Seborraic, Sebborayic, or Seborrheic Dermatitis: How to Pronounce and Prevent This Fungal Condition
Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions worldwide. Some research suggests it affects around 3-10% of the population . Despite it being a prevalent problem, treating (and knowing how to pronounce) this condition still remains a little tricky.
Before we explore that a little further, let's first understand what seborrheic dermatitis is. Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease typically associated with flaky patches, inflammation, and itchy skin. You may also notice greasy patches of yellow or whitish crusts on the affected skin .
When seborrheic dermatitis affects infants, it is termed infantile seborrheic dermatitis, or more specifically, cradle cap, if it occurs on the baby's scalp.
If you're keen on learning more about this skin condition, you're at the right place. We'll look at how "seborrheic dermatitis" is pronounced and how you can naturally prevent this fungal condition.
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How to Pronounce Seborrheic Dermatitis
The right way to pronounce seborrheic dermatitis is seb • or • ray • ic.
The origin of the term "seborrheic" is related to "sebum." Sebum is an oily and waxy substance consisting of a complex mixture of fatty acids, waxes, cholesterol, and squalene.
The sebum produced by your body plays a rather important role in helping to keep your skin healthy and protected. This oily substance helps to moisturize and lubricate your skin and protect it against friction. Additionally, sebum may also exhibit natural-light-protective activity, anti-bacterial effects, and anti-inflammatory properties .
How is Sebum Associated with Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Your body's sebaceous glands are responsible for secreting sebum. These sebaceous glands can be found on the surface of your entire body, excluding your palms and soles of the feet. Your scalp and face contain the highest concentration of these glands .
While sebum plays a key role in keeping your skin healthy, it is likely linked to seborrheic dermatitis. In fact, seborrheic dermatitis mainly affects areas of oily skin that are rich in sebaceous glands, which include your scalp, face, eyelids, eyebrows, upper chest, and skin folds .
The location at which seborrheic dermatitis typically appears also helps differentiate seborrheic dermatitis from other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis—which tend to affect different parts of the body.
Where does Malassezia come into the picture?
Although scientists aren't completely sure what causes seborrheic dermatitis, research has suggested that the Malassezia fungus plays a role in the development of seborrheic dermatitis.
The Malassezia fungus is a harmless fungus that lives on your skin without stirring up much trouble. However, the overgrowth of this fungus may be linked to seborrheic dermatitis flare-ups .
This fungus relies on external sources of fats to grow and multiply. Hence, it feeds on the sebum present on your skin's surface.
This is why the affected areas of your body are usually rich in sebaceous glands, as these glands secrete sebum that serves as food and fuel for the Malassezia fungus.
It may also be the reason why seborrheic dermatitis typically first appears around the time of puberty, which is when a rise in the levels of the hormone androgen causes sebum production to increase .
How is Seborrheic Dermatitis Treated?
Seborrheic dermatitis is usually treated using antifungal medicated shampoos, creams, or lotions.
A common antifungal agent used in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis is ketoconazole. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as topical corticosteroids, may also be recommended to manage red, itchy, irritated, and inflamed skin .
Your treatment plan will depend on how severe and persistent your condition is. Mild cases can be treated using over-the-counter dandruff shampoo, while more severe seborrheic dermatitis may be treated using oral medications instead of topical medications.
How to Naturally Prevent Seborrheic Dermatitis Flare-Ups
Dealing with symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can be understandably frustrating, as flare-ups and recurrences are common—not to mention that the condition can impact your confidence and how you feel about your appearance.
But there are two key secrets to preventing seborrheic dermatitis that may help.
Tip 1: Avoid products with oils that feed the fungus
The Malassezia fungus is a little picky, and this little troublemaker tends to feed on specific types of oils and fats.
Without making this a Chemistry lesson, let's take a quick look into the composition of oils.
Oils consist of smaller building blocks known as fatty acids. And these fatty acids are also made of smaller building blocks, which are carbon and hydrogen atoms.
