Dealing with Seborrheic Dermatitis through diet and coconut oil!

Two weeks ago I posed a question on this site asking for a response from any PwP suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis. It became clear that this condition affects many of us in varying degrees. Originally, it was my intention to experiment on myself in an effort to hopefully find a cure and reveal the method I used to others. My research dismayed me for I read of people having had this condition for years despite trying a variety of remedies. However, there were some common factors thought to be implicated in the incidence of this distressing condition. The main one was the amount of carbohydrates and starches being eaten. The starches, in particular, convert to sugar in the digestive process. So, I homed in on a website that gave some success stories and I include it here so that those interested can try the methods by themselves without having to wait for my results. The basis of this treatment is to adopt a 'low carbohydrate diet'. Then start applying coconut oil (which has microbial properties) to the scalp and sore spots, leave for an hour or so, then wash/shampoo off. Do this several times a week. The website is: WWW. & supplements..........coconut oil & Seborrheic Dermatitis

Hope this information will help fellow sufferers.

36 Replies

  • Sounds good advice thsnksx

  • Hello Carrigan,

    Thank you for your comment. Putting coconut oil in your hair and on your skin and eyebrows sounds messy, but so is having Seborrheic Dermatitis for years on end. Incidentally, I found comments from several people with the condition who were against putting medicated shampoo on their hair, claiming it aggravated the dermatitis. When you think about it, with the microbial properties of the coconut oil you should be able to use a simple shampoo to wash the oil out and off your body.


  • Dont forget aloe vera - legendary for any skin complaint.

    I would suggest a two pronged attack - firstly a drinking gel which will help the body to create the building blocks for new skin and secondly a topical creme applied directly to the site. It wont cure it overnight as skin takes several weeks to complete a cycle but you should start to notice a difference within a few days - it may even start to look worse for a while which seems to be the detoxing effect of aloe. Be aware that not all aloes are created equal - look for products approved by the International Aloe Science Council. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you Murf,

    Your suggestion is exactly the type I was hoping to stimulate when writing this blog. Maybe someone will try your way and keep us informed.

    Thank you.


  • i like Pure Aloe Force (blue). i looked at the coconut oil at the health food store. But can't remember the brand . Will order soon.

  • Thank you PatV. I get my virgin coconut oil from a grocers selling to exotic restaurants. It is good quality and cheap.



  • Good mention Murf!

    To give context to my reply, I have a B.S. in nutrition and have attended several Olympic level seminars to learn more on optimizing function.

    Also I will mention the word "sugar" but don't associate that with diabetic/cholesterol issues. Also the sugars below won't screw up a low carb diet.

    Here is a little insight into Aloe Vera. The active sugar(s) in Aloe that (is the most likely) signal to the body to heal itself are called beta-mannans. It is one of 8 non-dietary sugars that signal the body to go into repair mode. The problem with most drinkable gels you buy in the store (besides the laxative effect) is there are enzymes in aloe that break down the sugar once the leaf is cut. The sugars have to be extracted from the plant gel in less than 24 hours to have any benefit. It is then put in pills or gels for you to take. No offense to Murf but I doubt the increase in appearance is due to "detox" but most likely a combo of the bacteria eating some of the aloe sugars, increased blood flow to the area as the immune system responds to the aloe signal and attacks the bacteria, and the carnage of that microbial battle. ;-)

    Unfortunately, I'll bet most oral aloe gels have not had the enzymes neutralized.

    I don't know if rapid Mannan extraction is a requirement of the International Aloe Science Council ( I doubt it) but as Murf mentioned I would not buy anything of lesser quality. I personally would use pills and topical cream and pass on the oral gel.

    Also if you are not a fan of drinking 4+ tablespoons a day of the coconut oil I take straight MCT oil (the most likely active ingredient in coconut oil) to get more "bang" per tablespoon. I've used it off and on for over 20 years and typically order Twinlabs brand but there are some other reputable products out there.

  • Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic's approach to Seborrheic Dermatitis.

