Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis with Raw Honey

Hi Michel,

First of all i need to thank you for a very nice website. Glad to see that there are others out there who wants to get rid go this stupid “disease”.

Have a couple of questions for you:

  • I use a fungoral cream everyday which looks to keep it at bay and use a hydrocortisone cream when it flare up. I know thats not recommended as it thins out the skin, but there are some creams called Protopic and Elidel that doesn’t do that but have the same effect as the hydrocortisone creams, any experience with these two medications?

-Whats your experience with SD and sunlight? The doctors i have seen all recommend to spend time in the sun as it will help apparently.

-What about the wintertime, does it get worse then? Same doctors say it usually get worse in the winter time and better in the summertime. Must be the lack of sunlight and colder,less moist air in the wintertime?

  • Also ready that some have completed eliminated SD by taking three medical peels. That of course “burns” off the top layer of the skin for newer more healthy skin to come up,its really a cosmetic treatment to get better and younger looking skin, but perhaps it can “burn” off all the yeast in the skin that caused SD. Ever heard of that?

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the positive feedback and such details in your experience.
Personally I only used a hydro-cortisone cream for about a week at the very beginning. This was way back during my very first doctor visit regarding the issue.
As you likely know the hydro-cortisone works amazingly fast. During the week of usage I thought, wow, that was simple. Should have went to the doctor sooner…
However, as soon as I stopped using the cream my seborrheic dermatitis returned even worse than before. Then I read stuff online + the guy at the pharmacy warned me about long term usage.

The next few years I spent battling the seborrheic dermatitis with all the methods found online (many of which I discuss on the website).
Most things would work well for a while, then suddenly become ineffective.

One thing that worked for quite a while, was Coal Tar shampoo. However, it seemed to peel the skin and didn’t feel very natural.

Regarding the peels. I have not heard of that specifically, but have seen/heard that blue light therapy could be very effective.
It is claimed to similarly kill of all the bacteria, while allowing healthy skin to form.

Previously winter time was much worse for me. My opinion is this is due to central heating in the home.

Currently the only three things that I am doing to fully control my seborrheic dermatitis are:

  1. Wash and moisturise with Cetaphil Restoraderm (honestly didn’t think it could have such a drastic affect, but it works very well at soothing things)
  2. Supplement with l-glutamine. This seems to make me much less reactive to food.
  3. Stopped consuming/drastically cut dairy products. I still get some dairy in products that contain it as an additive, however, I stopped drinking milk, cheese, and such.

As a side note. Greasy food is the worst for me. Way worse than alcohol, sugar, or anything else.
If I eat a greasy pizza I can almost instantly feel my skin tingle. Usually if I do eat something really greasy I compensate by consuming a bunch of water shortly after.

Even though I might a few flakes that appear every now and then, it is nothing like the flaking red skin I have before.
Also I have not used a single anti-dandruff product (for hair or facial skin) for over 5 months. This really helped my skin tone balance out again.

Interesting this Cetaphil. I assume its one for washing and one for moisturizer? Do you use the calming body wash for your face? Then finish it of with the body moisturizer for the face as well?

I have been using soap and moisturizer from Dr Bailey,seemed to work in the beginning but not as efficient anymore. You familiar with her seborrehic range of products?

Have not seen or heard of the Dr Bailey products before. However, during my experience with seborrheic dermatitis I tried lots of different products. I’ve got a cupboard full of stuff that I used. There’s probably 10-15 moisturisers and +20 shampoos/cleansers/soaps. Similar to the skin peels you mentioned the most effective ones seemed to be the ones that help peel or dissolve the topmost layer of skin. My biggest problem was using them felt like I was damaging my skin.

On the contrary, the Cetaphil is very gentle. To this day I am not sure why or how it works is so well for me.
Typically I use it once a day in the evening, no more, no less. Cleansing either in the shower or just over the sink using slightly cold water (a bit colder than lukewarm). After application I rinse it off right away (without leaving it on to absorb or anything) and let the skin air dry. In about 5 minutes once the skin is almost dry, but still moist, I apply a small amount of the moisturiser and massage evenly. To give perspective on how little moisturiser I use, my first 29ml sample bottle is about 1/3 full (after about 5 months of usage). During this same time I went through two 29ml sample bottles of the cleanser (currently on my third).