The carbon atoms in a fatty acid are positioned in a straight chain, and different fatty acids have a different number of carbon atoms in this chain.
Let's now go back to the Malassezia fungus. Fatty acids with a carbon chain containing less than 12 carbon atoms don't seem to fuel the growth of this fungus . On the other hand, fatty acids with a carbon chain containing 12-24 carbon atoms are more likely to become a food source for the Malassezia fungus.
This means that certain oils with 12-24 carbon-chain fatty acids may not be Malassezia-safe and could aggravate your condition.
Thus, it may be safest to avoid such oils, including the following:-
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is composed of almost 50% of lauric acid, a fatty acid with a 12-carbon chain.
Jojoba oil: The main fatty acid present in jojoba oil is 11-Eicosenoic acid, also known as gondoic acid. This fatty acid has a 20-carbon chain backbone.
Shea butter: Oleic acid and stearic acid are the primary fatty acids in shea butter. Some research shows that oleic acid alone may be enough to initiate dandruff-like symptoms and flaking in those prone to this skin condition . Stearic acid is an 18-carbon fatty acid that may fuel Malassezia growth.
Almond oil: Almond oil consists of almost 70% oleic acid and around 25% linoleic acid, an 18-carbon fatty acid . Again, oleic acid alone may bring about dandruff-like symptoms, while linoleic acid may feed the Malassezia fungus.
Olive oil: Olive oil consists mainly of oleic acid, followed by linoleic acid .
Argan oil: Argan oil is comprised of two primary fatty acids, namely stearic acid (18-carbon fatty acid) and palmitic acid (16-carbon fatty acid) .
It may be due time to do a quick assessment of your haircare or skincare routine to check if any of these oils are present in the products you use!
Tip 2: Disrupt the Malassezia biofilm
As the Malassezia fungus feeds on the lipids present on your skin, it forms biofilms on your skin's surface. The Malassezia biofilm is a protective mechanism that shields it from medications and treatment remedies targeting the fungus .
This means your treatment becomes less effective against the fungus, making the condition even trickier to treat.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to counter this sneaky protective mechanism. The following are some natural remedies that may help thwart the Malassezia biofilm formation and maintain the efficacy of antifungal agents.
Sugar alcohols: Sugar alcohols are commonly used as sweeteners in packaged foods. Besides their use in the food industry, sugar alcohols, especially xylitol, may also play a role in dermatology. According to some research, xylitol can prevent and reduce biofilm formation .
Colloidal silver: Colloidal silver is another remedy that may help counter the Malassezia biofilm. Research has suggested that silver nanoparticles (tiny bits of silver) can reduce the formation of various bacterial and fungal biofilms [14, 15].
Apple cider vinegar: Vinegar can also exhibit antibiofilm effects . However, you should not apply apple cider vinegar directly to the skin. It's always best to dilute apple cider vinegar with water before using it to reduce the risk of a burning sensation and skin irritation upon application.
How To Naturally Clear the Malassezia Fungus and Disrupt its Biofilm
The Calming Seborrheic Serum is a holistic solution formulated by a team of people with seborrheic dermatitis.
This minimalistic yet powerful blend of ingredients works via a 3-step process that involves disrupting the Malassezia biofilm, clearing away the fungus, and nourishing the skin.
The Calming Seborrheic Serum contains xylitol and colloidal silver (ingredients we've covered above) that works to disrupt biofilm formation and weaken the fungus.
On top of that, the serum also consists of:-
aloe vera concentrate to help soothe and calm irritated skin,
tea tree oil that helps combat inflammation and clear the fungus, and
dead sea salt, which helps to eliminate fungus and nourish your skin.
Altogether, the Calming Seborrheic Serum helps to reduce symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, soothe redness, itch, flaking, and irritation, and enhance skin barrier function and moisture.
The entire formulation is Malassezia-safe, meaning that it does not contain ingredients that may feed and promote the growth of the fungus.
There's no better time to seek relief for moody skin than today!