What causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?
The question “what causes seborrheic dermatitis ?” does not have a simple answer. There are multiple internal and external factors that contribute to the development of seborrheic skin. By reviewing and addressing the list of possible causes of seborrheic dermatitis, the skin will start to improve, although it may take multiple weeks or even months until the condition disappears.
1. Nutrition and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Nutrition and seborrheic dermatitis are closely related, as the fats we consume greatly influence the quality of the skin’s sebum. An excess of saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and foods that are fried or highly processed can gradually alter the balanced composition of sebum. Consuming poor-quality fats can lead to an imbalance between LDL and HDL cholesterol, impacting not just the arteries and heart, but also the composition of the skin sebum. Moreover, such nutrition can result in a deficiency of Omega 3, which again favours the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis.
It’s crucial not to cook Omega 3-rich fish and meat at excessively high temperatures, as this can produce potentially harmful oxidation compounds that, when ingested regularly, may strain the liver. We advise against consuming highly processed, rapidly absorbed sugars (like sucrose, glucose, and fructose) because frequent intake can lead to conditions like diabetes, metabolic issues, and fat accumulation in tissues.
Many processed foods, such as bakery goods, contain sugars as well as hydrogenated and/or trans fats that can negatively affect the pancreas, intestines, and skin. Consuming too much gluten can also upset metabolic balance.
While consuming small amounts of fruit is beneficial, drinking fruit juices is not, especially in the morning. Without chewing the fruit, we miss out on its fibers and cellulose that help slow sugar absorption.
2. Medication and Seborrheic Skin
If, within three months before the onset of seborrheic dermatitis, you have taken a new medication or nutritional supplement, it’s advised to review all its components since one of them might be causing or exacerbating the seborrheic condition.
Likewise, if you have altered your diet (added juices, smoothies or any other foods) or the way you prepare food (cooking Omega 3 at elevated temperatures), these changes can also have a negative effect on the composition of your sebum (skin fat).
3. Skin Type and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Thick, oily, and combination skin types have a higher predisposition to seborrheic dermatitis. This condition can worsen if the skin undergoes changes in climate or nutrition.
Skin types with thin skin can also develop seborrheic dermatitis. In such cases, it is recommended to treat areas with dry skin according to the respective protocol for skin dryness, and apply the treatment for seborrheic dermatitis on the areas with red, flaking skin.
4. Climate and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Skin problems related to seborrheic dermatitis tend to occur more often in colder climates and during the winter months when sunlight exposure is reduced. The change of seasons often triggers the appearance of seborrheic skin in individuals that are prone to the condition.
5. Vitamin D and Seborrheic Dermatitis
The reduced sun exposure during fall and winter heightens the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can exacerbate or reactivate seborrheic dermatitis. We suggest monitoring your vitamin D levels through regular blood tests and seeking advice from an integrative medicine doctor regarding vitamin D supplementation.
6. Deficiencies and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Apart from vitamin D deficiency, seborrheic dermatitis can also be related to nutritional deficiencies such as zinc and the B vitamins. A lack of these substances can make the skin more susceptible to develop dermatological conditions such as seborrheic skin.
It’s crucial not to self-prescribe nutritional supplements. While a supplement may benefit one individual, it could be harmful to another. Recommendations for supplementation should come from an integrative medicine doctor after a blood test.
7. Seborrheic Dermatitis and Hereditary Factors
Every person has a hereditary legacy that influences our deficiencies and hormonal system. Hormonal imbalances directly relate back to all that we have experienced and consumed in our past life. From our time in our mother’s womb to early childhood and adolescence, we accumulate both nutritional and emotional deficiencies.
Although we cannot change the past, we need to understand our developmental and health history to make the best decisions for the future. It’s important to realize that these deficiencies don’t only affect the skin but also have a negative impact on the entire body.
It is crucial for people with seborrheic skin to manage their health properly to achieve balanced and healthy skin. Since these imbalances have developed over a long period of time, it’s vital to understand that they won’t vanish overnight or within a week. With a lot of patience and perseverance, the skin can be treated from the inside as well as the outside to realize substantial and enduring improvements.
8. Hormones and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Hormones and seborrheic dermatitis are often closely related. An unbalanced hormonal system can have a negative influence on the sebaceous glands and contribute to the appearance of seborrheic dermatitis.
9. Liver and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is often linked to issues with the liver and/or gallbladder. If either or both of these organs have to work excessively in purifying the body, side effects can manifest as seborrheic skin and hyperpigmentation.
Unbalanced nutrition can strain the liver over time. Consuming sugar (in all its forms), juices, and unhealthy fats can have a negative impact on the liver. Food preparation is also pivotal in avoiding burdening the liver. Cooking Omega 3-rich foods (like fish and meat) at high temperatures in a pan (with or without oil) transforms the Omega 3 essential fatty acids into toxins that burden the liver.
