Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as seborrheic eczema, is a non-contagious skin disorder characterized by red, inflamed skin covered by flaky, dry or greasy scales majorly on the scalp, though other areas like face, behind the ears, eyelashes, eyebrows, chest may also be involved. Dandruff is a type of seborrheic dermatitis with flakes or scales on the scalp but without inflammation of the skin. In infants (babies less than one year of age), seborrheic dermatitis is known as cradle cap. It is a long-term condition and runs a remitting and relapsing course. It does not arise from uncleanliness or an infection.
Homeopathic Treatment Of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Homeopathy works wonderfully well in treating seborrheic dermatitis. It treats both, acute and chronic seborrheic dermatitis, effectively. Homeopathic medicines reduce the intensity and frequency of flare-up of seborrheic dermatitis to begin with. Then, with the passage of time, the condition is treated and fades away. Also, these medicines boost the self-healing mechanism of the body, thus making it strong enough to fight seborrheic dermatitis on its own.
Homeopathic Medicines For Seborrheic Dermatitis
The best homeopathic medicines for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis are Kali Sulphuricum, Natrum Mur, Graphites, Phosphorus, Thuja Occidentalis, Calcarea Carb and Arsenic Album.
1. Kali Sulphuricum – Top Remedy For Seborrheic Dermatitis
Kali Sulphuricum is the most frequently prescribed medicine for seborrheic dermatitis. The key feature to use this medicine is yellow, sticky flakes on the scalp. The scales are greasy and moist. Itching on the scalp may occur that gets worse from heat. In some cases, there is hair loss.
When and How to use Kali Sulphuricum?
This medicine proves most effective for cases with yellow sticky flakes on scalp. It works best in low potency especially ‘X’ potencies. Kali Sulphuricum 6X , 4 tablets for adults and 2 tablets for children, can be taken three to four times a day.
2. Natrum Mur – For White Coloured Flakes With Redness Underneath
Natrum Mur is the most wonderful medicine for seborrheic dermatitis with white flakes on scalp and redness on skin beneath. In few cases needing it, crusts are present on the head and neck along the margins of the hair. There is marked itching on scalp and neck. Hair fall can be prominent with white flakes. The skin on hairy parts is greasy where this medicine is required.
When and How to use Nat Mur?
It can be used in cases with specific white flakes on scalp. The recommended dose of this medicine in majority of cases is Natrum Mur 6X to be taken three to four times a day.
3. Graphites – To Manage Scales And Itching
Graphites is a well-indicated medicine for cases having excessive scales on the scalp along with intense itching. It is prominently indicated when scales form on top of the head (vertex). It is attended with pain on touch. Scales may extend behind the ears, on margins of eyelids and moustache area (in males) in some cases. The scales reduce after washing but reappear. There is matting together of hair and in some cases hair fall is noted.
When and How to use Graphites?
This medicine is highly preferred to manage cases where excessive scales are present along with itching. This medicine is usually used in low potencies like 3X, 30C. The most commonly used among these is 3X potency. In mild cases, just one tablet a day of Graphites 3X is enough while in cases of high intensity, one tablet twice a day or two tablets twice a day may be required. Begin with just one tablet a day. In case no changes are noted, consult a homeopathic doctor for increasing the dose.
4. Phosphorus – For Excessive Flakiness And Hairfall
Phosphorus is highly suitable when there is excessive flakiness on scalp along with hair fall. Sometimes dry scabs are present on the scalp. The hair appear to fall in bunches or from some particular spots on the scalp. Itching on scalp is present that gets worse from scratching. A burning sensation on the scalp can be felt as well. In a few cases, sweating on scalp is noticeable.
When and How to use Phosphorus?
A person may use this medicine when along with flakiness on scalp, hair fall is also occurring. Among its various available potencies, the most frequently used is 30C potency. In the beginning, Phosphorus 30C can be taken one to two times a day as per severity of complaint.
