Nystatin A Potential Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

I actually managed to pinpoint the ingredient responsible: isopropyl myristate. It’s in a lot of antifungal creams and unsurprisingly I just discovered that it’s in the Nystatin cream I bought from Germany as well. Unfortunately it’s known to be an extremely comedogenic ingredient, one of the biggest offenders since it’s so commonplace.

So sadly I’m going to have to stop using the Nystatin cream. :confused:

If anyone is interested in buying it off of me on the cheap, let me know, since it’s either that or it’s going in the rubbish. I used it for just 5 days so it’s almost a full tube’s worth. (I’m in the UK, by the way, so bear that in mind).

There is hope when creams don’t work and anyhow they won’t work when the body doesn’t get what it needs. And some creams will irritate the skin.

Seb derm sufferers have cleared by following the free protocol on howtobeatpsoriasis.com. No one has come back after three months on the program, and said it doesn’t work.

The thing is most people don’t manage to complete the program. Going from a regular diet to only eating vegetables and fruits for months is very challenging. But you can always eat more of them to not loose calories. Then try to add back foods one by one and see what foods you can handle.

Someone will probably say that they have a friend who is vegetarian but has skin problems. But they forgot something. You have to stay away from processed food also. Sugar comes from plants but is processed. Wheat flour also.

There used to be a seb derm group at yahoo managed by someone called steve with email canwegoplease2000@yahoo.com. This group cleared members with a diet of fruits and vegetables as well. A whole plant based food.

Read more on the many health benefits of whole plant foods on nutritionfacts.org which is the most amazing health site on the web. It’s run by doctors on their free time specialized in nutrion. They go through thousands of research papers and present the most relevant info on their site. It’s not connected to the medicin industry or other intrests of money. They just want you to be healthy.

Research say that we have eaten whole plant based foods approx. 90-95 % during the thousands of years we have developed, so that would make some sense. Now add alcohol, sugar, multi resistent bacterias in meat, other chemicals, GMO and so on.

This will make it hard for us that probably have genetic issues as well.

Professor Jane Plant has written several books on how to treat cancer with plant based foods. She almost died from cancer before changing here diet. I saw a documentery on TV where a man cured him self from cancer after reading one of here books on prostate cancer.

This food gives the imune system enough strength to get us well again.

I myself have not managed to manage the diet. But I think the key us to take it step by step, and not all in at once.

Best wishes

Hi Shane,

Sorry to the hear that. Hopefully, it get’s resolved.

All the best.

Hey Joakim, was definitely worth a try - I think it might be better suited to those with active scabbing / scales which build up from SD, as I presume that is when SD has more fungal activity.

I think my next course of action will be to try and repair the skin barrier. I can only assume that the redness and increased oil production on the nose area is a result of a severely depleted skin barrier which could have been caused by a variety of things over the years (or even genetics). It’s hard to tell whether SD is the cause or result of an impaired barrier! I’ll keep researching…

A couple of things I’m interested in is diluted ACV topically, Michael’s BioM8 and possibly Green Tea in order to reduce sebum. But I’m sure I’ve had the red patches of SD prior to getting really oil, so maybe it’s not that at all? Might also consider oral anti-fungals just to see if it has any impact on the SD whatsoever, if it doesn’t, then I can deduct that the condition isn’t likely to be a fungal manifestation.

Tough disease to manage, but keeping hope and trying out new things is all that we can do - aside from giving up that is - but that’s not really something worth considering when there are so many potential options out there. Would just be nice to have my life back instead of being a hermit and hiding away because of it!

Thanks for the help Joakim, hope your skin is still doing well :slight_smile:


I actually just had a relapse, which I’m coming out of now. I stopped using nystatin for a while, because I hadn’t seen any symptoms in a while, and I wanted to stop stuffing my face with drugs if it wasn’t necessary. The SD came back a week ago or so, after a few weeks of cold turkey (mild symptoms compared to the full-blown outbreak I had last year). It might have been accelerated by cold, dry winter :slight_smile:

The point is: after using nystatin again for the last week or so the symptoms are down and everything is back to normal. So it still, luckily, works for me even after a year of more-or-less continued use. I don’t understand why it doesn’t work for you, but maybe there are different sub-strains or causes of SD, and ours differ.
This time around my SD didn’t really evolve, or have enough time, to produce the scaliness. I mostly saw the redness coming back and knew what was up. So for me nystatin also clears the redness. I do not, however, recognize the beading of the sebum. I might feel a little more oily, but I don’t think that is a result of the nystatin, but rather a result of the compromised skin barrier. I’m only guessing, but the oiliness disappears with the other symptoms even if I continue the use of nystatin.

