Is cedarwood oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Cedarwood oil is one of less popular essential oils that may be a natural remedy for seborrheic dermatitis. This oil is extracted from the bark of the cedar tree and has a warm, woody scent. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

While there is limited research on the topic, some studies suggest that cedarwood oil may have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that could help reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.

Let’s explore the potential benefits of cedarwood oil for seborrheic dermatitis and whether it is worth considering as a natural treatment option:

What is Cedarwood Oil?

Cedarwood oil is extracted from the bark, needles, and berries of cedar trees. It has a woody, warm, and calming scent that makes it a popular choice for aromatherapy.

Cedarwood oil contains cedrine, cedrol, and thujopsene, which may have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antimicrobial and antifungal activity. The oil has been used for centuries in traditional medicine.

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Does cedarwood oil have antifungal properties?

A lab study showed that cedarwood essential oil has significant antifungal activity against various strains of fungi, including Candida albicans and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

I found no studies suggesting that cedarwood oil can inhibit Malassezia furfur. There are also no studies examining the use of cedarwood oil in treating seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff.

Skin and scalp benefits of cedarwood oil

Cedarwood oil has been used for centuries to promote healthy skin and scalp. Here are some of the benefits, not just for seborrheic dermatitis sufferers, but for everyone:

  • Reduces scalp irritation: Cedarwood oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe an itchy, flaking scalp. Massaging your scalp with a mixture of cedarwood oil and a carrier oil may help reduce scalp irritation and promote healthy hair growth.
  • Prevents acne breakouts: Due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect, cedarwood oil may help prevent acne breakouts.
  • Moisturizes dry scalp: Cedarwood oil can moisturize a dry scalp and improve blood circulation. Regular use of this oil can enhance hair growth and control dandruff.
  • Helps with skin conditions: Cedarwood oil has natural antiseptic properties that can help improve skin conditions like eczema. It may also reduce the appearance of scars, treat minor wounds and relieve arthritic pain. 
  • Acts as a natural deodorizer: Cedarwood oil has a pleasant, woodsy scent that can act as a natural deodorizer. It can be used in DIY deodorant recipes.

Is cedarwood oil an effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis?

Despite the fact that cedarwood oil has no known effect on Malassezia, it has many other skin benefits that may help improve the skin micro-environment and discourage Malassezia growth.

When applied topically, the oil can help soothe your skin or scalp and reduce inflammation. It may also regulate sebum production and rebalance the skin microbiome.

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of cedarwood oil for seborrheic dermatitis, it may be a promising natural remedy for seborrheic dermatitis.

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How to use cedarwood oil for seborrheic dermatitis

Cedarwood oil is a potent essential oil that should always be diluted before use. Here is how to dilute cedarwood oil:

  1. Choose a ‘safe for seb derm’ carrier oil such as squalane oil, jojoba oil, or MCT oil.
  2. Add 1-2 drops of cedarwood oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
  3. Stir well to mix the oils.

Once you have diluted cedarwood oil, you can apply it to your skin. Here is how to apply cedarwood oil to your scalp:

  1. Wash your scalp with a gentle shampoo and towel dry your hair.
  2. Apply the diluted cedarwood oil to your scalp using a cotton ball or your fingertips.
  3. Massage the oil into your scalp for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Leave the oil on your scalp for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  5. Rinse your hair with warm water and shampoo as usual.

You can also add a few drops of cedarwood oil to your face moisturizer or body lotion.

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Before using cedarwood oil, it is important to take some precautions to ensure that you get the most benefit from it and avoid any potential side effects. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Do not use cedarwood oil if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Do not use cedarwood oil if you have sensitive skin or are allergic to cedarwood.
  • Always dilute cedarwood oil before applying it to your skin.
  • Do a patch test before using cedarwood oil to see if you have any adverse reactions.

Cedarwood oil should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment. If you have a severe case of seborrheic dermatitis, consult with a dermatologist for proper treatment.

While cedarwood oil may have potential benefits for seborrheic dermatitis, remember that essential oils can be irritating to the skin and should be used with caution.

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