Seborrheic Dermatitis
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Doris Thomas
Posted on: March 12, 1999

My son and I are suffering with seborrheic dermatitis on our scalp. We are currently being treated for candidia with antifungal herbs. Are their any herbs you can recommend specifically for our scalps? Also, this scalp problem is causing hair loss for both of us.

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory disease, usually of the scalp and face. There is often a genetic factor. Some studies have found anti-yeast treatment to be effective. Other studies, noted by Melvyn Werbach, M.D. in "Nutritional Influences on Illness" (Third Line Press, Tarzana, California, (800) 916-0076 or (818) 996-0076) have found hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex deficiencies in some cases, which improved with supplementation.

Gluten intolerance is a common factor in seborrheic dermatitis. The allergic response will not allow nutrients, required for the skin, to be absorbed. You could try substituting wheat, oats, barley and rye with rice cakes and buckwheat for a period of 6 weeks to see if this makes a difference. If there is no change, gradually reintroduce them into your diet. Strawberries, spinach and rhubarb should be avoided.

Vitamin E and zinc are essential for skin health. A handful of pumpkin seeds is a good source of zinc. Seeds (such as sunflower, pumpkin), pulses (such as beans and lentils), brown rice and green vegetables are good sources of vitamin E. A teaspoon of apple cider, three times a day between meals (this can be added to salads and other vegetables), helps to re-establish the hydrochloric acid balance.

Levels of essential fatty acids are usually low in skin diseases. Supplements of Evening Primrose Oil and organic flax seed oil are usually helpful.

Useful herbs are:

* Heartsease (Viola tricolor) is skin nourishing, rich in zinc, anti-allergic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory. This can be used as a tea or tincture.

* Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, a nerve sedative, antimicrobial

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