But this little experiment goes to show that it comes back, if I stop using anti-fungals. I guess it shows that Malassezia is ubiquitous on most people if they don’t treat it. For some that’s no problem: maybe the immune systems deals with it, maybe it isn’t fed by the same sebum on “healthy” noses. But for some (us) it causes problems. I guess it would be better to treat the condition from the inside, changing the sebum composition through food and lifestyle, or empowering the immune system with vitamin D or whatever. Sometimes it’s as simple as sun and saltwater :slight_smile:

Keep us posted on your experiences, Jay. I don’t know if this is the best section of the website to update in, now that nystatin didn’t work for you, but I hope that you can still learn from and contribute to the community. And that you’ll get rid of it soon.

Best wishes!

Hi Ian - sorry I didn’t check in before and see your post regarding acne & SD.

As you’ve already pointed out, Isopropyl Myristate is a horrible ingredient for anyone who is acne prone. We had a quick look over the ingredients further down the comment thread and I pointed this out as being a massive irritant for those with sensitive skin - it’s definitely a shame as other people have had great success with the Nystatin!

The Azelaic acid should hopefully be beneficial to both the SD and acne. It seems to work for a variety of reasons: “Studies confirm antimicrobial properties, sebosuppressive activity, anti-keratinizing activity, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects and antimycotic activity — including specific activity against Malassezia”. But as with everything some people find it a god-send cream and others find it just worsens their condition; hit and miss as always.

Let me know how you get on with the BioM8 oil as it’s something I’m keen to try, but at the moment I’m having to try out cheap remedies due to Christmas & helping out my parents with a couple of things. Also interested to see your experience with AzA (15% tends to be one of the most effective, but I’m unsure if various formulations will have differing ingredients that cause irritation), as I have a tube of Finacea lying around which is good until 2016 and I might be persuaded into trying that again.

I’d also like to touch on the anti-fungal and Accutane route as something that might help you. Whilst I don’t have any experience with the anti-fungals, they’re extremely cheap to try (Fluconazole can be bought on Amazon for around £1 per tablet and I believe you can use it once a week for maximum efficacy with minimal to no side effects) and this should at least give you an idea if any of your skin issues are fungal in nature. In regards to low-dose Accutane, I have a lot of experience with this, I was on 10mg every other day for 6 months, then dropped to 2 x 10mg a week and I was virtually clear of all acne symptoms, did nothing for SD though and sebum remained on my nose… Could be because my dosage was extremely low, but I had very few side effects aside from slightly dry lips (easily manageable) and occasional loose stools, but that could be because I was constantly altering my diet.

But I’m keen to try out as many other things as possible before I resort to conventional heavy-duty treatments!

Let me know how things go - wish you all the best with the skin :slight_smile:


Hi Jay,

Thanks for the response. It’s helpful to hear from someone else who’s in a somewhat similar boat (having suffered from SD and acne), so my adverse reaction to Nystatin feels less unusual.

It’s been about a week since my last update. I quit use of the Nystatin (unsurprisingly) and have been using Michael’s BIOM8 oil every morning after showering, and every night I apply Skinoren gel (which is 15% azelaic acid – I mentioned in the previous post that I was using an over-the-counter 10% azelaic acid lotion but I quickly decided to upgrade to a higher strength gel-based formula with fewer ingredients). I apply BIOM8 and Skinoren to my entire face, and follow up with Sebclair which I apply only to my nose creases (I replaced Nystatin with Sebclair because as far as I can tell Sebclair isn’t clogging my pores).

At the moment I’m cautiously optimistic. The erythema on one side of my nose has been very gradually lightening up, but the other side of my nose is still quite red because there’s a deep and fairly large under-the-skin pimple hanging around (which I suspect my earlier use of Nystatin is responsible for). In the areas where I do see improvement it’s difficult to tell if that’s because I’m actually managing to fight the SD, or if it’s simply because my acne-prone skin is being given a chance to heal now that I’ve stopped using Nystatin. Only time will tell – it’s early days yet.

I’m hopeful that azelaic acid will treat my SD, but even if it doesn’t, I’m still going to keep it as a mainstay in my routine because I’ve been looking for an anti-acne substitute for benzoyl peroxide for a while now and think I’ve finally found it. Azelaic acid is more versatile, gentler, doesn’t bleach fabric, can reduce sebum production (albeit slightly), and treats post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – it’s a no-brainer to replace BP with it on the acne-fighting front and relegate BP to just spot treatment.

Thanks for sharing your low-dose Accutane experience. It’s still on the cards as a last resort, though I’m aware it might not help the SD. I know the general guideline is to avoid using any harsh topicals while on Accutane but this seems to be mainly a concern for those on a standard dose, so I’m curious if being on such a low dose would open up the possibility of combination therapy (i.e. being able to continue using azelaic acid so long as my skin doesn’t find the combination of that and Accutane too drying).


