Seborrheic Dermatitis
Natural Remedies

Seborrheic Dermatitis Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Dorey (San Jose, CA) on 11/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I'm a 21 year old female and I've had Seborrheic Dermatitis for about a year now. I first started noticing it because the part of my scalp around my bangs above my forehead would get itchy and whenever I scratched it these big, gross dry flakes would fall all over the place. I didn't pay much attention to it until months later I woke up and noticed these two itchy bumps behind one of my ears right by my hair line. I then started realizing that I had quite a few dry, flaky patches all over my hair line, some worse than others. Sometimes it would get so dry and flaky that when I scratched, my scalp would bleed. I was starting to get embarassed about it so I saw a dermatoligist and then the health physician at school. Both said I had Seborrheic Dermatitis and that I needed to use a shampoo with ketocenoconozole and salicylic acid. So I bought a million different shampoos....all the typical ones recommended...head and shoulders, t-gel with coal tar, nizoral both 1 and 2%, tea trea shampoo, a natural pine tar shampoo, and the list goes on. None of these things, no matter how well I followed directions worked. The health physician at school gave me a prescription for a mild steroid solution which I was scared to death of. She convinced me it was ok to use for a short period of time. I tried it for two weeks and it went away, but as soon as i stopped using it, the flakes came back even worse! I wasn't about to use the steroid again because I read so many horrible side effects and diseases that could be accumulated from using such a horrible drug. Why would they make such a frightening thing legal? I started looking up natural remedies, which I should have just done in the first place. I found this website, and tried about 6 different ways of using ACV on my scalp. I tried the spray bottle with part ACV, part peroxide, part water--this didn't work so well. I tried using a dropper and dropping it on the parts of my scalp--this didn't work so well either. I tried pouring capfuls of straight ACV on my head before shampooing, after shampooing, between shampooing....and tried leaving it on for 10 minutes, 1 hour, half an hour....just to see what the best method was. Although this got rid of many flakes, there were still some, and it still drove me crazy. Finally, I tried shampooing my hair with an all natural jojoba treatment shampoo, then conditioning with the jojoba treatment conditioner, and combing off the flakes very carefully with the conditioner in, on my scalp. I rinsed my hair, and poured capfuls of a mixture of a 70% organic (braggs brand) Apple Cider Vinegar, a dash of hydrogen peroxide, and a little bit of distilled water all over my scalp and hair. I put my hair up in a towel for about an hour and hung out smelling bad in my house :) After an hour, I showered and washed it all out, then I combed my hair and put organic ACV on a Q-tip and rubbed it into the specific flaky, inflamed areas, and left it on all night. Now, this sounds crazy, but after trying everying, I woke up this morning, and I am like 95% flake free. The really bad inflamed, dry flaky spots have improved like 60% and look better than they ever have. After trying everything, I was shocked to see that just trying different methods led me to discover a very natural, very safe solution to a very annoying problem. I will let you know if it comes back. Good luck and stay healthy everyone. We will find a way to rid ourselves of this miserable problem!

Replied by Melissa
Tucson, Az

You posted this a few years ago, did it work? I have always had Seborrheic Dermatitis, but it is has been under control by using t-gel once a week for about 5 minutes. I think my hormones (peri-menopause) have got it out of whack. Nizoral works but it does dry my hair out and makes it brittle. I want to try the apple cider vinegar on my hair but I'm worried that it will make my hair fall out. Seems people mention it doesn't work and causes hair to fall out, but did they have dandruff that wasn't Seborrheic Dermatitis? There are many different types of 'dandruff' aren't there?

Replied by Heather
Cleveland, Oh

Hi NC, could you tell us more about your ACV and hot cream oil mixture? I'm just wondering what exactly the hot cream oil is, so I can try it myself. Thank you!

Posted by Julie (Seattle, WA) on 11/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I've had moderately severe seborrheic dermitis of my face, scalp since puberty, and in the 15 years since then, I have seen 4 dermatologists and tried every OTC dandruff/sd shampoo and every prescription cream, corticosteroids, etc. My facial skin was always red, inflamed or recovering from a flare up, or about to have another one. I really believed that I would always have to deal with this. On your site, I read about treating my skin with a cottonball of ACV. I tried it, it stung the skin until it dried. But immediately there seemed to be a benefit. After 3 days, my skin looked noticeably better and was soft and the inflammation went away. My skin completely quit flaking. I do treat it with a cottonball of ACV at least once a day it has successfully treated my problem since the first day I used it, 6/11/07, about 5 months straight! I've NEVER had anything work like this. It is almost unbelievable. My theory is the ACV kills the microscopic fungus that likes my chemistry on my skin. If I skip ACV for several days, I notice my skin slowly starts to get red and flaky again. ACV stings the most over the "flared up" areas, barely at all on healthy skin. I can't say enough about how thrilled I am about ACV for SD.

