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Thread: Seborrheic Dermatitis Success Story

  1. #1
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    Default Seborrheic Dermatitis Success Story

    Hello all,

    I signed up here for one reason: to post the story of how I wound up with super clear skin after more than a decade suffering with severe seborrheic dermatitis. I remembered all the time I'd spent on forums like this one, searching for the answer to my problems, and I decided I'd kick myself if I didn't post on here to try to help some of you out.

    Some background: I developed bad dandruff around the age of 11 and by the time I was 13, my face was blotchy red all over. Let's just say I heard the words "looks like you got some sun" more than I would have liked. The condition sometimes got a little better, then much worse, seemingly very random. From time to time, this got me down pretty low emotionally when I was a kid. I felt like it was ruining my social life. I had bad acne as well. I visited a ton of dermatologists, tried a ton of medication, was even tested for lupis at one point. Some of them said I had rosacea, some said seborrheic dermatitis. Nothing seemed to help much. As I got older the real bad breakouts seemed to become less frequent, so I basically just lived with it. Found some soaps that seemed to keep it under control and tried to shrug off the occasional "your cheeks are so red" or "you need some lotion on your face" comments.

    Fast forward to my senior year of college. Again, randomly, my skin was looking pretty clear but still very dry. I graduated and started looking for jobs in TV journalism. As I'm on this stressful job hunt, I develop the worst breakout I'd ever had. This is itchy, painful, sometimes oozing, very dry, nasty stuff, folks. TV-MA. Too vulgar for a Quentin Tarrantino film. OK maybe I'm exaggerating but it was bad. So, I land a job and I have to move to the middle of nowhere, show my face publicly on TV caked in makeup, doing my best to cover all this dry, red skin. SUPER STRESSFUL stuff. Not to mention journalism is just stressful as is. This one stuck with me for months, about half a year. The doctors at this point all said it was seborrheic dermatitis but the steroid creams they gave me didn't seem to help much. I started trying some alternative stuff, apple cider vinegar and yogurt masks and coconut oil. I even tried different diets, going paleo and even vegetarian for a short time (didn't help). I started doing yogurt masks every night and coconut oil and it started getting much better, but here's the deal. Coconut oil is good stuff for me. It's a good moisturizer for me. The yogurt masks, in retrospect, probably weren't doing anything for me. I'll explain why in a bit.

    So I get a couple promotions to bigger cities and I end up in a pretty big market a couple years after that first job. Again, pretty stressful position, and even my social life was stressful because I was in a new city where I didn't know anyone. I wound up in a relationship that, looking back, was extremely stressful. You probably don't need a crystal ball to predict what happened next. I had a breakout that was WAY worse than any other I'd ever had. It was no longer just on my cheeks, it was on my eyelids, my chest and yes, to all the guys wondering, it popped up in that "oh no! not down there!" spot.

    And of course, my old tricks don't work. Coconut oil and yogurt seemed to do nothing. After several weeks of this and no solid solutions even from several doctors, I was in full on panic mode. I wound up badly depressed and anxious. I did an allergy test which found nothing. I was prescribed Protopic, which worked wonders for me in the short term, clearing it all up, but then it would come roaring back when I stopped the medicine.

    After several months on this, I decided I needed to see the best doctors available. I made an appointment with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The dermatologist there, to my initial frustration, said a lot of the same stuff the other doctors had said. "Just keep using the protopic, use Dove soap, don't use harsh detergents..." Then she asked me about the stress in my life, which I told her was through the roof because of the skin condition. She set me up with a psychiatrist there the same day.

    This might not be the solution you're looking for, but it was the thing that really helped me. Putting this condition behind you and moving on to clear skin starts and ends with your mind. Your mental state can have a serious impact on how your physical body reacts to things.

    I explained to him that I'd abandoned a lot of things that I love because of my skin. I wasn't working out because it felt like the sweat or movement against the skin was making it worse. He suggested that I very gradually get back into exercising. He basically gave me some advice on how to focus on positives and stop letting my skin do the thinking for me. I was really engulfed mentally by my skin.

    So I took his advice. I also started meditating, and just trying to relax more in general. I believe at first I still used the Protopic to help calm the flareups. Within a couple months, I was barely using the Protopic. Once I started feeling better about life, my skin started looking and feeling much better. The extreme sensitivity started to fade and believe it not, my skin started looking WAY better than ever. To be clear, even when I wasn't having a flareup, I still had moderate redness in my cheeks before this period. I got to a point a few months after that visit with the psychiatrist where my skin was actually completely clear. I was also thinking much more clearly, and came up with some really sensible ideas to help my skin. For one, I remembered that I had bad dandruff as a kid and Head and Shoulders helped. I thought, it'd be great if there's a gentle soap with that same 2 % zinc formula. Turns out there are a few. You can buy them online. Works great for me. Looking back, I think the yogurt masks only worked during that time because I'd put it on and really relax and sit still. It was a lot like meditating!

    Anyway, that was like 2 years ago. My skin is still looking great. People actually compliment my skin sometimes, which is weird considering I spent most of my life looking like I had a permanent sunburn.

    Here are the main takeaways:

    1. You've probably been told stress or your mental state is a factor but not a cause. What if it is the cause? I believe, in my case, it is the main driver. I still get very minor flareups every once in a while when I'm really stressed. If i can just relax for a day or two, it clears up.

