Sea Salt for Seborrheic Dermatitis - Treatment Guide and Research Summary

Currently have facial seborrheic dermatitis… used steroid cream previously but after stopping it, symptoms came back and SD came with a vengeance.

Just bought epsom salt, I read around that it’s similar to dead sea salt… Just wondering, how often do you have to apply, and how do you go about applying it? Like how much water do you mix with the salt, and how do you rinse your face with it, how long etc.

Thank you!

Hi Bjorn,

Hard to say with epsom salts as they are mangesium sulfate as opposed to magnesium chloride and sodium chloride.
When using sea salt or dead sea salt I would typically mix about a tea spoon to a large salad bowl of slightly cold water. Then I would dip my face in the water for as long as I could. After I was done I would simply rinse off and go on my way.

As noted in the article this worked really well at first, but after about a week results disappeared.
Cetaphil Restoraderm products worked really well for quite some time and currently I’ve made my own solution which I’ve been using for the past 2-3 months.

Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

Best of luck.

Uhoh, its in my ear!
I made sole with pink salt, put it in a bottle to use as spritz or mist. (Sounds like soul–ay)
I miss all the ocean swimming I used to do!
I will send you titles of two books…both on water and salt.
My face got better but other issues took my time and attention.
It may be that a cleansing fast might be best to improve gut health…but meanwhile i do appreciate your thorough coverage of this health issue

Hi Jacqui,

Thanks for the feedback and sharing your experience.
Look forward to any updates.

All the best.

How often should I wash my face with dead sea salt? Should I also use soap or just water when I am not having a flare?

Hi Alli,

Hard to really say as everyone skin behaves a little different. Plus, personally I wasn’t able to find along term approach with the dead sea salt. Overall though, knowing what I know now I would use a small concentration of salt, once every day and use only slight cold water to rinse my face.

However, as I mentioned I wasn’t able to find a long term approach using the salt. It worked really well initially, but after continued usage my skin became quite dry. Perhaps I was using to much and didn’t have a solid schedule going, not sure. The method I’ve been using since last summer with great results can be found here: My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0

Hope that helps and let me know if you find a solid approach with the dead sea salt.
Best of luck.

Thank you for your reply!
It doesn’t dry my skin out at all, in fact it acts like an exfoliant and an emmolient. I never use any kind of moisturizer. I’ve learned that its all about skin and scalp pH, which is 5.5. I use water with that pH, which is also the pH of the dead sea salt. I also wash my hair with the water and organic ph balanced shampoo for the seb derm and a vinegar mix as a conditioner in the shower. I wash my face twice a day and the only time it seems to flare is when I am dealing with a lot of stress. I need to manage that better. I fill a bowl with 5.5 pH water, let it warm up to tepid, add the salt and just splash it on my face concentrating on the worst area. Then I spray the same type of cold water when I am done. I was at the dermatologist last week and told him what I’ve been doing because he was amazed at the difference.

Stress and junk food flares it, but I eat a pretty clean diet. I also spray a probiotic on my face to kill the microbes.

I will check your method out.
Thanks again!!!

Hi Alli,

Thank you for the detailed update and happy to hear you’ve found a good approach for yourself.
If you have the time, perhaps you can email me (via the contact form) a detailed write-up of your approach and I could add it to the main post. Perhaps future readers may find it helpful.

Hope your skin keeps improving. All the best.

Just curious what kind of moisturizer do you recommend for the hair? I have SD all over my scalp. Hair is thinning daily, it seems and very dry. I thought about using the Dead Sea Salt as a rinse in the shower but worry about it drying my hair out more than it is already. Thank you

Hi, I have sd around my mouth and it makes me so self conscious. I saw you mentioned a saline spray that was isotonic. Do you remember the brand of the one you bought? Please write soon. Thanks!

please suggest me can we use this sea salt on our scalp or not Please answer me I am suffering this for 2 years its urgent for me

Hi Charity,

First of all, sorry for the delay in response.
Everyone’s skin is different, but two natural ingredients that have really stood out to me from my readings are:

  1. Caffeine
  2. Arginine

In correct amounts, these two appear to have good outcomes for overall scalp health (hair growth, barrier function, hydration).
The Reversing Seborrheic Dermatitis and Hair Loss post goes over them in a bit more detail (with references).

Don’t have any experience with any of the products that contain these ingredients, so can’t really suggest anything.
However, working on a scalp formulation myself which uses both of these.

Hope that helps and you can find something that works for you.
If you have the time, please let me know how things unfold (or have already unfolded).

All the best.

I’ve been suffering from flaking and oozing scalp much of the summer tho it’s gotten worse in the last week. I also have patches of irritated skin on my back, face, arms, legs, feet. I did try laying on the floor and soaking my head in epson salt water in a pan.

I researched salt water pools and a friend recommended a Salt Float company that I am planning to try in the next day or two.

Salt pool is only 3200 ppm, you can’t even taste it. Ocean is 32k ppm. A tablespoon to a liter is maybe a little more than that

I have used H&S conditioner for mine, works well. Not the shampoo and conditioner combo.

Try a SHAMPOO BRUSH! It sounds counter intuitive to scrub on the worst areas but it helps so much! I have tried everything for years. Nothing works except to scrub off the flakes. It seems the flake build up in the worst areas cause the itching so when the flakes come off the itching eases up.

Been suffering from scaly flaky red inflamed scalp for more than 20 years…
Tried many steroid creams, shampoes essential oils, sea salt…

today I put on extra virgin olive oil on my scalp (massage and leave on for couple of hours then rinse) and…all the flakes are gone and has not come back… omg cannot believe this

UV radiation works a treat - if you can’t sit outside go to a salon and get 5 mins once a week…couple that to a good moisturiser and diet…salcura zeoderm works wonders on my face…yes a few salt water baths (any sea salt seems to work) from time to time helps (with ketoconazole shampoo foamed up over head area)…if you can get a good mud face pack from Dead Sea also very good…no steroids they make it worse…manuka honey used as a face pack also very good but expensive…if you are using steroids forget all this it won’t help one bit…you need to stop steroids get on to these things wait 6 months for steroid damage to heal (push through flares) and eventually it settles right down as long as you keep a maintenance dose of the above up…steroids stop the healing!

Intetesting theory, never thought about it, but I can definitely confirm that my seborrheic dermatitis appeared at the same time I decided to reduce salt. I was really using too much, on virtually every food - on bread and butter, on vegetables, in yogurt, on meat, everything. They say salty is an acquired taste so one can easily reverse it. It took two weeks to get used to just the amount of salt already in these foods, and it wasn’t actually difficult, I also lost weight quickly (sodium in excess may lead to fluid retention), but I realize now I had cut down my salt intake abruptly - from too much to potentially too little salnow. My occasional and completely manageable dandruff turned into seborrheic dermatitis soon after, but never thought the two events might bed connected. This is definitely worth further investigations.

My dermatologist told me the reason there has been an explosion of skin conditions like this is due to our public water, they now put chloramine in the water which strips the skin of natural defenses against skin conditions. So there is now an over-growth of skin yeast / bacteria disorders. You have to filter all water in your house /apt. To prevent this, which gets very expensive.