Nystatin A Potential Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

I feel like I have had SD for many years but ever since I had my first child it has only gotten worse. I was diagnosed by my doctor and I’ve tried the Nizoral shampoo, t-SAL, T-Gel. I’ve also tried no-poo, baking soda and ACV with limited results. I just hate having this gunk on my scalp. It’s the only location I have SD. I also have thick long hair which makes it difficult getting to the scalp to treat it. I am intrigued by this nystatin and I have also heard by controlling the yeast growth internally helps as well. Thanks for having this site! I know I’m not the only one, but it’s not something that is talked about often.

Hi Kelly,

as I’ve mentioned a few times before, I have never applied nystatin to my scalp. I only use it on my face. However, for some reason, it was only when I started using nystatin on my face that I was able to control the dandruff and scaling on my scalp. I don’t know how it works if you only have symptoms on your scalp, and if you can apply it there. A few people above have tried using it on their scalp, but I’m not sure about the results. Give it a try if you haven’t had any luck with other treatments. I haven’t had any adverse effects, so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

Best of luck,

Hi Kelly,

Same as Joakim. Once I controlled the SD on my face it cleared on my scalp. However, I found relief using non anti-fungal methods. Part internal and part simple cleanser/wash. Over the past few weeks I’ve been diving deep into medical research into SD. Hopefully sometime soon I can have a post with deep analysis of what SD really is, or at-least my analysis of what modern day research has to offer.

Here the gist of what I have so far. Most of the dermatologists believe it is due to fungus/yeast. Most modern day has research has been trying to find a clear cause-relation, but so far everything has been inconclusive. However, anti-fungals typically have good results by simply removing all bacterial activity on the skin (healthy individuals have no issues to this activity) and thus, the approach typically taken is anti-fungal medication. However, after looking at a wide variety of related inflammatory skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, rosacea), it seems that there is a close relation to issues of the immune system here and hormonal dis-balances.

Even though I’ve been free of SD for about a year now, I still have a strong urge to really find what happened to my system. Would hate for this thing to come back later in my life.

Sorry for going off a bit (relative to your comment). Lol. Was just pounding through research papers all day and you’re the first comment on my todo list. :slight_smile:

All the best.

Thanks for the information. I guess I’m lucky that it is only seen by me and I have very long, thick hair. I just hate feeling so gunked up. I am trying the Nioxin treatment right now, I shall see how this turns out. I’m keeping the nyastatin at the back of my mind though.

Hi Kelly,

Yeah, it’s an unpleasant feeling for sure.
First time I’ve heard about the Nioxin.
Let me know how it goes.

Best of luck.

Finally! I’ve been dealing with SD for over ten years. I hate it. It’s all over my scalp and behind one ear. Occasionally, I’ve had to use an antibiotic for some reason or other over the years and loved that my SD went away for those precious ten days of using the drug. But the SD always came back.

When I was doing chemo a couple years ago my SD was totally gone for all those months! Hated the chemo - but loved the freedom of a scaly scalp! I’ve just been given Nystatin for yeast under the breast. It didn’t work, but I’m going to use it on my head to see what happens. The antibiotic I’m on is helping under the breast. Go figure.

I have rosacea. Does this all intermix in some way? Yeast? Oily skin? Rosacea?

Hi Barabara,

Sorry to hear that you’ve been battling it for so long.
Yeah, they all seem to be interconnected. However, just yesterday I read that oily skin isn’t really correlated with SD (source).

Here’s something interesting I learnt earlier this week. An infants skin turns over about every two weeks (old skin sloughs off, new skin takes its place). As we get older this process slows down and increases to about 2 months. However, in inflammatory skin disorders like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis the whole skin eco-system turnover can be as short as only a single week. (Here’s the video)

This kind of lead me to thinking that perhaps a steroid cream provides that extra kick required to allow the skin cells to mature more rapidly yet still healthy. If the cell turnover is still super short and the steroid cream is stopped they go back to not being able to properly mature. Now without properly developing, the skin cells become much more susceptible to invasion by foreign bacteria.

It’s just a theory, but currently looking into it.

All the best. Look forward to any updates.

My son has SD (head, face, chest and back). The creams prescribed by the dermatologist (Ketoconazole creams and shampoo, other steroids creams and oral antibiotics) worked okay based on how well and how often they were used. His flare-ups would be severe to the point of getting an abscess or two in his face requiring the oral medicine.