    2. If Head and Shoulders works for your dandruff, I'd try a soap with 2 % zinc for your face or other skin.

    3. Don't let this take over your mind/life! If you did what I did and stopped working out or doing some other activity you enjoy, try to gradually get back into it. Live your life like you don't have seborrheic dermatitis, and it just might start to go away. It's been scientifically proven that your body is much more capable of fighting off physical illnesses if you are relaxed and happy.

    ONE LAST THING:

    You might be scouring the web looking for answers and agonizing every time you read someone's horror story and seeing that they never posted on the thread "I found a solution!" I know, because I used to do that. So let me say this: just because someone didn't post their solution doesn't mean they didn't find it. My skin cleared up 2 years ago and tonight, I was bored and I remembered I kind of promised myself way back that I'd post my solution if I found it to help others out. I think people who get over their skin conditions aren't interested in returning to the forums to post their solutions. They're more interested in moving on and enjoying their lives. So, if you're seeing a lot of threads that don't have a happy ending, it doesn't mean that's really how the story ended.

    Hope I can help some people!

  2. #2
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    Interesting read! And I do agree with you with stress one hundred percent, iv had serboreic dermatitis for a year now and when it developed I had a lot of stuff going on and stress,
    Also iv noticed when I spend everyday looking online for a succes/cure and looking in the mirror it does nothing but stress me out, and when I think "no I'm just going to get on with my life" my skin looks and feels a lot better, so I do agree with you it's sometimes just hard to get on with it isn't it, and it was only today I thought to myself, is the Internet really a great place to be looking succes and cure when you only go there for advise yourself, and how many people have rid of this and not told anyone? Hundreds of people I bet,

  3. #3
    Member Senbonzakura's Avatar
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    As long as you come here and read these threads taken with a pinch of salt it really isn't that bad.

    I used to come here all the time and read about peoples success stories and it was disappointing when they didn't work, and also people's horror stories which was even worse. Now I just come here for informative information and a quick browse and to help anybody if I can.

    Not sure if it's contributed in clearing up my SD but it definitely has helped me enjoy my life!

  4. #4
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    Hi TJM, I think it's great you've taken time to achieve this promess. I, as many I guess, am very thankful for this.

    Plus, I've always been convinced stress is a huge factor, byt many pathways though. I think it's about stress acting on nervous system. But reducing it may be able to reduce a lot of symtoms.

    Well, whatever, thanks a lot for sharing !

  5. #5
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    Great post and it highlights an important point to keep in mind re this condition, that being there are many sufferers of sd who recover from sd after following the instructions of their dermatologist by using steroids despite the internet and many forums implying otherwise. This is bc people who get 'cured' or get 'relief' do not jump on forums to tell people about it. They just assume the medicine worked as intended and go about their daily life..

    The past week I have done some deep soul searching and after a horrendous breakout that made it impossible for me to go to work and almost had me (a grown man..) in tears over the state of my face, I am seriously considering giving steroids a second chance...

    Great post OP, thanks

  6. #6
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    I think that even though forums and the Internet has gave me lots of tips and things that have helped me with my SD, ultimately mine is in its best state when I have just put my Cream on and just gone about my day, and as hard as it can be just tried to forget, the more iv tried to do restricting diets and things the worse my flare ups are, there is so many things that contribute to flare ups sometimes you just end up stressed out even more

  7. #7
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    Default My seborrheic dermatitis success story too

    Hi Thanks for sharing your success story!


    I agree, as soon as I feel stressed my dermatitis flares up, so yoga and meditation and less work help a lot!


    The other factors that completely cured me were: cutting out sugar and dairy completely, cutting out all processed foods, especially fatty ones, daily probiotics to keep the gut moving and I found a really good non-steroidal anti inflammataroy cream which keeps the nasty scales and redness at bay : Sebclair.

    Sometimes it returns when my diet and lifestyle go a bit crazy,but as soon as I take the steps above, it goes away again .

    Good luck to others! Naomi

  8. #8
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    Default SD help

    Hello all,

    I am new to group but have suffered with SD for early 10 years. It was manageable for the first 3-5 years. However, In recent years it flared up to the point where creams and diet changes couldnít help. From there I gave up on topical steroids and anti inflammatory creams. Also, I ate fairly normal. Only difference, NO candy and a lot of water. Also, I decided to wash my face with clean and clear cleanser every night. Finally, use a thin layer of Biom8 liquid(google it). I have been SD free for nearly 7 months and counting. I havenít been this clear for this long since I was a teenager, nearly 10 years ago.

  9. #9
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    Cool Seborrheic Dermatitis Success

    You might want to try this seborrheic dermatitis oil, it worked really well for me. Reduced inflammation and redness significantly. Most importantly it reduced the itchy... so I scratch less and the patchy spots are healing faster.
    https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/6544...op_home_feat_2
    https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/6495...active_5&crt=1
    Last edited by Jen43; 21st March 2019 at 03:52 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default stress related

    i agree 100% in regards to stress being a major factor , when i first developed sd it was during what was probably the most stressful time in my life , and i am able to control it most of the time now though ,and if it does flare its normally when I've had a really bad nights sleep and i feel stressed.

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