10 Seborrheic Dermatitis Natural Oil Treatments
Can’t stand that itchy, flaky skin on your scalp and face? Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) may be classified as a cosmetic disease, but it can certainly drive you crazy.
Unfortunately there is no cure for dandruff, and it is often a lifelong affliction. So if you do have seborrheic dermatitis, you are likely stuck with it. There are, however, seborrheic dermatitis natural oil treatments available.
Thankfully there are a number of natural remedies which can help you manage the condition. Following are some healthy oils which you can use to reduce the itching and inflammation. Some also possess antifungal properties, which is helpful in treating seborrheic dermatitis since it is a fungal condition.
This oil is currently a health craze, and for good reason—this natural oil has a ton of applications for health, hygiene, and household uses.
As a moisturizer, it may also help balance sebum production, which could assist you in treating your seborrheic dermatitis.
Incidentally, if your dermatitis is on your scalp, you will be pleased to learn that coconut oil does a good job conditioning hair—but you must be careful not to use too much, or your hair will look and feel greasy. You only need a tiny bit of coconut oil to obtain good coverage.
When you are shopping, go with the “unrefined” or “virgin” coconut oil—not the expeller-pressed refined coconut oil. The refined variety has no coconut scent, but it also has less nutrition, and therefore fewer benefits for skin and hair.
Tea Tree Oil
Another potent antifungal natural oil is tea tree oil. For a long time, there was only anecdotal evidence backing up tea tree oil’s effectiveness, but now there is science too.
In this study, 126 participants were divided into two randomized groups. One group was given a placebo, while the other used a shampoo that contained tea tree oil. After 4 weeks, it was found that 41% of the participants in the tea tree oil group had improvements—versus only 11% in the placebo group.
Note that unlike coconut oil, tea tree oil is an essential oil, and it should not be used at its full concentration. All essential oils need to be diluted for safety—otherwise they can cause irritation and other health issues. For tea tree oil, stick with a concentration of 5%.
Oil of Oregano
A number of different essential oils have received testing to determine their effectiveness against Malassezia furfur, one of the casual factors for dandruff.
One of the oils which displayed potent results was oil of oregano. Oregano oil is the essential oil extracted from the leaf of the oregano plant—the same herb which is used to spice food. The oil is effective against seborrheic dermatitis because of the antifungal properties it possesses. It is also antibacterial and antiviral.
Another oil which was found to be just as effective as oregano oil in the study above is thyme oil. Thyme oil is also derived from an herb commonly used in cooking.
Thyme’s pleasant aroma has made it popular in potpourri, soaps, aromatherapy, and other applications. Not only can it help you treat your dandruff, but it also is believed to have benefits for hair. This means it can be a great choice for dandruff on your scalp.
Borage is not as well-known as oregano or thyme, but the oil extracted from its seeds has a number of uses as a home remedy.
It has been used effectively in scientific studies to treat infantile seborrheic dermatitis, and also has been used successfully to treat atopic dermatitis.
The same anti-inflammatory properties which make it such a good treatment for atopic dermatitis and infantile seborrheic dermatitis make it a great treatment to try for adult seborrheic dermatitis as well.
Peppermint oil is another excellent option for treating seborrheic dermatitis at home. This essential oil is extracted from the peppermint plant, a hybrid of spearmint and watermint.
Peppermint oil produces a unique cooling sensation on the skin, making it incredibly soothing and refreshing. It also can combat itching and reduce redness and inflammation.
Incidentally, peppermint oil has showcased some impressive results for treating hair loss in scientific studies. One study even demonstrated that peppermint oil promoted more hair growth than Minoxidil (Rogaine). I fully recommend checking this out, as it is a very exciting study.
So that is a bonus if you will be using peppermint oil to treat dermatitis on your scalp. It will soothe your itching scalp, reduce redness, and boost hair growth. All that flaking can sometimes result in hair falling out, so that may be something you need!
Another oil which you can try using to treat seborrheic dermatitis naturally is one which you may already very well have in your kitchen cabinet.
Olive oil has quite a few health benefits, and it turns out that some of them are for your skin.
This study looked at an application of olive oil combined with honey and beeswax for the treatment of atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, two skin conditions which are similar to seborrheic dermatitis. The treatment was found to be helpful in managing both. This is likely because it is anti-inflammatory and also anti-microbial.
There is a big price range for olive oil, but at the lower end it can be quite affordable, even for extra virgin.
An oil which is getting a lot of hype right now for skin and hair care is argan oil. This oil is extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree. Argan oil is becoming more popular in cosmetic products as well as cooking in Morocco for a long time. It won’t be long before this oil becomes as popular as the more recognizable oils.
Argan oil is helpful for balancing out the production of sebum in your skin. It doubles as a powerful moisturizer.
As you probably have already noticed, seborrheic dermatitis tends to occur on greasy skin. When you use a good moisturizer, your skin no longer has the need to overcompensate by producing too much oil on its own. This reduces the greasiness, and can reduce dermatitis flares as well.
Avocado oil is a healthy oil and the extracting process involves avocado fruits. It contains omega-9 and omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and assorted micronutrients. Its antioxidant properties fight oxidative damage, while the oil also protects your skin from sun damage and fights inflammation. You can learn more about it here.
With all of these potent properties, avocado oil does well soothing the inflammation associated with dermatitis.
One type of oil which is an ingredient in select soaps as well as shampoos is Babassu oil. It comes from a type of palm tree which grows in the rain forests of Brazil.
Because Babassu oil consists of 70% fatty acids, it is able to absorb into the skin very quickly. It has a soothing, cooling sensation for topical applications, and also can reduce inflammation.
For this reason, it is sometimes recommended as a treatment for psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions.
How to Apply Natural Oils to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis
Now that you know about some of the different oils for treating seborrhea, you are probably wondering how to apply them properly.
Some of these oils, like coconut oil, are great when put straight on your skin. They are safe just as they are, and do not require dilution.
For essential oils, as mentioned previously, dilution is required. You can dilute an essential oil by adding a few drops to a carrier oil. Coconut oil itself is one great carrier oil. Others include argan oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil.
Another method (if your dermatitis is on your scalp), is to add a few drops of essential oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner. Shake it up and then apply it as usual. Leave it in for a few minutes before you wash it out so it has time to work on your skin.
You can do the same thing with any lotions or moisturizers you use on the rest of your skin. You also can make a lotion yourself from scratch. Just make sure you get the right concentrations for each of the different essential oils.
Conclusion: Natural Oils Can Safely and Effectively Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis
A lot of the antifungal creams, prescription shampoos, and RX corticosteroids meant to treat seborrheic dermatitis are quite harsh on your skin, and may have horrible side effects.
But the seborrheic dermatitis natural oil treatments listed above are safe, gentle, and effective when you dilute and apply them properly. They help to soothe and moisturize your irritated skin while combating the yeast which causes seborrheic dermatitis. Use them regularly and your dandruff should start clearing up soon!