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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Managing my Sebhorreic Dermatitis

I'm a little worried about jinxing myself, but it's been a long time since my last flare up of seborrheic dermatitis and I wanted to share that I think I've gotten a good handle on things. This time last year I was not in such a good spot. I was still struggling with seb derm and swollen eyes, and flaking, itching, bleeding skin and scalp, and general frustrations. 

But this past year I've managed to get a lot of the symptoms under control and develop habits that keep my skin healthy, and it mostly involves over the counter products. This post is not going to contain any major revelations beyond a quick review of the products that are working for me. 

The first over the counter shampoo I tried was Neutrogena T/Gel, and I have to say when I started using it, it felt like a miracle solution. My itching, flaking skin healed and my eyes felt better. 

I had read online not to use the T/Gel every day and that some people thought it lost efficacy after a using it for a few months, so I wanted a back-up plan. I tried Selsun Blue Naturals. It has salicylic acid and I believe it keeps my itchy scalp from itching. It doesn't smell bad at all. 

Since I work out a lot, I had to figure out the balance between keeping my hair and scalp cleaning after sweating and washing it too much and possibly drying it out. So some days after a workout I will only rinse my hair and scalp or I might use a small amount of this Yes To Carrots shampoo for itchy scalps.

I also switched my face soap and moisturizer to Vanicream. It's supposed to be "free and clear" of any kind of harsh chemicals that might bother sensitive skin, which it seems like I have. Since my skin has been looking good lately, I can only assume it's working. 

I still do daily drops of Restasis, and that is a cyclosporin medicine. I started that after getting my LASIK. I think sometimes that's a big part of my success but I want to see if I can switch to just using Refresh re-wetting drops. I'm going to try that in the new year, but my eye doctor reminded me it takes approximately 6 weeks for that medicine to leave my system.

Frankly, even my general eczema and rosacea has been under control. I believe I've minimized my eczema symptoms by changing some of my bad habits. I hated doing all that laundry and was so lazy I used to re-wear certain running clothes if I only did a short workout or didn't sweat that much. But now I don't do any of that and only wear workout clothes once, no matter how short the workout was.

For the rosacea, my go to solution is a prescription for Metrogel. I try to avoid prescriptions as much as possible but truly this light gel keeps my skin in such great condition that I don't think I'll ever stop using it.

Some of the other things I thought were causing my skin problems, like eggs or milk products, are still in my diet and not causing any issues. I'm back to my regular laundry detergent and have even used dryer sheets without problems, though I prefer to use the dryer balls. Also, I am wearing a different kind of wireless headphones now that don't rub against the backs of my ears. That could be helping, too.

So, there's the list of products I now use, and some of the changes I've made, and I haven't had a seborrhic dermatitis problem in months. Cross your fingers for me!

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