Seborrheic Dermatitis
Natural Remedies

Effective Natural Remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis Relief

Avoid Sodium Laurel Sulfate

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Pat (Philadelphia, Pa) on 03/16/2012

After 15 years of struggling with seborrheic dermatitis of the face and scalp I am finally free of this horrible condition. For me it wasn't a deficiency but something I was allergic too which caused my body to react and therefore create this condition. Everyone is different but if you are still struggling with this condition and cannot find out why here is my feedback. I used and tried everything under the sun and the sun (uvb therapy). Vinegar, which was a big help for awhile but not a cure all, all types of cream, soaps, shampoos, vitamins, mineral, amino acids, immune boosters, immune suppressants etc. All of this adding stuff here and there but did not think to take a look at stuff I use everyday. Sulfates are my biggest enemy, especially sodium laurel sulfate. This is my cause of seborrheic dermatitis. It was in the shampoo I was using for 10 years and I quit using it and my scalp got was free of flakes but my face was not and I could not figure out why.

So fast forward 5 years later I went back to using a shampoo with SLS and bam it was back on my scalp worse than ever and my face got alot worse. So I switched my shampoo back to an all natural and my scalp cleared but my face remained a red flaky mess. So one day I checked every product that I used and the SLS was in the last place I could imagine... In my toothpaste!!! I felt so dumb that I had never seen that before.

So I switched to an all natural toothpaste that is SLS free and viola... Face is as clear as ever. I guess it was circulating through my gumline making my face breakout. Ok that was the silver bullet. But you must repair the skin barrier that had been damaged by this chemical. I found a product called _____ cleanser and moisturizer that is SLS free and this repaired my skin. I do not use it anymore simply because I do not need too. *I am not trying to sell anything on here just trying to help someone if possible. Just avoid all SLS which is in 99% of products out there. Peace out. Pat

Replied by Caitlin
(Austin, Tx)

Pat, thanks SO much for this entry. I have the same facial problems and it really flared up last week after weeks of great looking skin and scalp. What did I do wrong, I wondered, viewing my ravaged, 1000 tiny bumps, flaking, itching skin in the mirror? Well, in a hurry, I had used my daughters regular toothpaste that she left on the sink. Mind you, I only used it once! My husband and I originally thought it was the great, California sweet oranges I ate. Then, thanks to your article I looked at her toothpaste and low and behold, the enemy, SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) was present. I tell ya, vigilance is quite the necessity with man-made products. While I wait out the 4 days it will take my skin to get back to clearness, I will more dilligently stick to my natural mix: BS, peppermint oil & HP. Thanks for the heads up! Peace to ya as well.... CAT!

Replied by Pat
(Philadelphia, Pa)

Hey, no problemo. I am glad my post has helped you. Its crazy how some people are affected by this chemical and some are not.

Replied by Prince Zankli
(Washington Dc)

You re definitely right I noticed that Dead Sea Salt helps me tremendously. I'm stopping all shampoos

Replied by Jonathan

This post is gold.

Replied by Alex

I cut sls for 2 months and I didn't see any difference.

Baking Soda and Water

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Johnny (Los Angeles, Ca) on 02/16/2015

I had Seborrheic Dermatitis for 4 straight years, and all I needed was 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in water... I dealt with the burning, stinging, and intense itching all over my scalp and face, and tried everything (literally). However, nothing worked, not even switching to a no grain, all organic diet, and taking probiotics for a year.

But this alkaline method did it in 3 days. I put a 1/4 teaspoon in half a glass of water first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and in three days, no more flare ups. Thank God.

Baking Soda and Water
Posted by Sharon (Houston, Tx) on 02/20/2012

I have had a severe case of Seborrheic Dermatitis for which I have been given steroid shots and topical steroid lotions. I have tried everything from Tea Tree Oil to ACV and everything in between. I would get some relief and then wham it was right back. After doing tons of reading I began to feel like this could be caused by the ph of body being to acidic. I drink a lot of diet coke and have a high carb diet. So I decided to try one of Teds alkalizing remedies. Baking soda and water and YUP you guessed it. IT'S GONE! After 3 days my scalp is almost back to normal and the itching is gone. I know that it is not posted as a remedy for SD but all I can say is it worked for me.