Posted by Teekup (Metrowest, MA) on 11/14/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have "suffered" for more than 15 years with red, scaley, itchy scalp. It's so embarrassing. I have tried all kinds of shampoo: with salicylic acid, zinc, ketoconazole, coal tar, selenium sulfide. I finally gave in and bought a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar. Last night, I poured some over my head and rubbed some on my face, since it was really red, itchy and flaky too. The smell was horrendous! Thank goodness my family was asleep! I watched a little tv and after the ACV dried, I then washed my face and scalp. I could not believe the difference. This morning, I look nearly "normal". No flakes, and almost no redness. And no smell either! Who would have thought that a few dollar's worth of apple cider vinegar would work? On a related note, I used a little diluted ACV on my daughter's diaper rash and the next day it was cleared up! I am going to start taking ACV internally next week after I get some litmus strips to test my internal pH. Thank you so much

Posted by DZ (CT) on 09/12/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have had seb derm in the creases at the side of my nose for the last 15 years, on and off, mostly on. The doctors all prescribed steroid creams and antibiotic lotions, which worked temporarily. 2 weeks ago I decided to give apple cider vinegar a go. I stuck a clean q-tip in my bottle of acv and then applied to my clean skin, dabbing all the area around my nose that has the dermatitis. I did this 2x a day for the first day, then 1 more time on day 4. Then I gave it a break. The dermatitis cleared up on day 6 and hasn't yet returned. I no longer look like I always have a cold! The redness that accompanies the dermatitis is almost gone.

I figure I will apply the acv once a week for preventative measures. This is undoubtedly the best treatment I have tried thus far. If it stops it permanently, I will be thrilled. However, in the past the dermatitis flared up after consuming a lot of dairy products, so I always thought it was an internal condition... We shall see! I will report back in a month or so.

Posted by Lynne (Dayton, Ohio) on 08/15/2007
5 out of 5 stars

ACV cured my psoriasis on my scalp. I have been aflicted with psoriasis on my scalp for twenty years. I have tried more "remedies" than I care to count with little or no success. After reading about how people were helped by putting ACV on dry spots on the body I decided to try it on my scalp. I put undiluted ACV in a spray bottle and sprayed it on my scalp before going to bed. Within a few days I could see that the scales were getting thinner. In two weeks they are practically all gone! Even if the scales never fully go away, the ACV has made the scales easier for me to live with. By the way, ACV is better at drying up acne that any treatment on the market.

Posted by Randy (Rincon, GA) on 05/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I had dandruff for many years and dermatitus for 4 years or more. I read on this site how acv works and tried it. wow ,i took a q-tip and would rub the acv on the areas with the dermatitis, and in two days it disappeared. I also started taking acv tablets and my dandruff is totally gone. thanks to everyone for the helpful advice

Posted by Rosamaree (Sydney, Australia) on 05/12/2007

Seborrheic Dermatitis- Having tried all natural products available from health food stores, potions prescribed by Chinese Dr, Naturopath & Homeopath over the past 8 years, I gave ACV a go. It's been 1 month now I still have dry patches on face & hand but the severe pussing and coarse skin lesions have disappeared. Ted also wrote a response 1/22/06 giving 6 main causes for this dermatitis, I took this info to my Kinesiologist/homeo and we found I was lacking in Nitric Oxide, he is now looking for appropriate suppliment- any ideas??

Replied by Susanna
Austin, Texas

Hi, you asked about supplements for nitric oxide. I'm sure you found something by now, being that this post was so long ago, but for anyone reading this now for the first time, as I am, I thought I'd reply back to you. There is a great supplement on the market sold in the sports section at health food stores called NO2. You should check it out if you have a deficiency of nitric oxide. It's also great for numerous things as better and faster recovery after working out, building lean muscle, burning fat, enhanced circulation, and more energy. The company that makes it is MRI. There are several other products in the sports nutrition field that are similar, but this is still the best one, and it's timed released, for maximum absorption. Hope this helps you, and maybe someone else reading this.