    This is a clear and concise monograph on the entire subject. It does not mention dietary causes so you can experiment yourself with that. However, after being in community pharmacy for over 40 years, I have seen and heard many a home remedy/ diet etc> I cannot recall anyone who treated the problem by diet successfully. But, it's worth a go. Good luck! (On the other hand, nobody has cured the condition with what is mentioned in the above monograph. Unfortunately, it is one of those conditions sent to plague some people and the best you can do is keep it under control). (It is also interesting that Parkinson sufferers are mentioned having a somewhat higher proportion of risk over the general population. The good news is it is not fatal and not infectious. The bad news is it can't be eradicated, just held at bay with continuous treatment).

  • Thank you Ozepook47 for the information which tends to reflect the reality of treating this irritating condition. However, I will explain why I do not discount diet as being part of the cause. About 18 months or so ago I went on a predominantly starch diet (not specifically for Parkinson's) as advocated by a highly respected doctor. I ate bread, potatoes, rice, pasta lots of vegetables and fruit. Some weeks into eating this way I noticed the sides of my nose were becoming sore, as were two skin creases either side of my nose, leading down to my mouth. There was flakey skin where the soreness was and I had a problem with dandruff. My forehead had several red rashlike marks. The only thing I had been doing differently was not eating animal products, but eating lots of starch. So, I stopped eating lots of starch and the soreness abated around my nose and the creases in my facial skin. I still have dandruff and the red rash on my forehead. I concluded therefore, that eating lots of starch was part of the problem for me. That is why I think that a low carb diet may help, with the addition of other methods, to keep the Seborrheic Dermatitis under control. Time will tell!

    Going back to your point that Parkinson's sufferers have a higher proportion of risk over the general population; in your opinion, could this be suggestive of us having an impaired immune system?

    Thank you again for your input.



  • This is a problem as many of us are encouraged not to eat protein with our meds as they compete in the small intestine for absorption of the levodopa. So what and when are we supposed to eat >-( ? I have small patches of dry flaky and itchy skin everywhere. Now in winter so dry I feel like a potato chip (crisp in UK?)

  • >-( = frowny face :)

  • You are quite a happy lady PatV, I've read some of your posts.



  • Hello again PatV. You say that you are not encouraged to eat protein with your meds. That is good advice, but that does not mean you should not eat protein at all, just leave adequate time between taking your meds and eating. Protein is essential as you will be aware. The danger is in eating too many carbohydrates of the wrong type.

    Kind regards


  • Thanks, Norton. My problem is I have visceral off and so am required to take my meds with some food. 5 times a day I don't have much appetite unless I get my meals to coincide with meds. Otherwise it just sits in tummy and does nothing. Oh, well, I try to enjoy

  • Sorry to hear of you having that condition; I must confess that I have never come across it before. What I will say is that you have spirit PatV judging by how much you keep popping up on this site. You clearly intend on meeting the challenges that Parkinson's throws at you.

    Kind regards


  • The trick with coconut oil is to apply it to the scalp by using all ten fingertips and not the hand. So dip your fingers into a little oil on a small plate or dish and massage into scalp making sure to do the places that are most affected. It is better than chemical shampoos, and will allow the scales to lift and the scalp beneath to heal. When you wash your hair then use a very mild baby shampoo only, or a mild clear soap, using as little as possible, and rinsing well.

    I believe that this condition is autoimmune.

  • You know what? That is terrific advice! Thank you for sharing it with us. I like what you have to say about the oil being better than chemical shampoos.

    Kind regards


  • Hi Norton,

    You and I discussed this before and today I found a link that explains why seborrhea and treatment of it is all tied together w/ our diet. So, I believe you are absolutely correct. You mention immuned systems being impared - and this article offers that most illnesses are inflammations in your body. Seborrhea is another symptom caused by this.