Replied by Anthony
(Philadelphia, Pa)

Hi, happy to hear the results. Did you do it 1 or 2 times a day. Also, how much water and baking soda? I know it is to be done on an empty stomach. Thanks!!

Replied by Jerry
(Pineville, La.)

Sharon, I have had this same problem for several years also. I also drink a lot of diet coke and also eat a lot of carb foods. I would appreciate it if you would tell me how much baking soda and water to use for this treatment. Thanks, Jerry

Replied by Traci
(Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Try this link for instructions or just google "ted's alkalizing formulas".

Replied by Missy
(Portland, Or)

Did you take internally? I have it under my breast bone and under arms.

Replied by Julie

Did you drink it or put it On affected area?

EC: Hi Julie,

You drink it.

Borage Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by D (Az, US) on 02/26/2015

My son has battled Seborrheic Dermatitis for over 6 years. He has seen 5 doctors, and 3 dermatologists and we have tried every remedy on EC, and many prescriptions. It wasn't until I came across an article linking dermatitis and a lack of a certain enzyme produced in the body, and the ability of borage oil to stimulate production of the enzyme, that the light bulb went off. My son has been taking 2 capsules of Borage oil twice per day for only one week, but the results are the best I have ever seen. He may have to stay on it for the rest of his life. No more acne, exzema, seborrheic dermatitis, scalp infection, scalp dermatitis, all cleared up about 80% in about 10 days. He is very happy. If you have a really scaly, bad infection, you can apply it topically, also.

Replied by D
(Az, US)

Also be advised a manganese deficiency can cause dermatitis symptoms.

Replied by D
(Az, US)

Vitamin B6 and Tryptophan deficiencies can also be indicated in cases of SD, and also should be investigated.

Borage Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Pine Tar Shampoo

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by John (New York, New York) on 06/15/2012

I take Borage oil daily, wash my hair with Pine Tar shampoo every few days, and apply Rose Hip oil to my scalp. Amazing results.


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by caliguy (los angeles) on 02/16/2021

I dealt with seborrheic dermatitis for about 10 years. It began with flaky scalp and led to a more flushed face, dry skin around nose, larger pores, and red skin or flakes in facial hair and chest hair. I kept symptoms at bay by trying tea tree oil, hydrocortisone cream, head and shoulders, and lately ACV.

The real cure came recently and made a drastic improvement. I boiled 2 cups of water, 4tspn Borax, 2 tspn baking soda, and 1tspn honey. I let it come to room temp and poured in an empty shampoo bottle. Take a shower, give the bottle a good shake, pour some of the watery solution on your hair, and massage scalp with your fingers. I wash the rest of my body while it soaks for around 10min, also cleaning my face, neck, and chest with it. It won't sud up in your hair, but might feel a bit slimy while wet. Finally, rinse it out. I choose to use ACV afterwards as a conditioner.

It leaves my scalp feeling totally refreshed. No signs of flakes, skin has returned to normal color, and pores are shrinking. I end by using a face moisturizer (I like Aveda for sensitive skin).

That's it! I hope this helps anyone else who might have symptoms like I used to.

Replied by wrightio
(NSW, Australia)

I'm grateful you posted this one, for as good as ACV is, the mixture of borax, baking soda and honey in the proportions above have been terrific. I used it as a facewash in the shower

Posted by Tx Kel (Frisco, Tx, USA) on 04/27/2013

Years ago a cosmetologist told me I had Seborrheic dermatitis, because my skin produced too much oil. This causes enlarged pores, red face, clogged pores, and basically you look like you don't wash your face very often. Other than drugs I was told to deal with it. So I have, until now...

I tried Mule Borax for my hair because I wanted to put fewer chemicals on my body and I heard great reviews. It's odd and tough to get used to and I'm not sure I like it. But that's another post. As a side effect it ran over my face in the shower. A few days later I noticed my face was different. It wasn't as red, it was less oily, and my pores were not clogged. Thrilled beyond imagination I did it for a few more days to make sure. Yes it really works!!!! My pores are shrinking!!!


