Is emu oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

Emu oil is a natural remedy for many skin ailments. The oil is composed of fatty acids, proteins and other nutrients that can soothe and heal the skin. It is also antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

Some people with seborrheic dermatitis use emu oil to treat seborrheic dermatitis, but there is no evidence that it works. In fact, emu oil contains high amounts of oleic acid, a long-chain fatty acid that may encourage Malassezia growth.

Let’s take a deep dive:

What is emu oil?

Emu oil is derived from the fat of the emu bird. It has been used traditionally in Australia as a natural moisturizer and treatment for a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis.

Emu oil is rich in oleic acid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid and anti-oxidants. These compounds help fight inflammation, moisturize dry skin and even heals wounds.

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Is emu oil antifungal?

Emu oil has many benefits but no anti-fungal properties. A study done for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in 1999 tested emu oil and found it had no anti-fungal activity.

Benefits of emu oil

Emu oil is a natural product that has been used for centuries to ease pain, soothe muscles and skin, and promote healing. Emu oil has a range of properties that make it beneficial to use, including its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from damage.

The oil can help ease symptoms associated with eczema and rheumatoid arthritis. Topical application of emu oil promotes wound healing and improves damaged skin.

Pure emu oil is better quality than “super-refined” products, so look for this when buying emu oil. Contaminated emu oil can cause unwanted side effects like skin irritation.

Is emu oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

On the surface, there are many benefits to using emu oil for seborrheic dermatitis. Emu oil is rich in fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation. It also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that have cosmetic properties and moisturizes the skin. In addition, emu oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with the treatment of this skin disease.

However, emu oil is rich in oleic acid, a long-chain fatty acid that feeds Malassezia, encouraging its growth. This may aggravate seborrheic dermatitis and cause more flares.

In fact, a study comparing emu oil to hydrocortisone cream and clotrimazole found that emu oil was significantly less effective than the other creams. The only SD symptom emu oil helped with was redness.

Long story short, I don’t recommend using emu oil to treat seborrheic dermatitis. If you’re looking for a natural treatment, use these oils instead.

Further reading: Seborrheic dermatitis: common oils to avoid

Side effects of emu oil

Some people may experience irritation or an allergic reaction from using the oil. Always test it on a small patch of skin before applying it more liberally.

Emu oil is easily absorbed and can penetrate deep into your skin. However, if you have oily skin, it can leave a greasy feel, clog pores and cause acne breakouts.

Be careful if you’re pregnant or nursing, as it may not be safe for your baby. There are not enough studies to determine if emu oil is safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding- so play it safe and avoid using it if you’re expecting or nursing a child.

To wrap up

Emu oil should not be used to treat seborrheic dermatitis. The oil has not been shown to be effective in treating the condition, and it may even make the symptoms worse. There are many other natural treatments that are available that have been shown to be effective like tea tree oil and rosemary oil.

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