    As for me, I threw away all oils, and replaced them with coconut oil - it's been about a year. I did this after reading about ketones, Alzeheimers, Parkinson, and brain health. Quite by accident, my seborrhea disappeared and has been gone for about 6 months! I never even appllied it to my scalp. I just consumed at least 2 tbsps day for toast, cooking, etc. etc.Even my dog's hair is now shiny and healthy. I mix it into her food.

    Anyway, I used to use Neutrogena's TGel for seborrhea - but now I just used Head and Shoulders until my supply of that is gone - after that, I'm using a mild shampoo. I don't even have dandruff any more. Of course, my diet has changed a lot , too, for the better. This article covers the whole thing.

  • Thank you Allnatural for sharing with us your experiences which are always interesting to read. Somehow, I just can not overlook the possibility that diet is involved at a basic level. In a post above here, Lindylanka said she believes this is an autoimmune condition and, intuitively, I agree with her. Having said that, there is no doubt that eradicating it is a rarity and that managing it is the best we are likely to achieve.

    Thank you again for your input.


  • I,v been advised to try tea tree oil,will let you know if its successful.

  • If you use tea tree oil make sure it is in a neutral carrier oil as a little goes a very long way. Almond oil is good, or you could add a couple of drops to coconut oil, but do not use it neat on your scalp, it will be too strong.

  • Thank you again Lindylanka for your really helpful advice. I hope that we will see more of you on this website sharing your invaluable experiences.

    Kind regards


  • Thank you Alanrob. There will be many of use looking out for how you get on.



  • Thanks , Im going to try the coconut oil but im not sure how it works. Is it an anti-fungal agent? one theory is that Seborrheic Dermatitis is caused by a ["yeast (fungus) called Malassezia. This fungus is one of the normal microscopic life forms that grow, along with certain bacteria, in your skin's oily secretion (sebum). Creams, foams or lotions containing an antifungal agent, such as ketoconazole (Ketozole, "} quoted from the Mayo Clinic

  • Hello Lawrencium,

    My understanding is that coconut oil has 'microbial' qualities which is the bit which makes it active against the Seborrheic dermatitis. It is rather messy, but good to be using a natural product instead of a chemical.



  • Sebborhea still has not come back. My scalp is fine and now I use regular shampoo. I sitll have not appllied it to my scalp - but continue to use coconut oil instead of butter, and for cooking instead of canola or other oils. This alone has surprisingly kept the seborrhea from coming back. I try to apply it to the skin after showers, and it is messy gets spilled on the floor and it attracts ants!!! My dog used to get terrible hot spots on her skin and she has been problem free as well......ha ha ha. Have you heard of oil pulling? Coconut oil they say is great for that because it also has anti bacterial qualities. ..some people apply it for hemorroids. Isnt' this forum great for talking about sensitive topics - which I don't know why we should be so timid about - we all have the same human bodies and their functions to deal with.

  • Thank you Allnatural,

    A great, positive update. Entirely agree with you about discussing basics, after all we are talking about things which happen to us in real life.

    Kind regards


  • I am very interested in this. I will try consuming coconut oil everyday and see what happens.

  • Thanks Norton

  • I haven't changed my diet but using coconut oil twice a day on my face for the past few weeks as led to a marked difference; no more angry red blotches! Been suffering for ten years using 1% steroid cream to keep it under control. So I am happy with the results, coconut oil is the only thing I can put on my face without it stinging.

  • Ginger_UK

    Your success in using coconut oil to rid yourself of angry red blotches is heartening. Once again its a natural product that has come to the rescue. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.


  • Hi Ginger UK

    I am trying the coconut oil

    Will let you know how I get on with it, it has stopped the itching just waiting to see a visual improvement.


