How I Deal with Sebhorreic Dermatitis: Seb Derm Survival Guide


I’ve had seb derm almost my entire life. Only, it got worse over time and I never really noticed it until it got really bad. I would have the occasional flaking on my face and sometimes my skin would look dry, but that was the worst of it – before. This time though, I had trouble sleeping because my face was just so unbearably itchy.

I’ve been dealing with random things healthwise and it led to a much greater use of antibiotics. I caught impetigo while traveling in Vegas in December and my doctor prescribed me both topical and oral antibiotics. (I still have the scars from my impetigo and they’re barely healing, even three months later. I pray every day that the impetigo won’t return.)

When I came back from China, I had this pesky wisdom tooth that kept bothering me so I had both my wisdom teeth removed and my dentist also gave me a boat-load of stronger antibiotics.

Long story short, I’ve been taking a lot of antibiotics and the more I took, the more I saw that these white flakes were appearing on my face particularly my cheeks and nose. I feel that the seb derm I have was aggravated in part by how many antibiotics I was using, which were messing up my immune system.

According to, increasing your consumption of antibiotics can aggravate your seb derm.

While antibiotics have saved an incredible amount of lives, they have also come with some drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is killing the good bacteria in your gut and disrupting the balance of stomach flora. Your gut normally has a balance of good and bad bacteria. If the bad bacteria start to overpopulate your gut and digestive system, digestive issues will inevitably follow. Moreover, there is very strong evidence that the over growth of bad bacteria can cause the body to develop a myriad of different diseases and ailments. So if you happen to have digestive issues, there is a strong possibility that it is negatively effecting your immune system as a result. Moreover, there is a possibility that a compromised immune system could cause the development of new allergies or sensitivities.

The morning after that night of unbearable itchiness, I went researched my symptoms and found that I most likely had seb derm. A visit to my doctor a few days later confirmed my suspicion. By the time I saw her, however, I was already feeling much better. And here’s how!

DermaDoctor: Calm, Cool and Corrected (Pyrithione Zinc) 


By the time I went to Ulta, I was already itchy and irritated. At $30, this cleanser by DermaDoctor is made specifically for those who have seb derm and I honestly need to go buy a second bottle because this product has really helped. Its primary ingredient is Pyrithione Zinc 2%, an ingredient that’s supposed to help kill the fungus responsible for seb derm.

I put it on while I’m in the shower which is when I find it’s easiest to apply it well. As I’m showering, I first wet my face and then I put the cleanser in my hands and lather it up all nice before rubbing it in gentle circles on my face.

The alternative to this was using salt water on my face and while that was cheaper and did help me feel somewhat better, this cleanser gave me SO much more relief!

After using the cleanser, I follow it up with this lotion I bought from CVS specifically meant for sensitive and dry skin called Exederm. It doesn’t aggravate my seb derm and actually alleviates some of my itching. But because there’s a certain ingredient present in many moisturizers that actually feeds the fungus contributing to the seb derm, I take it easy on the moisturizer.

Using Coal Tar Shampoo 

I used coal tar shampoo from CVS to kill off the fungus in my hair (which was also itchy and had dandruff). I made sure to rub some on my eyebrows and sideburns (don’t tell me sideburns aren’t cool) as well. This gave me a lot of relief as well.

However, my mistake was putting the shampoo on my face. I woke up a few hours later and my skin felt swollen, red and hot. So I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your skin, haha.

Getting Lots of Vitamin D and Probiotics 

Finally, sunlight can actually kill off the fungus that’s causing seb derm as well. I started taking more walks with my mom early on in the park or playing tennis outside and felt better. I’ve also been taking more vitamin D3 supplements as well. I’ve also been taking Probiotics to build up my immune system.

So far, my skin is far less itchy, irritated and unbearably flaky than it was before I took these steps.

Anyway, I wanted to write this post for the same reason I wrote the impetigo one. Itchy and irritated skin SUCKS! And I really hope this helps you out and gives you some good ideas. Seb derm doesn’t currently have a cure but it’s definitely a manageable and common condition.

Here’s to healthy skin for all of us! 



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