Keeping The Flakes At Bay: 5 Tips For Dealing With Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis can be a frustrating dermatological condition, especially if it affects your face. Although you may not be able to cure the condition, there are ways your dermatologist and you can manage flare-ups and make the flakes less noticeable.
Keep Face Washes Simple
Face washes without dyes or fragrances are ideal for seborrheic dermatitis. Unnecessary additives can make flakes, itching or irritation worse. You should choose formulations made for oily or combination skin. One of the characteristics of seborrheic dermatitis is it usually affects areas of the face that are oily. You probably notice your T-zone and eyebrows are most often affected. This can lead to confusion, because you associate dry skin with flakiness.
Formulations made for oily or combination skin are more likely to be oil-free and can help control oil production throughout the day. Unless you wear makeup, you may want to limit washing your face to once per day. When you wash your face, use warm water and try using cool water for the final rinse. Water that is too hot for your skin can be unnecessarily drying and irritating.
Use a gentle product for weekly exfoliation. Starting with weekly exfoliation will help you gauge how often you need to exfoliate and if the product causes irritation. Some people experience redness and sensitive skin under flaky patches. If your skin is tolerant of weekly exfoliation, slowly increase your exfoliation to two or three times per week. A manual or rotating face brush is a good alternative to traditional facial scrubs and can be used in conjunction with your regular face wash.
Use Oil-Free Moisturizers
When you deal with flaky skin on oily areas of your face, you may be tempted to skip the moisturizer. Using an oil-free moisturizer can make your skin less oily by encouraging your skin to reduce oil production. Skipping the moisturizer and using drying products, such as astringents or peroxide, will only encourage more oil production. When possible, you should try applying your facial moisturizer more than once per day. Keeping your face moisturized also makes flakes less noticeable.
Hydrocortisone is an ingredient in many retail products to reduce itching associated with skin irritation and may be effective at controlling seborrheic dermatitis. When choosing a hydrocortisone cream, look for a 1% concentration that can be used on the face. Before trying the cream all over your face, take a small amount and rub it into your skin in a discreet area on your face, such as on your eyebrows or near your hairline. Monitor the area for a few days to determine if you feel any irritation or experience a breakout.
Once you have successfully tested the cream, you can try hydrocortisone on a larger area. Since many hydrocortisone creams have ingredients that are soothing and moisturizing, you may want to supplement your usual moisturizer with hydrocortisone on treatment days. Try applying hydrocortisone every other day at first, then daily if needed. Only use hydrocortisone cream when you are actively experiencing flaking, not as a preventative treatment.
Consider Dietary Changes
In some cases, managing seborrheic dermatitis internally can be effective. Certain types of yeast that naturally live on the skin contribute to seborrheic dermatitis. If you consume many sugary drinks and eat a diet high in carbohydrates, you may want to consider removing some of the sugar and carbs from your diet. Over time, you may notice improvements in your skin and flare-ups become easier to control.
Although seborrheic dermatitis is not a severe dermatological condition, the constant battle of keeping flakes at bay can be frustrating and embarrassing. Learning ways to keep flare-ups to a minimum can make the problem less noticeable.