Seborrhea is a chronic, incurable condition that cannot be cured, but it can be controlled and flare-ups can be prevented. Keeping a good, balanced diet, reducing stress, taking dietary supplements, and using quality, specially formulated, therapeutic skincare products can aid in alleviating and managing seborrhea. Combination treatment is ideal in preventing flare-ups:
External treatment: Using gentle dermocosmetic products effective in soothing the skin and in balancing sebum secretion.
Internal treatment: Ideally, skin should be provided with everything it needs to stay healthy. Eat foods that contain essential fatty acids like avocado, tahini, fish from the North Sea, legumes and wholegrains. Limit consumption of processed foods, food coloring, and saturated fats like high-fat cheeses and fried foods.
In addition to good nutrition, it is important to provide the body with the vitamins, medicinal herbs and natural ingredients it needs to prevent and fight seborrhea flare-ups: vitamins C, E, D and especially vitamin A, biotin (a vitamin derivative), green medicinal herbs, red clover, turmeric, nettle and pansy.
How are flare-ups connected to lifestyle and nutrition/supplements?
An unbalanced diet that does not contain a healthy ratio of all food groups (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients) can cause inflammation. This inflammation can impair cell division, so the first areas impacted are those where cell division is most rapid: skin, nails, hair, and the epithelium of the metabolic system. Inflammation in these areas also disrupts proper sebum secretion, which can lead to seborrhea.
The most harmful nutritional causes are:
- Empty calories – Starchy foods with a high glycemic index are quickly absorbed. This can cause an increased secretion of insulin, which leads to the secretion of pro-inflammatory hormones. These foods include bread, pasta and rice.
- Trans fats – These fats can be found in margarine, pastries, frozen baked goods and fried foods. Trans fats remain in the bloodstream for a long time because they cannot be metabolized. They even make cells more solid – they damage membrane structure and cause cell degeneration.
A healthy lifestyle that incorporates physical activity and a balanced diet reduces stress hormones and lowers tension. The current understanding is that the more natural our food is and the less it is fried or cooked (raw food), the lower our stress level.
Why are dietary supplements recommended instead of relying on nutrition alone?
It is very difficult – almost impossible – to follow a diet that is varied enough to meet all our nutritional needs and that provides our required level of micronutrients. CoQ10, for example, is almost entirely impossible to obtain from food. Vitamin E is only present in a few types of nuts, but we would need to eat hundreds of grams of nuts to meet our nutritional needs, which would lead to excessive calorie consumption. This is also the case with omega 3 – most farmed fish today does not contain essential fatty acids EPA+DHA. Prepared, frozen, cooked and fried foods that we eat do not contain the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals. As a result, we miss out on most of the essential enzymes and nutrients that we need every day. The ideal solution is to complement nutrition that is as natural as possible with dietary supplements.
Which supplements are essential and what do they contribute?
Antioxidants – such as vitamins A, E, French pine bark (pycnogenol), CoQ10 and wild rose extract (rich in vitamin C) to neutralize damage caused by oxidization.
Detoxifying ingredients – such as taraxacum, red clover, nettle and dandelion to help rid the body of toxins.
Anti-inflammatories – such as turmeric and zinc to treat skin conditions associated with seborrhea.
In addition to these supplements, it is recommended to take a general multivitamin and omega 3 (EPA+DHA).
Can therapeutic or skincare products that contain supplements replace dietary supplements?
No. A very small portion of vitamins and minerals can permeate the skin and these only reach its outer layer (the epidermis). The best way to reach the deeper layers of the skin (the dermis) is through supplements or nutrition that work their way through the metabolic system within minutes. Since dietary supplements reach the dermis but not the epidermis, it is best to use skincare products for the outer layer of the skin in combination with supplements for the deeper layer of the skin.