  • pour Borax in a container, about 1/4 cup
  • add hot water and stir to dissolve ( ignore the crystals that don't dissolve)
  • ( my container is 8 cups because I'm using it on my hair)
  • pour on face and scrub hand over face
  • repeat about 3 times
  • rinse
  • Try in shower every day for a week, then see if your face is different
(FYI the concentration is different for everyone. It depends upon your water. We have fairly hard water. Basically if the water feels soft you probably have added enough. If you feel oily after you shower then use more next time)

I'm sure there is a reason why this works, but I don't care. I'm just so excited!!!! It's the best $2 I've ever spent!! Thanks Earth Clinic!!!

Borax, Hydrogen Peroxide

2 User Reviews
3 star (2) 

Posted by Julie (New York, NY) on 10/12/2007


I have been struggling with seborrheic dermatitis on my face for 5 years. I have tried everything - drastic diet changes, candida elimination, probiotics, apple cider vinegar, topical steroids, msm sulfur, betaine hydrochloride, pancreatic enzymes, vitamin C, oil of oregano, flax oil, etc etc etc. A year and a half ago, I also developed perioral dermatitis and ocular rosacea. I read about borax and I decided to give it a try, taking 1/8 a tablespoon of borax in a liter of water for 3 days straight. After the third day, things were definitely changing but not noticeably better. I then decided to try to use borax topically. I combined a 1/2 tablespoon of borax with some hydrogen peroxide mixed with 50% water and I put it on my face then rinsed it off after about 30 seconds. It worked! My face feels as smooth as it did when I was a child, and my ocular rosacea is gone too. I didn't even remember what it was like to have normal feeling skin on my face with no rough patches, flaking, or redness. And I can't believe my eyes are back to their normal shape! I am so relieved. I feel and look like myself again for the first time in years. It seems miraculous. I am so so so grateful. What an excellent site. I suppose my problem was demodex skin mites, and the borax/hydrogen peroxide combo has eliminated them. I hope my experience will help someone else.


Replied by Julie
(New York, NY)


I left feedback for borax saying that it worked for my rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. It worked initially but it came back today. So I detract my initial claims in the feedback I left yesterday. Thanks.

Replied by Ted
(Bangkok, Thailand)
391 posts

Borax was not taken internally later on of 1/8 teaspoon in one liter of drinking water and only the borax and peroxide was applied externally. That's probably why it didn't work. Of course, getting the pH to 7 is still important. Dietary sugars and acid forming food is what is causing the seborrheic dermatitis.

Replied by Billy72
(Devon, Uk)

Hi, I just wondered Ted - are you saying to apply the borax/peroxide externally and drink internally in order to clear it long term?

Replied by Self

Hey there Bill, That's what Ted is saying, oral and topical borax-H2O2 are two popular remedies he suggests for various skin disorders like this (often caused by mites). Oral Borax & H2O2: 1/8 teaspoon borax and half cap (or 30 drops) of 3% H2O2 in one liter of water (drink this throughout the day). When it's done, drink plain water. Topical Borax-H2O2: Add enough 1 to 1. 5% H2O2 to borax to make a paste and apply it to the problem area. Repeat as needed. Borax can cause skin to get dry, so make sure to stay hydrated and use a good moisturizer (e.g. Jojoba oil) on dry skin.

Replied by Billy72
(Devon, Uk)

Hi, I can't find 1% hydrogen peroxide to apply topically to my face, only 3%, Is this okay? and can someone please explain to me very clearly how I make a mixture to apply to my face, how many times a day and for how long? I'm finding all the descriptions of topical amounts very confusing. Thanks

Replied by Oxygen Therapy
(Miami, Florida, Usa)

Billy72, a 1% solution for your face is sufficient. Simply purchase the regular 3% from your grocer and mix it with 2 parts purified water. Splash on at will.

Replied by Billy72
(Devon, Uk)

Thanks for that, and if I want to mix it with the borax do I just add the borax to that solution until it's a paste? how may times a day would I do that for? Thanks

Replied by Christal
(Kyle, Tx)

I found that mixing one half teaspoon Borax with two tablespoons of Hydrogen peroxide worked great for me! You want the borax to dissolve completely and you may have to add a half a teaspoon hydrogen peroxide until it disolves completely.