My grandson’s pediatrician prescribed Nystatin cream and ointment for a diaper rash. I was extremely impressed with how fast and how well it worked. I researched other uses for the Nystatin and was pleased to learn it can be used for SD. Good results were noticeable overnight. Although the ointment is easier to apply to face and scalp, the cream does well on chest and back.

Thank you, Michael, for confirming.


This question is more geared toward Joakim. I was wondering, would you mind posting your exact regimen with Nyastin, both when you started out and how much you use it now? Did you use it once a day on your face every night for those two weeks? Did you wash your face before applying it? Did you wash your face in the morning during these two weeks too? How often do you use it now? Do you wash your face still with a cleanser and moisturize since its cleared, or what is your regimen look like now? Basically, id just really love to know your entire regimen, both during the clearance of your SD and since then. Thank you for your time.


Hello :slight_smile:

So, initially, I started using the nystatin last December. If I recall correctly, most of the symptoms were gone after one week. After two weeks it was completely gone, I’m sure. I’ve continued using it ever since, but I’m not that thorough anymore. Initially, I used it every day, but now that I’ve knocked it out, it seems that I don’t have to use it daily. I got careless during the winter, and I had a flare-up, because I didn’t use it frequently enough. The flare-up was probably also coupled with a stressful time in my life :slight_smile: So I don’t consider myself completely cured, and I still use nystatin to this day. Now that it’s summer, I don’t use it very often. Just whenever I remember, so maybe a few times a week (2, 3, or 4 times). I’m quite sure that the sunlight helps.

I actually use it in the morning, usually after I shower. And that’s pretty much it. I don’t worry about washing my face in the evening before bed, or use any moisturizers or cleansers. I used to moisturize since I thought it could help my dry skin, but I think the dry skin was a symptom of the SD, so now that it has gone, I don’t feel the need.

Other than that I use a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione and climbazole and a conditioner for normal hair, when I shower. Again, for me, it doesn’t seem like I have to be have careful with the planning. I don’t wash my hair daily, I only do it a few times a week, whenever I feel like it, but I never use any other products than those two. Unfortunately, it’s not an international brand, but I’m sure you can find identical products.

Now that it’s summer, I haven’t found any problems using sunscreen in my face. I was a little bit worried that it might be a food-source for the yeast, but so far I haven’t had any problems. Also because I normally only apply sunscreen when I go into the sun, and as I wrote above, I find that the sun helps keep the SD down. So I guess if the sunscreen was in any way a bad thing, it’s counteracted by the intense sun.

I hope that covered the details. If there’s anything that I failed to explain, or something I missed, feel free to comment again and specify :slight_smile:

Hi Renita,

Thanks for checking in. Glad to here the Nystatin working. It’s strange how common Nystatin is.
A short while after Joakim pointed it out through the website, I actually found a tube laying around my house (someone must have given it to me).

Hope everything resolves itself. It’s difficult when younger children go through this as they seem to get hit by it quite hard. Also, since they are still kids it can be hard to find a suitable approach.

It would be interesting to hear how things turn out.
Wish you all the best.

It is actually not that surprising, and not the first time I hear a story like that. Nystatin is by no means an unknown, obscure drug. It is on WHO’s list of most essential medicines, so I guess it’s pretty widely used to treat a number of yeast infections. But maybe the idea of using it to treat SD is relatively new, or at least unconventional. The go-to methods seems to be the hydro-cortisone cream and ketoconazole shampoo - which didn’t really work for me :slight_smile:

But I am happy to hear that you are seeing progress.
All the best to you and your family :slight_smile:

I have been itching for months and couldn’t find anything to help. I read your article and added the nystantin to my daily routine, and guess what I am finally not itching. I see my dermatologist next week, so excited to tell her what I found

Hi Debbie,

Great to hear it worked so well.
All thanks to Joakim for submitting this solution.

Best of luck.
If you have the time, let me know what the derm says.

Hi Debbie,

It makes me so happy to see that people still stumble upon this and find it helpful :slight_smile:

Now I don’t know if you’ve seen the dermatologist before, but the appointments sounds like a good idea. Nystatin is essentially just an anti-fungal, so it doesn’t work against SD exclusively. The reason I mention this is because you only described the itching, and to me there were so many other symptoms, so from that alone it could also be something else. Maybe you already have a diagnosis, but if you don’t then the doctors appointment is a really good idea :wink: and like Michael, I’d love to hear the dermatologist’s response…

I’ve been able to cut my routine down to only using nystatin. From the responses I’ve read in here people have had different degrees of success, and some still have to watch out for certain foods or follow their old cleanse and moisturize routines. But you can experiment with that yourself :slight_smile:

I was also worried that I would build up some sort of tolerance or the SD would become resistant to the drug, but so far it’s still working for me without any ill effects. Actually, for the last month or so I haven’t used it at all, because of all the sun I’m getting during summer. Now, slowly, I can feel it coming back - it’s still pretty much unnoticeable, but I can feel the skin around my nose is less elastic. But after using it for a few days I’ve been able to put it back in check! That’s what I’m most excited about: that I’m finally in control of my face.