  • Hello all,

    I have been struggling with Seborrheic dermatitis since I was 18. I usually had dandruff and red spots which flaked around my nose and eyebrows. However, in the past year my dermatitis has become aggressive and spreading. It started appearing in more places on my face and especially in the upper parts in the lines where my hair finishes and in my ears. Before I was maintaining it with Selsun Blue and a cream called Blue Cap. Prior to this year I`ve noticed that my scalp started to itch after I have washed it and realised that the Selsun Blue has stopped working for me. That was the time when I started reading about Seborrheic dermatitis- the more I read, the more scared I get to be honest. I have stopped using Selsun Blue as I read that it contains harsh chemicals, now I`m using a Vichy treatment shampoo with no parabens or sulphate. It sort of manages my dandruff but I still get outbursts where my scalp is flaking.I`m still using the same cream for my face as the other I have tried do not really work. I purchased an organic coconut oil and it has been a month but I usually wash my hair every 3-4 days so that`s how often I used the coconut oil. I still don`t manage to use it every time because it is time consuming and I cannot wait for an hour every time but I`ll try to be more persistent.

    I`m starting to get really worried because I noticed two-three red spots on my back which is something new. On top of that I have started to have strange unpleasant feeling all over my body after I take a shower, I had similar feeling only on the upper part of my back in the past two years and now the first red spots have arrived there. I`m scared that this will spread all over my body and I cannot really stop it. I`ve started adding a spoon of coconut oil in my oats for breakfast. I eat more vegetables and fruits in general and whole grain bread. However, I do love baked things and I do like eating cakes, cookies etc. I`m kinda puzzled what would mean low carbohydrate diet as I consume a lot of vegetables and fruits which apparently contain that. I could definitely try to cut down from white bread etc and focus on wholegrain products. Everyone say that different things work for them and you have to figure out what exactly is causing it in your body which does not sound an easy task. The GP I went to didn't seem to think that this is serious and did not even give me referral to dermatologists or carried out any blood tests. I`m now 25 years old and I can see how Seborreih dermatitis is starting to take over my life. As a woman I`m really concerned as I don't really now which creams should I use on my face and body. Should they all be for hypoallergenic and sensitive skin? I feel that my options are limited and more expensive.

    Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated and I hope that the coconut oil will work for me. Thank you alll for what you have shared!


  • Hello Liliya89

    You are trying hard to cure your Seborrheic Dermatitis, but let me give you some pointers for you to consider, which it believe will improve matters considerably.

    I believe your diet is at the heart of this condition. In my opinion, you are eating far too many simple carbohydrates such as cakes and biscuits, possibly even bread and even whole grains. These convert to sugar in your body and of course fruit contains fructose. It would not surprise me if your gut flora is out of balance resulting in an overgrowth of candida.

    I suggest that for a trial period you embark on an high fat, moderate protein an low carbohydrate diet known as a Ketogenic diet or if you can not face such a diet, possibly try a high protein', moderate fat and low carbohydrate version. You will see that you will be tackling the problem from the inside out, unlike what you are doing now. As a measure of the diet's effectiveness, consider dropping the Selsun Blue and any other medicated shampoos. However, do take some of the fat of your diet in the form of a dollop or two of coconut oil daily and continue using the same topically when washing your hair. Ideally, you would do all of the above under the supervision of your medical team, but since this appears unlikely, you should consider going online for other ideas to combat this distressing condition.


  • Hello Norton, I have been struggling with SD for some years now, I am 22. This condition has really taken over my life and I have become so down about it. My skin is really fine and delicate and I fear I have damaged it in trying to treat the seb derm to harshly. I am so scared of trying anything new for fear of further damage and making the red rash worse. So I opt to do nothing, I don't even clean my face. I am worried that my face will become very dirty and that I can't use any protective cream from the elements. I am looking into my diet, and will eat mainly vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds and some fruits like apple, pear and blueberries. Also I will be adding a daily dose of coconut oil to my food. Do you have any recommendations for what I can use on my face to gently clean and protect?

    Thank you in advanced


  • Hello all,

    we are posting in this thred for all suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis on the skin or on the scalp. We are a team of young researchers interested in this croinc disease and after some years of researches we developed a special skin lotion and scalp shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis. The lotion and the shampoo does not contain any steroids and does not have any side effects with the skin/scalp.

    For those who wants advices or support please visit:

    We wish you best of health.

    Best regards,

    Seborrheic-Dermatitis Team

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