually be aggravated by conventional treatments, such as medicated shampoo or topical steroids, you may want to look for natural alternatives.
KEY POINT: with all of these suggestions, the aim is to reduce inflammation to keep flare-ups under control as far as possible.
Here are some ideas for treating seborrheic dermatitis the natural way:
Cut out the junk! Reduce sugar, preservatives, processed food in your diet to soothe gut and skin inflammation.
Change your shampoo: Preservatives, perfumes and sodium lauryl sulfate can cause itching and flare-up. Try a natural, fragrance and SLS-free alternative.
Shampoo less frequently: You only need to wash hair every two or three days; more often and you run the risk of drying out the scalp and increasing sensitivity.
Treat yourself from the inside out: Boost your diet with leafy greens, fresh food, antioxidants and EFAs.
Reduce stress: Use sleep apps to track if you’re getting enough sleep; limit screen time; get fresh air; exercise.
Feed the scalp with nutritious oils: Nourish your scalp with the vitamins and essential fatty acids that those prone to dermatitis often lack. Applying super-rich oils (such as hemp seed, olive, safflower, borage seed) direct to the skin gets the nutrients where they’re most needed.
Treat The Flare-up
Avoid dryness: Use a humidifier if you have central heating or air con; dehydration causes the scalp to dry out and become more fragile and sensitive to irritants.
Essential Oils: Oils with antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, can help reduce inflammation and treat infection. Oils such as rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender and thyme are good, but must be diluted in a carrier first.
Overnight oil treatment: Leaving an oil on overnight will soften scaly skin, and give the scalp a intensive moisturising treatment. In the morning, use a fine tooth comb to remove flakes and then finish off with a natural, fragrance and SLS-free shampoo and conditioner.
Skin Salvation Scalp Oil is a blend of several nutritious, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial oils, including tea tree, borage, hemp seed, calendula, chickweed, nettle, olive and rosemary.