Hopefully, you will have a similar experience.
All the best, and good luck at the dermatologist.

Hi Joakim and Michael
A few months ago, I commented on Nystatin and how it has helped me with SD on my face.
I noticed that my particular SD flares up with a tingling sensation or prickling sensation on my face as though the nerves were talking through the skin - exertion, physical, mental - mostly positive and also good stress bring it out too. Gardening brings it out on my forearms - I will try Nystatin there.
There seems to be a link to digestion, as was discussed on this forum before. The metabolism seems to speed up a bit. I wonder is there is a link to thyroid overstimulation.
Strangely, for me at least, a few spots of Nystatin applied on the SD parts of the face seems to have a positive effect for the rest of the skin on the face - i.e. almost no need for moisturizer now.
Again, thanks for the Nystatin tip and for sharing this and other useful experiences through this forum.

Hi Vero,

it’s good to hear from you again. It makes me very happy that you’re still in control of the SD. It’s nice to know that my post has made some difference :slight_smile:

I have a personal feeling – I’ve not done the thorough research, though – that it could be linked to our immune system and bacterial flora, which in turn are also greatly influenced by our gut and digestion, like you mention. As far is I know, it the yeast Malassezia that’s the cause of SD, and it’s present on most people. It’s causes opportunistic infections. I actually considered inoculating my face with bacteria that are a natural part of the colonization on our skin. This would leave less “room” and nutrients for the malassezia fungus to settle in and grow.

I don’t know if your research has carried you this way, Michael, but I’ll suggest it anyway. I was looking into the Corynebacterium that inhabit the skin, and in particular the Corynebacterium lipophilicus that likes the sebum that the Malassezia yeast also seems to thrive on. The idea is then to have this harmless bacterium living on my nose instead of the yeast that causes all this trouble.

These bacteria are usually introduced in early stages of life, and if something goes wrong, then other, more harmful guests may take their place. I guess that’s why SD is also seen a lot in young children that have yet to develop the full, balanced community of bacteria. Also, with a lot of people living more and more sterile lives, we might not have been introduced to these bacteria, or at least not to the same extent. If you are born by C-section and given formula as a baby then you don’t develop the same micro-flora and immune system. This is related to all sorts of allergies and problems.

I think I’m predisposed to other types of fungal infections as well – not just SD – which might be linked to a “hole” in the micro-flora of my skin that should be taken up by harmless bacteria instead of the fungi. If I recall correctly, I was born by C-section, which might have robbed me if some if the good stuff you get exposed to (in a microbiological sense) by a natural birth.

I’m not sure of the mechanics, but the SD kicked in when I was about 20 and waving goodbye to my teenage years, and maybe some hormones or whatnot – hormones are not my field – which could have kept the balance in check somehow. This is quite speculative, but it’s an educated guess if nothing else :slight_smile:

I sort of went off on a tangent here, but maybe this will get your head-gears spinning, Michael :slight_smile: Maybe someone will come up with a sort of permanent “bacterial vaccine” or some other clever ploy in the future that can fix the issue for good.

Either way, I’m happy that we can just kill the yeast with nystatin in the meantime. But like you, Vero, I’d like to keep the amount of administered medication to a minimum, so treating the problem at its core would be a great improvement over the symptomatic treatment we are using now.

Hi Joakim,

That’s so great that you were able to find something that works for you! I recently got Nystatin so hopefully I see results. I have only been using it for a day, but I was wondering, when you started using it, did it seem like the scaly, oily parts were kind of “shedding”? Like the overgrowth of yeast was sort of coming off? I guess I just want to know what signs to look out for to determine if it’s working. Thanks again!!

Hi Joakim and Michael I’m trying to order the Nyastin, but I want to know the best site to order it. Or if it’s safe to order it. I live in the US. I would really appreciate if you would tell me where I can get it from or if someone has ordered it before from the US.

Hi Eunice,

Haven’t had experience with order Nystatin in the states. However, I think the easiest would be to try and get a prescription.
It’s used widely in a lot’s of different pharmacy preparations. Here in Canada clinic visits are covered by public health plans.

Hope that helps.