Replied by Billy72
(Devon, Uk)

Was that 3% hydrogen peroxide?! With no water? I want to get it right as I've just had a terrible experience with iodine and my face looks worse then ever! How often did you apply it? Thanks

Caprylic Acid, Probiotics, Avoid Milk

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, Ga) on 11/10/2010

It only took me about 20 years to make the discovery, thanks to effective muscle testing at a local herb store here in Atlanta, but seborrheic dermatitis on the face can be managed by 3 things:

1. Taking Caprylic acid supplements (used to fight candida and fungal infections)

2. Taking a potent probiotic strain (mine contains l. acidophilus, l. rhamnosus, l. casei and b. longum)

3. Avoiding milk as much as possible

This is not a cure, but taking the above 2 supplements will make the rash disappear. 1-2 weeks to see results. It you have seb derm on the scalp, these 3 suggestions also may work for you too. Please let me know if it helps anyone!

Replied by Isabel
(Acworth, Ga)

Hi, I also have seborrhea, and I have been trying to avoid simple carbs for 1 mo, I am not eating sugar, or sweets, I have a proteing shake in the morning and add some blueberries, but for lunch and dinner I have meat and veggies, and it went away, and it is coming back. I am not sure what I am doing but I would like to try what you are doing, what probiotic are you taking? I live in GA and would like to go to the store that you went, what is the name of it? Thanks, Isabel

Chamomile Tea

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Becky (Port Townsend, WA) on 01/22/2006

I used the acv and it works but I have a hint for people with winter scalp (flaky tight scalp). Steep 2 bags of chamomile tea in 2 cups warm water for 10 minutes. Add a dash of lemon juice and 15 drops of calendula (marigold) extract then pour onto scalp and let sit for 10 minutes and shampoo and condition as normal. I have done this 2x a week wince winter set in and it is perfect. No more flaking or redness.

Coconut Oil

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Leslie (Oak Park, Il) on 01/06/2016

For occasional reoccurring seborrhea dermatitis behind my ears, one day realizing that coconut oil had anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, I put some on the effected scalp. Hadn't had any dermatitis since and it has been over a year.

As for my mild roseaca, I keep out of the sun, using a 50 sunblock and stay away from very spicy hot foods as both exposures seem to cause a flair up.

Coconut oil on the face I no longer do because I was told the large molecule can clog pores. I heard (very expensive) manuka honey from the continent down under is anti-viral, but you have to watch out for fake stuff.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Leslie, coconut oil hasn't seemed to clog me any pores. I only use the least amount that will extend all over the face and neck.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Ed (London, Hornsey) on 03/04/2009

At 24 I had my first experience of seborrheic dermatitis, and had it for about 2 years. I can honestly remember one girl commenting 'it looks like his nose is turning green', to be honest I couldn't care less what she said, but there were times when i felt so low I didn't want to leave the house. I might have been exaggerating, but my nose was going from small red marks, to be inflamed burn marks, to a yellow gewy substance which would eventually harden.

I tried so many things. At first the steroid cream I used did the job in the short term. But it was no long term cure I was comfortable with. If I stopped using it it was back in a week. Maybe less. So I stopped using that pretty early. I also used aveeno yeast cream, aloe vera (from a bottle and from a plant), going on a yeast free and sugar free diet (to be honest this lasted about a month and a half, and don't think I went completely all out. But tried to cut the main stuff out), and garlic- none of these things worked.

Funnily enough, when I went to the states, it practically seemed to go on its own.

Then I decided to use coconut oil. externally (100% coconut oil- the brand is pukka). I applied it about once every day, not very much was needed as it is a very oily product. Actually I started by using this and taking it internally, eating crushed coconut from a jar with a spoon. but now I just apply it externally. I've been doing this for about 4 to 5 months now, and it is already feeling like a miracle cure, so I hope it carries on like this! I only had one major flare up since, whereas before I was getting one every other week. I hope I'm not speaking to soon, but it's really helped my confidence, and probably changed my life for the better. And something so simple! Just gotta thank the people on this website (and this website for this).

Of course a downside could be seen as it coming back if I stop using it. But who knows, it might even go for good!