5. Thuja Occidentalis – For White Flakes With Itching, Stinging On Scalp
Thuja Occidentalis is a natural remedy sourced from plant Arbore Vitae. It is an important medicine to help cases where white flakes on the scalp form along with itching and stinging sensation. There is relief from scratching. The flakiness may extend to ears. The hair may be dry, along with hair fall.
When and How to use Thuja Occidentalis?
White flakes on scalp along with itching and stinging is the key indication to use this medicine. This medicine can be used from low 30C potency to high potency like 200 C, 1M. The potency and repetition varies from case to case. As a general rule, low potencies can be taken frequently but high potencies are taken in infrequent doses. To begin with, it is safe to start with 30C once a day only. Higher potencies should only be used after consulting a homeopathic physician.
6. Calcarea Carb – For Scales On Scalp With Increased Sweating
Use of this medicine is considered in cases where scaliness is attended with increased sweating over the scalp. The yellowish-white scales can be thin or thick. In some cases, the scales are dry while in others moist.
When and How to use Calcarea Carb?
This medicine is indicated for cases presenting with scaliness and profuse sweating on scalp. One may take it in 30C potency once a day. In case no improvement is seen, high potencies like 200 C can be considered after consulting a homeopathic doctor.
7. Arsenic Album – For Dry Scales Or Crusts With Burning Sensation On Scalp
The last medicine on the list to treat seborrheic dermatitis is Arsenic Album. It use is prescribed when there are dry scales or crust over the scalp along with burning sensation. The crusts may extend down to forehead and ears in a few cases. The burning sensation gets worse in the evening. It can be attended with itching as well.
When and How to use Arsenic Album?
This medicine can be taken in cases of dry scales/ scabs with burning sensation on scalp. Though it can be used in both low and high potencies, doctors usually prefer to start treatment with 30C power. Arsenic Album 30C can be taken once a day. Its high potencies should be taken only under supervision of a homeopathic expert.
Cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Why seborrheic dermatitis occurs is still a question? However, certain factors are thought to play a role in its development. They include:
1. Mallasezia (a type of yeast) mainly mallasezia globose, found on the scalp: its overgrowth and irritation by toxic substances produced by it is said to cause seborrhoeic dermatitis.
2. Genetic predisposition: A person having family history of seborrheic dermatitis is at risk of getting affected by it.
3. Weak immune system
4. Oily/greasy skin
5. Increased level of androgen hormone and increased levels of skin lipids
Signs And Symptoms Of Seborrheic Dermatitis
1. Inflamed, flaky skin on the scalp. It is the main sign of seborrheic dermatitis. The flakes vary from yellow, to white to greyish in color. In spite of the flakes, the skin on the scalp remains greasy.
Which area is affected in seborrheic dermatitis? The area involved mainly is the one where skin is oily and greasy. Most commonly it occurs on scalp, eyebrows, beard, moustache, eyebrows, sides of nose, behind the ears. However less commonly, in some cases it may affect armpits, chest, groin area, on buttocks, around the navel, back and area below breasts.
2. Crust formation: In some cases, greasy skin may be covered by crusts
3. Skin redness
4. Itching and burning on the affected skin
5. Hair loss in affected part
Who Gets Affected By Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Though it can occur in both males and females, its occurrence is more common in men than women. It can affect persons of any age group, it is common in babies less than 3 months of age, and adults between 30 to 60 years of age.
Trigger Or Worsening Factors For Seborrheic Dermatitis
There are certain factors that can trigger or worsen seborrheic dermatitis. These include stress, change of season, cold dry weather, sleep deprivation, use of harsh soaps, hormonal changes, history of skin complaints like psoriasis, acne, certain medicines like lithium psoralen and obesity.
Are There Any Complications Linked With It?
Yes, in some cases few complications might occur. These are as follows:
1. Secondary bacterial infection
2. Skin thinning on affected parts
3. Psychological impact, like embarrassment and anxiety