Posted by Josh (Elk Ridge, UT) on 01/12/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi all! What a great website this is...finally; I've been looking for a resource like this for years! Anyway, I have moderate to severe eczema that flares up in the winter and is more mild in summer. Anyway, I went several days without using steroid creams or immune system inhibitors (Protopic ointment)when I tried the following regime. I would take a cold shower, then spray myself with potassium alum (dissolved in water and put into a spray bottle) when I was still slightly damp. Also, I was taking 1 T apple cider vinegar internally twice a day. My eczema didn't seem to get worse until I missed 2 days of the potassium alum treatment. I even had a semi-cold bath with 1 C ACV and soaked for about 20 minutes, but I forgot to do the alum. When I do the alum, it helps my skin to calm down. It gets softer. I don't use lotion.

A friend of mine gave me the potassium alum stone with his story of severe eczema in Thailand. The generous people there gave him this stone to try and it cured his eczema. I've been using it as deodorant and it works very well; no chemicals or additives. I think you can get the stones at a health food store (or do a google search for them).

Get a clean spray bottle and break up about 1-2 Tablespoon size chunks of alum. Put this in about 1 cup of water and then fill your spray bottle with it. I spray a few sprays on my hair and massage it in my scalp. Some under arms for deodorant and then I give a few sprays all over my limbs and body, rubbing it into my skin. It has a weird texture; it seems to sink into your skin quickly - that's why the spray works so well. I'm thinking of trying an application in the evening as well and maybe by then I'll have more of a cure. Experimenting with the frequency... Let me know how this works for you. I used to have bad eczema in my hair that would flake all over; very embarrassing. I cured it by soaking my head with straight ACV and covering that with a shower cap overnight, but I don't like smelling like a pickle throughout the day. :) Now, the potassium alum has prevented it without the smell. Good luck to all, and hopefully we can cure our debilitating eczema.

Posted by Lara (Boonton, NJ) on 01/07/2007
5 out of 5 stars

When my brother tried to commit suicide in Feb. 2006, my scalp suddenly became extremely sore & huge pieces of it began to slough off. This wasn't like little bits of dandruff here & there. The pieces were sizeable square inches of skin. Because the pieces were so large, they wouldn't fall off because several hundred hairs were still threaded through them. The pieces looked like off-white tissue paper hovering about 1/2 inch above my scalp. It was a very alarming sight (though not as alarming as the condition of my brother). I first tried Scalpicin from the hospital pharmacy, but that only provided a very brief, cooling sensation. I looked on the internet & read about apple cider vinegar. The recommendation for scalp problems was to dilute the acv with water. I was in a state of extreme anxiety due to long hours in the ICU, & just wanted very fast relief. So I poured several cap-fulls of acv on my scalp & massaged it in a bit. The only thing I noticed was the vinegary smell & a very slight tingling sensation. I sat for an hour or so, & then rinsed my hair & scalp. It's hard to believe, but after that one treatment, the horrible huge pieces of skin stopped rising up from my scalp immediately. I repeated the same treatment one week later, just as a preventative measure. The problem never returned, despite several months of equally stressful hospital experiences.

Posted by Mike (California) on 01/02/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, I tried ACV for my scalp Seborrheic Dermatitis. And it worked great. The ACV left my hair soft and my scalp 90% free of flakes. I have been using every kind of dandruff shampoo including prescription for 6 weeks. None seemed to help. But two days after one 30-minute application of ACV and no flakes! I also have Seborrheic Dermatitis of the eyebrows that is quite bad. And causing hair loss according to my doctor. Can I use ACV straight on my eyebrows or should I use a mixture? Will this cause any additional hair loss or be ok? Thanks!

Replied by Sara

I am having the same problem-- severe SD in eyebrows, am peeling like an onion. Can I use ACV on there? How diluted?