I ordered nystatin from Amazon.de.
It has been 2 months that I am applying it on my face. I tried almost everything suggested and finally I am cured with nystatin, not only my face but the cheast and sculp too. But it caused acne problem on my chin similar to Ian’s but compared to sd it is not effecting my social life that much.
I applied it once a day on my face and it helped with the other spots as well. So I have this idea now, I will start applying not on my face but other spots effected before, to see if it will keep my face cured.
I will let you know when I have results.
Thank you for this community.

Hello Joakim,

My Seborrheic dermatitis is almost exclusively and primarily on my eyebrows. I was wondering if you used the Nystatin cream on your eyebrows as well, and whether the cream was alright to apply on your brows, without clogging the follicles or making the hair very greasy?

Kind regards, a fellow Scandinavian with SD.


Hi Ben,

I find that I have SD pretty much everywhere where I have hair on my head. Hair, beard, eyebrows, everything. The scalp got better, as I wrote in the story above, just by applying nystatin to my face and using shampoo with zinc pyrithione. However, I also apply it to the spots in my beard and eyebrows that are affected. It’s usually the same places, where it keeps coming back if I don’t treat it. So yes, I’d say that you can use it in your eyebrows without any adverse effects. Just be careful not to put it in your eyes by mistake :slight_smile:

I haven’t experienced greasy hair or clogged follicles, but apparently some of the other guys have concerns regarding the isopropyl myristate that is in the creme. So just be warned, if you have also had bad experiences with that ingredient. In my opinion, however, it is really not a very oily/greasy creme.

Best of luck!

Another update:

What I’ve been doing:
1.) Adding a single pump of BIOM8 oil to my moisturiser once a day, to entire face
2.) Applying Skinoren (azelaic acid 15%) every night, to entire face
3.) Following up with Sebclair cream, applied only to affected areas (sides of my nose, crease on my chin), morning and night
4.) Applying 90% raw honey mask/10% distilled water mask to entire face for 3 hours every other night (as per this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11485891). I’ve been doing this for almost a month at this point, and will continue it on a weekly basis for another 6 months as the study suggests.

The positives:
I no longer have a bunch of clogged pores around my nose so I can say with absolutely certainty that the Nystatin cream was responsible for that, having stopped using it about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Also, the azelaic acid has been doing a pretty good job of keeping my acne in check (which is one of the reasons I’ve been using it), so I’m happy that I no longer have to use benzoyl peroxide at all at this point, after 5+ years of being so heavily reliant on it and suffering its drawbacks.

The negatives:
While progress on the acne front has been great, progress on the SD front has been painfully slow, especially considering I’ve been very strictly following a routine in which I’m attacking it from three angles (coming up on almost a month of these raw honey masks, and having used both BIOM8 oil and Sebclair consistently for over 2 weeks). Unlike acne, which I’m more than aware can take at least a couple of months to respond to a new treatment regimen, I’m under the impression that SD symptoms should respond in 2-4 weeks.

I’ll continue my current regimen regardless, probably for a fairly long time. My reasoning being that a.) slathering honey on my face every other night for the past 4 weeks has been a massive pain, but doing it for the next 6 months on just a weekly basis as per the study’s recommendations is a lot more manageable by comparison, b.) with the BIOM8 oil and Sebclair, even if they don’t end up doing much for my SD at least they also serve as moisturisers that don’t clog my pores, so they’re not doing any harm, and c.) I’m going to be using Skinoren indefinitely because it addresses my acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (I’m an azelaic acid convert at this point).

As I’ve been a bit frustrated with the slow response, if any, on the SD front I’ve been looking into how I can rule out the possibility of it being something else that manifests itself similarly to SD, and I came across this study about demodex dermatitis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2958185/
It mentions that demodex dermatitis symptoms can look an awful lot like SD but argues that it should be considered a separate condition. The subjects applied crotamiton cream to the affected areas twice daily for 2-4 weeks and the response rate was impressive – but what I find particularly interesting is that subjects responded very well to it even though some tested negative for a high demodex concentration on their face. They recommend crotamiton if you’ve been unimpressed with the results of other SD treatments (which at this rate might end up being the case for me).

Crotamiton is sold OTC in the UK as Eurax cream, so I’ve ordered a small tube. I’m not getting my hopes too high, but I want to give it a shot so I can at least rule it out if it doesn’t end up working. Moreover, it doesn’t contain the extremely pore-clogging isopropyl myristate (hooray!) so it shouldn’t do any harm. If I don’t notice improvement after 2-4 weeks then it’s reasonable to conclude that it’s not treating it.

Will post more updates further down the road.

Tried Nystatin. Just made my skin more flaky. Tried raw honey. Made my skin so much red.

