Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that affects the skin of the face, neck, back and particularly the scalp; it’s characterised by scaly, oily, bumpy skin that can be inflamed and sore.
As with most inflammatory conditions, this type of dermatitis tends to come and go. People born with a propensity to seborrheic dermatitis find that flare ups of the condition can come and go throughout their lives. That’s because the condition of the skin is affected by all sorts of things, from stress to laundry powder to the weather, so there are times in your life when seborrheic dermatitis is more likely to flare than others.
Can it go away on it its own? Yes, undoubtedly it can! A flare tends to have a natural life span: the skin is irritated, and then takes a while to calm down. Some flares only last a couple of days; others can last for a whole regenerative cycle of the skin (4-6 weeks), or even longer. It depends on what triggered the flare and whether it’s still affecting the skin!
So a flare-up that was triggered by your immune system reacting to something it encountered might pass quite quickly. But one that was caused by the continuing stress you’re under at work might persist much longer, as the stress is a long-term factor in how well your skin copes.
If a flare-up is then aggravated by something that continues to damage your skin barrier function – a bacterial or fungal infection, for example; or if you carry on using a shampoo that contains an ingredient that’s irritating your skin – then it can be much harder to shake.
What can you do to help get rid of a flare-up of seborrheic dermatitis?
- Identify and avoid your triggers
- Adopt a non-irritant skincare regime
- Boost your skin with both topical nutrients and a good diet
- Look at ways to manage stress
- See your doctor for medication if it doesn’t get better
For more information about skincare for seborrheic dermatitis see our article Seborrheic Dermatitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash with calendula & nettle (£19 for 200ml)
Balmonds Scalp Oil with tea tree, borage, rosemary (£14.99 for 50ml)
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.