Is black seed oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Many people use black seed oil as a natural remedy for seborrheic dermatitis, but there is no research on the effectiveness of this treatment. However, black seed oil has proven anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and skin healing properties, all of which may improve symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.

Let’s take a deep dive:

What is black seed oil?

Black seed oil is pressed from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, which is a member of the buttercup family. The seeds of this plant have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions from high blood pressure to eczema.

You may also know black seed as Kalonji, black cumin, black caraway, fennel flower or Roman coriander.

Black seed oil contains thymoquinone, which is responsible for many of its therapeutic actions. Thymoquinone is a compound that is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects.

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Is black seed oil antifungal?

There were many lab studies confirming the antifungal effects of thymoquinone (a major component in black seed essential oil) against Candida strains. Other studies have looked at black seed oil as a whole and found that it had anti-Candida, anti-dermatophyte and anti-filamentous fungi (different types of fungus) activity.

While there are a multitude of studies to back up black seed oil’s antifungal capabilities, it’s a shame that they skipped over Malassezia furfur. You would expect that black seed oil would be effective against Malassezia since its active against so many other types of fungi but there are no studies to confirm studies.

How does black seed oil help seborrheic dermatitis?

Black seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties which may help to control the symptoms of this condition. In fact, a study done on 60 eczema patients comparing black seed oil and Betamethasone (a steroid cream), black seed oil was found to be as effective as the cream for hand eczema. Since steroid creams are commonly prescribed for SD as well, it may be a natural treatment for SD to reduce symptoms of redness and itching.

in a 2010 study, 81 patients with acne vulgaris (a severe form of acne) applied black seed oil twice a day for 2 months. 58% of patients had their acne improve with the treatment. Another similiar study on 60 patients found a 63.5% response.

Black seed oil is also rich in nutrients which may help to nourish the skin and promote healing. Researchers applied a 1:1 ratio of honey and black seed oil to wounds on rats and found that the combination accelerated wound healing in as little as 5 days.

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While there are no direct studies looking at the effects of black seed oil on seborrheic dermatitis, Nigella sativa oil is well studied and has many proven benefits. I recommend you try black seed oil to see if it works to improve your SD.

Benefits of black seed oil on the skin

Black seed oil provides a long list of benefits, including curing skin fungal infections, treating vitiligo, and even treating skin cancer.

The main benefits of black seed oil is derived from its main active compound, thymoquinone. Other than the benefits discussed above for seborrheic dermatitis, black seed oil is also has antibacterial and antiparasitic activity.

Black seed oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help to improve psoriasis, a skin condition sometimes mistaken for seborrheic dermatitis. Black seed oil may also help to lower the levels of cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation.

Side effects of black seed oil

When used topically, black seed oil is generally safe with few side effects. But the product is not FDA-regulated. This means that you don’t know if what you’re buying is actually black seed oil or a diluted, contaminated version. Make sure you buy from a reputable essential oil brand.

Everyone’s skin reacts differently to oils. Black seed oil may cause contact dermatitis. If you have a sensitive skin type, you may want to exercise caution when using black seed oil and start with a small amount to see how your skin reacts.

What is the best way to use black seed oil for seborrheic dermatitis?

As black seed oil is an essential oil, its pure form is potent and shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. Dilute black seed oil in a carrier oil that is safe for SD before applying.

Using black seed oil on your face

Mix black seed oil with honey in a 1:1 ratio and apply it as a face mask to help heal your skin. Honey has also been shown to be helpful for SD and the combination makes for a powerful treatment mask.

You can also mix a few drops of black seed oil in with your favorite moisturizer.

Using black seed oil for dandruff

The best way is to massage a few drops of diluted black seed oil into your scalp post-shampoo as a leave-in treatment. This will help improve blood circulation and allow the oil to penetrate deep into the skin. Don’t worry, it’s safe to leave black seed oil on your scalp overnight. Just make sure you use a small amount. Using too much will make your scalp feel greasy and weight your hair down.

You can also add black seed oil to your shampoo or conditioner but you don’t reap as much benefits from it this way since its not in contact with your scalp for very long.

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To wrap up

I recommend black seed oil as a treatment for seborrheic dermatitis due to its proven anti-inflammatory, antifungal and skin healing properties. The oil may not have any proven benefits against SD but has been used by many with good effect.

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