After looking online I see that the products on their site have different names than the ones on my samples. Here is a picture of what my samples look like.
Reading the ingredients they seem to be identical to the Nourishing Body Wash and Replenishing Moisturizer on Cetaphils website.

My biggest gripe is that the cleanser contains a preservative by the name of methylisothiazolinone. Personally trying to stay away from any harmful and non-natural products I really wish they did not include it. This is actually one of the reasons I rinse immediately not allowing the product to absorb into the skin.

Hope that helps.

Thank you so much for this write up. I have been a sufferer for almost 15 years now and this seems to be the most promising treatment yet. I didn’t even know about the coconut oil being used for GROWING the horrid yeast! It’s awfully embarrassing and even worse with a beard. I’ve gone through every spectrum of emotions with this, and some days are better than others, so I’m always looking out for the best treatment.

I’d like to offer a tip among the treatments. I’ve used Nizarole shampoo on m face before and while it’s pretty effective it’s kinda harsh. So, I primarily use Jason’s Dandruff Relief shampoo. It has a bit of a sulfur smell but it works really well to peel away the flakes like white tissue paper. It works in a pinch. Also, Burt’s Bees Orange Essence facial cleanser has been pretty great too.

Nothing has long lasting effects, but I’m determined to complete this honey treatment because of this article. Thanks again!

Hmm interesting. Will definitely try these two products then. I am situated in Europe but should be able to find these somewhere near.

i will let you know how it works if thats of interest to you.

Think i will try to “calm” down a little now. I wash my face twice a day, moisturize twice a day and also use an anti fungus cream every night before bed. Think i will try to just wash and moisturize once a day and stay away from the anti fungus cream. See if the skin is more pleased with less “action”.

Will also start taking L-Glutamin and D-vitamine supplements. Cant see the harm in that.

Thanks for the tips Crisbee.

One use of Nizoral was enough for me. The stuff is intense! It felt like something just nuked my skin. It did stop the seborrheic dermatitis for a few days, but it just felt way too strong.

During my battle with seborrheic dermatitis I tried a bunch of different commercial anti-dandruff stuff. Most of the ones I tried had pyrithione zinc as the active ingredient (Head & Shoulders, Clear, Garnier Fructis, Noble Formula). However, I also tried Neutrogeena (Coal Tar), which was actually one of better ones I used, and purchased Selsun Blue (selenium sulfide), but never got around to using it (read that it could do some long term damage to skin and make it very sensitive to the sun). Overall the anti-dandruff solutions worked, but in end they all felt like they were really stripping my skin (both scalp and facial skin) and hair.

Jasons Natural also caught my attention, but at that time I already found a good regimen that was working for me. Perhaps if anything changes in the future I might come back to it. Have you attempted using it on the facial skin, or just as a shampoo?

Regarding the coconut oil I was quite shocked as well. So many people online say it’s such a good anti-yeast anti-fungus agent. Wish I saw the study earlier than I did, as it feels like I just kept feeding it by using oils.

Please update if you go ahead with the honey treatment. Would be interesting to hear about your results if you stick to the schedule in the study.
Best of luck with it and stay in touch.

Definitely interested in hearing how it works out for you.

Also experimented with Vitamin D myself, not sure if I saw any results, but read that it could be good. Currently not supplementing with it. One other supplement I do take time-to-time is plain Vitamin C. Seems to help calm down the tingling sensation if it does kick in.

Another note is that I am using L-Glutamine in the powder form as it seemed like the purest form of it. The capsules/pills have some other ingredients as well.

