Posted on: 12 February 2015Share
If you've noticed that your skin is repeatedly breaking out with red, itchy and scaly patches, you might have seborrheic dermatitis. This irritating skin condition is non-contagious, but can have frequent flare-ups that generally can only be treated with harsh topical steroids. However, there is a natural substance that has been shown to be helpful by both individual seborrheic dermatitis sufferers and in scientific studies: raw honey. Read on to learn more about the condition and learn what you can do to naturally heal it without harming your skin.
Look, Feel And Cause
Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory disorder that can appear on the scalp, face, ears, and torso of the body. The rash or scaly patches will appear slightly raised in comparison to the neighboring skin, and are usually red or yellow and greasy-looking.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. Scientists believe that it may be an inflammatory response to a type of yeast that naturally occurs on the skin, but studies haven't proven this theory yet. Topical steroids, the usual treatment of choice, stop or reduce the inflammatory response. Unfortunately, they can also damage your skin if used regularly, and can even harm your eyesight.
What is known, however, is that while it's non-contagious to others, it can spread across the body. What this means is that if you have a small itchy patch around your nose, for example, it could potentially spread to the rest of your face, ears and scalp over time if left untreated.
How Raw Honey Helps
Many people swear by raw honey to treat their seborrheic dermatitis, and science is in agreement.
A study had participants treat their seborrheic dermatitis with raw honey every other day for four weeks. Afterwards, half the participants continued treating their patches once a week for six months. All the participants had their lesions heal after two weeks, and those who continued the weekly treatments had no relapses whatsoever. Even those who stopped after the initial four weeks of treatment were lesion-free for 2-4 months.
While the exact reason for why it worked so well is uncertain, the current theory is that it helped because raw honey has powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that may stop the overgrowth of yeast that causes seborrheic dermatitis.
How To Use It
For the best results, it's wise to follow the steps that the study performed. You must use raw, uncooked honey, which can be found at many health food stores. Cooked, processed honey loses some of its anti-fungal capability, which may render it useless or less effective.
To treat your skin and scalp, follow these steps:
- Create a mixture of 90% raw honey and 10% warm water. Mix and apply to all affected areas.
- Rub mixture in for 2-3 minutes, then let it sit for 3 hours.
- Wash off with warm water.
- Repeat every other day for four weeks, then perform once a week as maintenance.
Keep in mind that honey is not a cure for seborrheic dermatitis: if your skin visibly improves, you'll still need to keep using it or it will come back. However, treating yourself to a honey facial once a week should be a pretty enjoyable experience, and your skin will thank you for it.
Seborrheic dermatitis can be embarrassing and irritating, but thankfully, you can keep it from flaring up without using any harmful chemicals. For other natural remedies, speak with experts like Living It Out.