Posted by Max (Atlanta, Ga) on 12/24/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I've been a vegetarian for many years. And although I'm not 100% vegan, I rarely eat dairy (except yougart). I get plenty of exercise and I don't smoke and I rarely drink (red wine once a month). In spite of all this, I have been suffering from CFS for the last 7 years. Through diligence and hard work, many of the symptoms have slowly faded away. Recently, I got one of Kevin Trudeau's books and in that book he talks alot about the wonders of apple cider vinegar and pure distilled water. I've also researched this on the net and it all seems to be true. So for the last two weeks I've been drinking 8 full glasses of distilled water everyday and I've been taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar a day. I've noticed some obvious improvements. The most significant thing that I noticed is that I no longer have such dry skin and my scalp isn't flaky anymore. Also, it seems I'm sleeping better and I don't crave sweets has been lessened. Nonetheless, in spite of all the good news, I've been experiencing something that's totally unexpected and very unusual. I'm constipated. I've never had a problem with constipation. Even in my worst days with CFS I was never constipated. But now, every other day it seems I'm struggling to get something to come out. This is really baffling to me because I'm drinking more water than ever before and I have more energy, yet I'm suffering from constipation. Do you know what may be causing this?

Replied by Katy
San Diego

Try taking magnesium for the constipation. maybe the ACV is affecting how you absorb minerals. Worth a try.

Posted by Marissa on 04/09/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered with pretty severe seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp for about 2 years now. I have been to 3 different dermatologists for it. None have been able to give me anything that even begins to help. I have spent tons of money on prescription medicine for this as well as over the counter products. I happened to come across this website a few days ago and started reading the success stories. I said this is something I have to try. So, I went to the store and got some white vinegar which was super cheap, I put it in a hair dye bottle and squirted it all over my scalp 2 nights ago. I had washed and dried my hair before I put it on. I did not rinse it off at all or dilute it at all. I just put the straight vinegar all over my scalp after washing and drying my hair. I let it sit for 30mins, then dried my hair again. Well, I have done this the past 2 nights, and what a difference! This is remarkable ! My scalp still has a long way to go, but I see so much improvement. The redness is much less and so is the itchiness. I did notreally have a lot of flakes. I mostly had a very oily, itchy, inflamed scalp with pretty bad hair loss as well which I think is because my s/d is from a skin fungus (I think). My plan is to apply vinegar every night except once a week when I will do vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together. I don't dilute it because my condition was bad and I needed the treatment to be very strong. Don't let the smell stop you from trying this. If you leave it on all night, by the time you wake up the next morning, you can't even smell it. I hope this is able to help others with this VERY uncomfortable condition. I also hope my scalp does not become immune to it as it has to so many different things, but I'm optimistic here because I think the vinegar will eventually kill the fungus. Please repond to this if you have any other helpful tips or "cures" for dealing with s/d. Thanks

Replied by RITA


Posted by Brijette (Bettendorf, Iowa)
5 out of 5 stars

My chiropractor told me to use vinegar on my baby girl's cradle cap. I applied it straight and let it sit for 10 minutes before her bath. I've done this only four times now and her cradle cap is almost gone already!!! Maybe this straight vinegar treatment could work for other scalp problems as well.

Posted by Reader (Boston, MA)
5 out of 5 stars

I'm so happy that I found this site. I have applied straight apple cider vinegar 30 min before washing my hair and the flaking is almost gone. It has taken five treatments and WOW what a difference. It make my hair shiny too (extra bonus).

Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda  

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Posted by Lt (Boston, Ma) on 09/20/2011
0 out of 5 stars


I'm suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis and hair loss. I've been reading about alkalinizing your body to help with SD and started using (2 TBlspns) apple cider vinegar and baking soda( 1/4 spoon) along with 8 oz of water on an empty stomach for once daily( two days in a row). By the second day afternoon I started noticing stomach cramps and diarrhea. I have not taken it today, but I have a lot of stomach cramping and gas. I'm burping a lot of gas too.

Should I continue taking this or should I stop. What am I doing wrongly? Please Help! Thanks!

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

With such side effects, you have obviously started with much too high a dosage. Try a MUCH lower dosage.

Replied by Marvin Is
Out Of This World, Though He

Any vinegar and baking soda will create CO2 gas. That's how a school kid's science fair experminent of making a model volcano works! Also pouring vinegar in a wine bottle and some baking soda in a tissue and putting the cork back in makes a cannon. Instead you should be separating the two. Take the ACV first then wait a few hours then take the BS. But that depends on when you eat. You'll want to take the ACV just before you eat as it aids digestion. BS would interfere with the acid in your stomach trying to digest. So if you don't eat breakfast first thing in the morning, you could get away with taking the BS first. Google around and learn how and when to take BS properly, you'll continue to interfere with your digestion as you have already demonstrated. Try incorporating some probiotics and fermented foods as well. Kombucha, Kefir, raw milk. Stay away from pasteurized dairy!!