it’s an interesting discussion, and the easy answer is that there is probably not a simple explanation
I read a comment on one of the other discussion boards that basically said that all the stuff we try and apply to our faces doesn’t work, and that you should only worry about being happy and try new stuff. In that particular post watching good TV shows could make your seborrheic dermatitis go away. That’s not entirely untrue, but in my opinion there is so much more to it than just a state of mind.
It is true that it helps: I experienced it in the Philippines on vacation, but aside from my mental well-being I think it was the sun and saltwater that did the trick. And I’ve also often seen a correlation between stress and aggressive flare-ups. So, it does make a difference. I think I’ve also heard stories that cancer patients who believe they will win the fight have a better chance of actually surviving cancer, rather than just giving up and giving in. This is also the reason why I looked into meditation when I was still unable to treat the seborrheic dermatitis. So I definitely think that the body and mind are connected on a level we don’t fully understand, but to say that it is the only factor is also naïve in my opinion. Modern medicine may have it’s short-comings, but to completely deny everything they have shown is a ballsy move.
The body is a complex structure where many, many, many parts of the machine can malfunction and a lot of parts are connected in a chain, so that if one cog isn’t spinning like it’s supposed to, then it will impact something further down the line. I’m thinking genetic predisposition in one way or another to the yeast Malassezia, proper development and functioning of the immune system, healthy gut flora, proper hygiene of the skin, and probably also a calm, optimistic state of mind.
I was very skeptical when my dermatologist handed my this ‘miracle drug’ and told me the SD would be gone in one, maybe two weeks time. I had already tried this approach and it didn’t work. So at the time I was actually looking for a cure to the root of the problem, not just treat it when it appeared. My point is, it wasn’t my optimistic, strong believe that made nystatin work in the first place. I’m a strong believer now, and the knowledge that I now have a reliable tool to treat the SD probably gives me a more relaxed mindset that, at the end of the day, is a more healthy one that will contribute to keeping the SD down.
I’m not convinced that it’s only a matter of psychological well-being, but I guess it comes a long way. There is some microbiological stuff going on right under our noses, so to speak, and nystatin is known to bind ergosterol, which Malassezia apparently needs in its cell membrane. I believe in the scientific facts, but I am also very open-minded and fascinated by the alternative treatments, be it natural remedies or meditation and psychological well-being.
Fun story: When I was little I hypnotized or meditated a foot wart away. I have heard that they are usually really difficult to get rid of and the treatment is quite rough (it was back then anyway), so my doctor suggested that I try to meditate and focus my mind and imagine all sorts of unpleasantries on the wart. Every night I would sit for 10-15 minutes and wish it away. Within a couple of weeks it disappeared and I haven’t had any rebounds. So I do believe in the power of the mind, but in this case with the SD I tried just about anything and nothing worked except nystatin. (except lots and lots of sun and saltwater )
That’s my two-cents!
Thank you for running the site, Michael. It looks like a lot of people are finding helpful information here. It’s a good community.