The biom probiotic spray is the only thing that does not make my skin worse.

After new year a will complete the clear skin programme. You can download it for free http://www.juicemaster.com/clear-skin-programme/

I rather do something for real than to keep looking for answers and traying topical solutions that don’t work.

Have a great weekend all


I am new to this site, saw it first about two weeks ago.I am currently awaiting the Biom8 oil, while basically trying out coconut oil on my sd, which is on my scalp, in back from about middle of my head down to where my hair ends. It been such a pain, fir so long. I have long curly hair, so its not visable, but is sooo uncomfortable.
i have been to dermatologists all my life, who just give the same old advice, shampoos that,while they may have ingredients to quell the sd, they wind up leaving my scalp feeling burning, tight, itchy and irritated. I am now on my own personal quest fir natural solutions…seems that maintenance is all I can expect. Maybe a cure? So far, I am feeling a pretty decent relief by using pure coconut oil.
There is a doctor in New York City, (i live 25 mikes away) Dr. Ash, who is an integrative type doctor, who says, on his website that he prescribes Nystatin for SD. I am interested, but have not yet checked this out with a doctor yet, as i believe it must be prescribed, not over the counter. I wonder, for thosee of you using it, how do you know what strength to use, or how many times to apply, in order to kill the fungus, but not cause skin chaos? I am quite excited to try it, because if its even a temporary type “cure” wow, I ll be forever grateful

Hey Patricia,

I guess your doctor would instruct you to use it in a way, so you don’t over use it. I was prescribed 4 tubes to be used over 2 years. That should be more than plenty. I’m a year into treatment – still SD free (although with 1 or 2 relapses) – and I’m still on my second tube, which has plenty left.

It says on my prescription that I should use it once daily, but I’m quite sure that my dermatologist suggested that I could use it twice if I was having a rough time. For me it has never given me a burning sensation similar to those nizoral shampoos for instance. And when I’m clear of SD I tend not to use it – during summer for instance.

I think someone else asked to the specific creme somewhere else in the comments, so you should be able to find it and instructions on how to order it from Germany, if you don’t want to see a doctor about it. I don’t know if that is expensive in the US.

Best of luck, though, I hope you see some nice results either from nystatin/biom8/or whatever proves to be your solution :slight_smile:

Hi, I have seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp for a year now and have tried all sorts of products and nothing really helped. I’m thinking about trying Nystatin on my scalp, but I read on the internet that several people who use Nystatin are experiencing hair loss from it. Mostly these people use it to treat other conditions. Do you notice any hair loss?

Hi Vincent, no Ii do not experience any hair loss. But then again I don’t apply any of it to my scalp, so that would be weird.

Nystatin might come in different concentrations, I’m not sure, so if you can, note the concentration of the nystatin when you read stories regarding hair loss. It could be that the type used in those cases is more potent than the one recommended here.

Best regards,

I promised myself to stop putting oils to my face, but just had to try borage oil on my eye lids and in between my eyes yesterday.

My skin looked great from the moment I put it on and still does after 20 hours!

If the John Vale Skin Clear programme does not work I will try borage on the rest of my face.

Merry Christmas


Hi Joakim,

Sorry to hear about the short relapse. Luckily the Nystatin was still effective though. And yeah your hypothesis is in-line with my research. There appear to be strains of malassezia which are able to adapt and become resistant to the Nystatin. Additionally, as Ian pointed out in one of his comments there are other micro-organisms which may be causing symptoms that closely resemble seborrheic dermatitis.

In terms of the Malassezia, I strongly believe it effects some of us due to a combination of compromised barrier function, which is related to fatty acid metabolism and/or local fatty acid synthesis. Perhaps this is cause by another bacteria or something within our bodies that prevents optimal immune function. Overall though, topical still seem to play an important role as they allow us to live life while be figure out the underlying issue (which I still believe is important for long term).

Have started work on a second edition of the book, hoping to go even deeper and really get to the core of the issue (and improve the structure of the last chapter).

Happy holidays and best of luck in the New Year!
All the best.

Hi Jay,

Just wanted to chime in on the Isopropyl Myristate and Nystatin. If I’m not mistaken, you could get a custom formulation of Nystatin cream from your local pharmacy. At-least this is how it works here in Canada. Nystatin is one of the most commonly used anti-fungals, so it really shouldn’t be a problem. Perhaps you could even get it in a water based solution.

As for the hit and miss, this seems to apply universally :slight_smile:

Happy holidays! And best wishes for the New Year!

Hi TJ,

Hope all is well. Just wanted to chime in.
Not sure where you are located, but I believe you may be able to obtain a custom formulation of nystatin cream from your local pharmacy.

Let me know if you pursue this idea.

Happy holidays and hope you have a wonderful 2016!
Best of luck.