Redness and itchiness on the sides of the nose? Flaky skin along the hairline? Itchy scalp? You may belong to the 15% of the general population affected by seborrhea dermatitis. Seborrhea can appear at any age and affects both men and women alike. It is more prevalent at certain ages: puberty, middle age, and infancy until age one.
What is seborrhea?
Seborrhea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that manifests in the increased production and secretion of fatty substances from mammary glands. The role of mammary glands is to produce sebum, a natural moisturizer that protects the skin from external factors. With seborrhea, the sebum these mammary glands produce has a higher concentration of protein. This causes red, scaly skin, excess oiliness, dry dandruff and itchiness.
The cause of seborrhea is unknown. There are several skin conditions associated with irregular sebum secretion. Sebum secretion is affected by stress, anxiety, changes in weather (mostly in transitional seasons), sleep deprivation and poor nutrition. Seborrhea appears on areas of the skin that have a higher concentration of mammary glands: the hairline, above the eyebrows, along the sides of the nose, the chin, the scalp, the chest and the upper back.
Seborrhea is more common in people with fair skin. It is more prevalent in countries where the local population has fair skin, eyes and hair. While it can affect people with dark skin, it is more common in colder climates.
There is no definitive cure for flare-ups of seborrhea, but its symptoms and the discomfort they cause can be mitigated. Occasional flare-ups can be avoided by adhering to a preventative skincare regimen:
Change comes from within: Good nutrition
While skincare products are very important, they are not enough. Eat unprocessed foods that contain essential fats to provide the skin with essential fatty acids and vitamins. Limit consumption of carbohydrates (bread, pasta), processed food, food coloring and fried foods.
Added enrichment: Dietary supplements
To prevent and treat seborrhea, provide your body with the tools it needs, such as medicinal herbs and vitamin-enriched dietary supplements.
Recommended vitamins to prevent and treat seborrhea:
Vitamin A – Highly effective in the treatment of seborrhea and acne due to its antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals and promote cell regeneration. Vital in keeping skin, hair and bones healthy.
Biotin – Effectively treats seborrhea and redness. Helps metabolize fats and carbohydrates and improves the health of skin and hair. Biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss and recurring skin infections.
Vitamin C – An excellent antioxidant that neutralizes harmful molecules, helps build collagen, and slows the formation of wrinkles.
Vitamin E – An important antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, slows the aging process, and is vital for improving skin condition and elasticity.
Medicinal herbs – Green herbs like nettle, pansy and red clover are known to cleanse the liver, which is responsible for the body’s internal filtering process. Regular consumption of these medicinal herbs, either in capsule form or in tea infusions, noticeably alleviates redness.
Heightened basic hygiene
In order to prevent flare-ups of seborrhea or to at least minimize symptoms, it is important to follow a regular, daily skin hygiene regimen. Cleanse skin thoroughly from head to toe using gentle cleansers specially formulated for sensitive skin prone to allergies.
Hydrate skin regularly with oil-free skincare products to minimize symptoms of seborrhea, dandruff and irritation. Apply moisturizers specially formulated for sensitive, seborrheic skin to the face, body and scalp (use scalp moisturizer) that contain soothing oils.
Paramedical cosmetics are highly effective in relieving seborrhea without damaging the skin. Cosmetics that are not specially formulated for seborrhea could aggravate seborrheic inflammation. Regular use of gentle, hypoallergenic products specially formulated for sensitive, seborrheic skin can soothe the skin and prevent flare-ups.