Replied by Valentine
(Portland Or)

Coconut oil made my seborrheic dermatitis worse. It actually spread it from around my nose and chin up to the corners of my eyes. After a little research, I am convinced that adding oil is the wrong move for SD. The area needs to be dried out. See my cure under sea salt.

Replied by Susie
(New York)

I had the same experience with coconut oil, and actually all oils because they feed the yeast, but I recently had a breakthrough. I've been using straight caprylic acid, isolated from coconut oil. The yeast can't eat it because it's too acidic. It restores the skin's acid mantle. I use it instead of soap. Soap of any kind will make things worse because it strips your skin's natural defenses and the yeast prefer the alkaline environment. Caprylic acid is much more cleansing and less irritating. I use it to remove makeup, shave, and even wash my hair instead of shampoo and conditioner, rubbing it directly into my scalp. It will leave your hair soft, frizz-free, and strangely not oily. Any other oils I've put in my hair have bogged it down and made it impossible to dry, causing humidity that only made the problem worse. I've tried everything else and it wasn't until I ditched the soap and adopted nothing but caprylic acid that I was able to sleep without itching. Seriously. I tried apple cider vinegar, baking soda, witch hazel, calendula, dead sea salt, various clays, manuka honey, tea tree oil, oregano oil, olive leaf, various herbal tinctures (NEVER put an alcohol tincture on it. The yeast will start furiously feeding on the alcohol and you will have the worst flare up of your life! ), a paleo diet, a candida diet, an autoimmune diet, various top shelf probiotics, etc. You name it; I tried it. I was desperate to avoid corticosteroids, but I was forced to resort to them when I was losing sleep to itching. I would get really strung out. Nothing has worked like caprylic acid.

Replied by Toni

Where do you get isolated caprylic acid from? have looked everywhere, unable to find. I also found putting any oils on the scalp area made it worse. and have tried nearly everything.

Andrea C
(Wales Uk)

It's actually MCT oil you need on it, specifically a C8 rated MCT Oil.

Andrea C xxx


Brain Octane (from Bulletproof) is C8 Caprylic Acid

Cold Laser Therapy

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Hillary (Salt Lake City) on 07/02/2006

I have extreme seborhic dermatitis on both my scalp and eye lids. I went to a naturopathic chiropracter who practes applied kinesology and cold laser therapy. The best dermatologist and doctors in the Salt Lake Valley kept prescribing sterorids, and medicine and nothing worked. I finally went to a doctor who did cold laser therapy on my eye and scalp three times a week for six weeks and it is completly gone, and hasn't come back as of yet, and it has been over six months, I call him my miracle doctor. If you want more info on this type of doctor they use all natual cures, no prescriptions etc. check them out online.

Replied by Lauren
(Asheville and Boca Raton, North Carolina and Flori)

Hey Hillary, I also have seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp and I have it on my eyebrows as well, I was wanting to try this cold laser therapy, I had a few questions though. At the chiropractic that you went to, had he done this before for conditions like yours? I'm afraid of getting it done at a chiropractic office if they only have experience on using it for muscle issues. Also how is your condition now, did it come back? Have you had to do maintenence therapy? I'm amazed that nothing came back even after 6 months, that is enough for me, but just curious what has happend now.

Replied by Maria
(Vancouver, Bc)

Hillary, Can you please advise which doctor you used in your area for this? How long was each treatment?


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Deirdre (CT) on 01/24/2021

Hi, I had mild seb derm on my face (around my nose) for 3 decades. What permanently got rid of it was vitamin d3 supplements. Condition 100% disappeared after taking 10,000 d3 for a few days and has never returned.

P.S. Also tried the borax remedy, topical and internally, but it only helped temporarily.

Posted by Megs (Cambridge) on 05/30/2019

I previously wrote EC about D3 for seb derm around my nose and in the creases of my mouth.

I wanted to update that YES, it is in fact a cure and not just a temporary fix! As a test I stopped taking the D3 after two steady weeks on it and nothing has reappeared on my face. I was taking between 2,000-6,000 drops of d3 serum a day. Very exciting.

I have had the condition for most of my life! So I guess it took me two weeks to get my vitamin d levels restored and now that I have done that, my body just needs a bit here and there. Hope this helps someone else suffering from this condition.

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