Seb derm occurs when Malassezia breaks through our weakened skin barrier and causes inflammation. This leads to even more damage to our skin defences, allowing Malassezia to burrow in even deeper, causing a vicious cycle of inflammation and skin damage.
Repairing and maintaining a healthy skin barrier may be one of the best ways to prevent seborrheic dermatitis and maybe even cure it. Fortunately, it’s not hard to do but it will require dedication.
Your skin protects your inside from the outside. It basically keeps moisture in and irritants out. It’s a system that works beautifully to protect us but can get damaged so easily.
In fact, almost anything and everything can damage your skin barrier:
– not enough sun
– chemicals like soaps, baking soda and retinols
– steroid creams. Yes! the very same steroid creams doctors like to prescribe for every rash.
Some of these things are obvious. i mean, if you scrub your skin raw, obviously that’s going to damage your skin barrier right?
But did you know stress, sleep deprivation, and even eating lots of sugar can damage your skin barrier?
Prevention is always better (and easier) than cure. Protect your skin from elements that will damage it. Most of it is common sense. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to help shield your skin from the sun. Use a good moisturizer after bathing to help retain moisture in your skin. Avoid harsh chemicals and contact with allergens and irritants.
However, once your skin is damaged, you’ll need to give it more TLC. And remember, healing takes time. Our body is pretty good at healing itself, but you need to get out of its way.
Even if you have seborrheic dermatitis, the basic principles of repairing and maintaining your skin barrier is the same as anyone else’s. However, you need to be a bit more careful with the types of creams you put on your skin.
I also have a Youtube video talking about this in my Malaysian accent:
The Ayurveda Experience now have a new face cream chockful of ceramides and bakuchiol (the gentler, non-stinging alternative to retinol for sensitive skin). It’s quite a rich cream and is better suited to people with mature skin like me. If that’s you, check it out:
How do I know if I have seborrheic dermatitis or candida? Sometimes I get a rash on my neck, armpits and elbow creases.
Seb derm typically affects sebum-rich areas like your face, neck, upper chest and back while candida typically affects moist and warm areas like your armpits, elbow creases and groin region.
Candida also has a characteristic red rash will a well-defined border and doesn’t scale while seb derm often goes through an inflammed phase followed by scaling.
Having said that, the only way to know for sure is to do a skin scraping.
Fortunately, the treatment for both is the same – antifungal cream twice a day for 2 weeks, even after the rash is gone.
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Stay healthy, happy, safe and rash-free!
Until next week,