Stay in touch. :slight_smile:

Hi Michael,

Saw another skin specialist yesterday and he said something interesting. He was of the opinion the the body it self is the best healing tool, he suggested that i did not use any product what so ever for three months. This gives the skin enough time to re-program it self so to speak. Only product to be used i a very mild cleanser for cleaning purposes once a day.

Every come across that advice before? Your thoughts on it?

Hi Peter,
Have heard the same advice from quite a few people. My current regimen is very basic and I am trying to get to the stage where I only cleanse when dirty (without any moisturiser).
Also the only supplement I use is L-Glutamine and I’m trying to cut it out as well. Just got in the habit and my skin has been calm since ( keep taking it as I’m afraid it could reverse).
Let me know if you try this approach as well. For me the transition was the most difficult part.

You have? Thats reassuring. Ive got the following plan going forward now:

1: Use of Fungoral consecutive for 3 months starting today. Continue with cleansing my face and use of moisturizer at the same time. (Doctors advise from the other day)

2: If that was not successful then start using the above mentioned Cetaphil products

3: If that doesn’t work then i will try going all natural for few months to re-program the skin. Just a mild cleanser and no use of moisturizer. Good timing to do it during the summer months. But i must admit the thought of not putting on any moisturizer is quite scary. Skin must be screaming for it the first weeks and i imagine my skin will not look good!

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the update. That sounds like a solid plan!

Haven’t heard of the Fungoral, but I’m guessing it uses one of the azoles (anitfungal agents that end with azole) to do it’s job. My own experience with them was they peeled my skin. However, from many others I heard the best chance with any antifungal treatment is sticking to protocol with any deviation and ensuring you cover the surrounding skin as well.

Let me know how it goes for you and stay in touch.


I have done some more researching online and SD is funny condition. I just got it 6 months ago at an age of 31 one and i find it weird that it can just pup up at such a late stage in life. Surely there must be a reason for obtaining this condition. I see from my recent research that many believe that it is a consequence of an internal imbalance in the body itself. The fungus on the skin everyone has, so surely there must be a reason other than bad luck that some of us react too much on that fungus?

Many believe it has to do with Candida in the gut, too much fungus in the body and the body reacts with SD. Have you ever read/heard about that? People seem to clear up from SD by doing a Candida diet, eliminating sugar, starch, yeast and carbohydrates with fungus feeds from. Kind a make sense to me……

So i am planing to take some test to see if my body has Candida or not. Or some other type of fungus infection.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the update.

For a while I went this route myself. Anti-Candida diets and all the common anti-fungals described online. Fasting for several days or vegetable based diets would clear it up quick for me. However, these diets were not for me and my sports performance went down significantly during this time.

The anti-fungals didn’t seem to do much and would sometimes make it get worse. The first time I took Caprylic Acid (anti-fungal) it cleared quite well for a while, however, it stopped working over time and seborrheic dermatitis returned.

Currently my regimen has still been working. Feeling great over all with a well balanced diet and regular exercise. I can still sometimes feel tingling sensations in the areas were the seborrheic dermatitis was the worst. Tiny flakes sometimes show up around the nasal fold as well. However, no redness overall and no aggressive flaking/scaling. Best of all I haven’t been using any strong topical anti-fungals or lengthy methods.

Have you been having any luck with your current approach?

All the Best.


Im still on my 3 month project using an anti fungal cream (Fungoral). Not seen any difference at all so far, starting to get dry skin in other places. My eyebrows are there worst, seems to be getting worse and worse.

Once I’m done with this i will spend a few months whereby I’m not putting anything on the skin. See if the body can work it out. If that doesn’t work i am planing the candida diet, cutting out sugars etc. Booked an appointment to to some test to see if my body have candida or other fungal infection.

I am not red at all, no inflammation just flaky/facial dandruff. Starting to wonder if it might not be SD as i ready most of the people complain over redness and inflammation. Yet to receive you mentioned cleanser and lotion, will be interesting to test that.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the update. Still interested in hearing how your current treatment progresses. All my attempts with anti-fungals never played out for much longer than 2-3 months. They seemed to actually start aggravating and drying my skin the more I used them.