For an overburdened liver, a gentle and gradual detox is essential. Initiating the liver’s cleansing can result in the appearance of pimples. We don’t recommend stimulating a strong liver purification, since the liver’s tissue regenerates slowly. A mild yet extended purification over several months is recommended.
A medical professional should guide you through the process of liver purification and suggest dietary modifications.
10. Immune system and seborrheic skin
An irregular immune system response can also be a primary cause of seborrheic skin. A deficiency in vitamins can compromise the immune system, making the body more susceptible to the onset of the seborrheic condition.
11. Emotions and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Emotions can impact the onset and exacerbation of seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. Emotional stress can affect the hormonal system and the nervous system, subsequently leading to skin-related symptoms.
12. Skin Cleansing and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis can be caused or aggravated by the skin cleansing products you use or by your application techniques. Almost all cleansers contain soap substances, syndets (synthetic detergents) and/or chemically modified ingredients. These components can irritate the skin, weaken the skin barrier, and imbalance the skin’s microbiome.
Opt instead for cleansers that are formulated skin compatible ingredients such as natural clays, plant extracts, essential oils, and cold-pressed plant oils.
The way you touch your skin, especially in cases of seborrheic dermatitis, is also of utmost importance. Vigorous rubbing during your cleansing routine can stimulate the sebaceous glands, leading to increased sebum production and causing more pronounced redness on the skin.
Please refer to our Antiaging Face Cleansing Ritual to learn the right way to cleanse and prevent exacerbating seborrheic skin.
13. Occlusive Skincare and Seborrheic Skin
Conventional skincare uses synthetic or petroleum based fats. Natural and organic skincare use vegetable oils whose molecular structure has been chemically altered. The result in both cases are fats that the skin cannot absorb. They remain as a layer on the skin surface and are interfering with the natural skin functions of breathing and elimination of toxins.
The tricky thing about this layer is that it creates the sensation of well hydrated and nourished skin, while covering underlying skin problems such as dryness and seborrheic skin. Over time these artificial fats can cause or exacerbate enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, unbalanced skin fat, rough and dry skin.
The best skin results are achieved when working in alignment with the skin’s natural functions and cycles. LE PURE only uses ingredients that have been minimally modified with physical-mechanical processes that don’t alter the molecular structure of the plants.
The skin recognizes these ingredients as natural and absorbs them instantly into the deeper layers, where they potentiate the skin’s own regeneration processes.
14. Hair Dyes and Seborrheic Dermatitis on the Scalp
Synthetic ingredients of hair dyes can cause or aggravate seborrheic dermatitis on the skin of the hairline and the scalp. We recommend purifying the skin on the hairline with a cotton pad and Nectar Immortel. The plant nutrients of this formulation act as chelating agents and can remove profoundly stored toxins from the skin.
Spray Alpha Hair on the scalp and hair roots after a hair treatment involving hair dyes or other hair treatments.
If you are a hairdresser, keep in mind that you are frequently exposed to these substances and should take precautions as your skin and lungs are affected by them.
15. Alcohol and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Alcohol can cause or exacerbate skin with seborrheic dermatitis. Alcohol consumption has longterm negative effects on the liver and other organs, leading to systemic health problems and seborrheic skin. Even small amounts of alcohol if consumed daily can have damaging effects on your health and skin.
16. Smoking and Seborrheic Dermatits
Smoking strongly affects seborrheic dermatitis and even if you stopped smoking 1-2 years ago, the skin is still suffering from the consequences and may peel like a snake.
The skin is intrinsically connected to the intestine and the lungs, which is why we can often observe skin symptoms if there is a problem with one of these two organs.
The more years you have smoked, the more changes your skin will experience. Right after stopping, you will observe the biggest changes, since the skin acts as the third kidney and starts eliminating the tobacco toxins.
17. Malessezia Yeast and Seborrheic Skin
A fungus called malassezia or pityrosporum can be found in the sebum secretion (skin fat) and it can also appear in case of seborrheic skin. Unbalanced skin fat and microbiome can lead to overgrowth, which can aggravate seborrheic dermatitis.
18. Allergies and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Many people suffer from allergies caused by the air they breathe. These allergies can cause or aggravate seborrheic dermatitis. If the problems with seborrheic skin appear for the first time in spring or summer, an allergic reaction can be a possible aggravating factor. During these allergy-related seasons, some people may also suffer from dermatitis on the eyelids.
19. Diseases and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Certain diseases and medical conditions can contribute to the development of seborrheic dermatitis. Among those are HIV, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Alcoholism, depression and eating disorders can also be aggravating causes of seborrheic dermatitis.
Skin disorders such as acne and rosacea can also lead to the development of seborrheic skin.