Most of all I’m interested in hearing how the “leave it alone” turns out and how the appointment results come in.

Regarding the redness, I had none at all sometimes as well. My redness usually came when I was actively trying things on my skin to prevent the flaking. Some things seemed to get rid of the flaking, but cause intense redness and burning instead.

Stay in touch and best of luck!

I have been reading about raw honey as the cure to seb derm, and finally I bought myself a bottle of Comvita manuka honey 15+ today!

Thanks for the exceptional writeup on this treatment plan. It really helps as I note down the details on how much water to add, the use of non-chlorine water, 4 weeks + additional 6 months and no coconut oil. These are the best information online. Thank God for your website as I was almost going to incorporate coconut oil.

It takes great commitment to follow through till the end. I also need the courage as I am afraid the honey will contribute to acne breakouts, more blackheads and awful flare-ups. When I see the flakes, I get all stressed up. Despite repeated reminders not to scratch off the flakes, I use my nails or tweezers - and it always end badly as the skin becomes raw, bloody red and inflamed. The cycle continues as next day the affected areas will be covered with scaly flakes again. Depending on my level of self-control, I may resist scratching for that day but certainly not for long. It is a disheartening skin problem I have had since 17 years old. I am so thankful that the honey treatment has given me faith and hope that I can do something good for my face and scalp at age 34. I really want it to work. Strangely I am quite anxious at this moment as I am diligently reading and gearing up for my first day of treatment tomorrow.

I am hoping to add squalene (after washing off honey mask) as my skin is very dehydrated. I lay off completely moisturizer and sunblock for over a year. I am currently using a gentle facial wash twice daily and bioderma sensibio make-up removing water occasionally as I rarely wear make-up these days. My skin has gotten worse. I have stopped elomet or elidel for face, only using Stiefel’s stieprox shampoo for my hair and scalp which work really well to control the dandruffs.

I love Skinceuticals Vitamin C and Differin in the past. I was wondering if I could add Skinceuticals CE Ferulic along with Squalene during the prophylactic 6-month period? Will it help if I apply the honey mask every day instead of every second day for the 4-week period? Is sunblock essential or should we stay off sunblock during the treatment?

Appreciate your feedbacks and comments. Please feel free to share. Thanks!

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for providing so much details on your experience and current approach.
Additionally thanks for the positive feedback :).

I’ve emailed another person who (last time I talked to) was planning to go through the whole honey treatment.
Will update you on how it’s been working for him as it might help give you an idea of what to expect.

Personally I never made it through the full treatment. My usage at first was very spontaneous and wearing the honey on my face so often was hard for me as a guy. Additionally I never covered my scalp with it, as I just imagined it was way too messy. However, I think this was my ultimate downfall when attempting the honey treatment. It was definitely hands down my most successful natural treatment. Especially during the beginning it was the best. Not sure why over time it’s effectiveness deteriorated for me. Maybe the specific honey was different, maybe I was not consistent enough, maybe covering the scalp was crucial, or maybe some other reason.

You mentioned so many things in your post that I’ve actually never heard of. One thing that I can really connect to is the self-control aspect. I think part of the issue is in the mind and how you re-act/perceive the your skin issue. Often if you think about it too much, it starts to act up. This seems to be a closed loop and actually feed the problem.

Staying determined, learning to control my thoughts and let go definitely seemed to play a big role in my improvements. However, I question everything so I still sometimes wonder if I’ve learned to let go because of my skins improvements or did my skin improve because I learned to let go. Regardless though, if I stress out about it I can actually almost forcefully make the tingling sensation start up again (also I get the sensation after large greasy meals).

Wish you all the best and stay in touch. Stay positive and I’m sure everything will sort itself out.
Best of luck on your treatment.

Thank you for this info! I am starting this treatment now and am very grateful for an alternative treatment (and possible cure!) compared to the expensive prescriptions that don’t work that well. After the initial 4 weeks, are the weekly treatments 1 hour or 3 hours each?