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MEN'S PRODUCTS FOR TREATING SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS

By Cynthia Bailey MD. This page was updated on Sun, Sep 15, 2019

Control facial, scalp, ear, and body dandruff with dermatologist recommended skin care.

Many men suffer from seborrhea. The abundance of oil glands on a man’s face, scalp, back and chest create the perfect conditions for the skin problem. During my 30+ years of dermatology practice I have seen many men who mistakenly assume the flaking on their skin is due to dryness. They think that the flaking skin is something they just have to live with. Men are not prone to skin dryness in these areas because of their abundance of oil glands. Seborrhea is the usual cause of the flaking – and seborrhea is treatable! In fact, seborrhea (also called dandruff when it’s on the scalp), is so common in men that almost every man will suffer from it at some point in their lifetime.

Signs that you may have seborrheic dermatitis include:

  • Red and greasy flaking in your nose crease or between the eyebrows.
  • Flaking itchy skin on your scalp.
  • T-zone flaking and redness.
  • Crusty skin in the folds of your ears, in your ear canal, and behind your ears.
  • Flaking scale in your eyebrows.
  • Flaking scale in your facial hair (called beardruff).
  • Itching of your eyelashes with redness and crust (blepharitis), especially in the morning when you wake up.
  • Chest and upper back skin that looks scaly and dry even though it’s actually oily.

The good news is that with my targeted Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine you can control your seborrhea. A Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine involves the 4 essential skin care steps of Cleanse, Correct, Hydrate and Protect. Complete Skin Care gives you the best results. 

Dermatologist-recommended Complete Skin Care routine to help men control seborrhea.

Cleanse: Use Calming Zinc™ Soap for facial seborrhea. It can be used on the trunk and ears, too. For hairy areas like the scalp or beard, use Foaming Zinc Cleanser. A Facial Exfoliating Sponge is great to use on the face. (Both cleansers contain a full 2% pyrithione zinc to fight seborrhea.) Use a Scalp Scrubber on your scalp. For your chest and back, use a Salux Cloth with your medicated cleanser. These all help to remove scale. You could also do a gentle exfoliation with a rough scrub, such as my Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Scrub to brighten skin and help remove flaking. It's important not to be too rough with exfoliation, because seborrhea is a form of eczema. This means that your skin barrier strength is compromised and your skin is easily irritated. Because the skin barrier is more sensitive, all skin cleansers need to be gentle and non-drying until your skin has healed. It’s possible that you may even find the daily use of medicated pyrithione zinc is drying. When that is the case, try alternating the medicated cleanser with a gentle non-medicated cleanser to cleanse affected skin.

Correct: Facial seborrhea responds really well to my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy applied twice a day right after washing.

Hydrate: Balancing skin hydration is important for all types of eczema to heal, even seborrhea. Your skin’s abundant oil glands may provide sufficient moisturizing hydration to your T-zone. Most men need a little help balancing skin hydration on the non-T-zone areas of their face. Good options include my Daily Face Creams or All Natural Body Butter or All Natural Lotion. Beardruff responds nicely to my Omega Enriched Booster Oil. That’s why I’ve put it in my Men’s Beard Care Kit. Both of my Booster Oils are great for seborrhea prone skin. Oily complexions with large pores will benefit from my Pore Minimizing Toner and Instantly Luminous Serum. The serum balances skin hydration with a 'smart' and light weight formula that never feels heavy. 

Protect: Protect seborrhea prone skin to prevent hyperpigmentation and premature skin aging. I recommend one of my mineral zinc sunscreens be applied daily. Pick a sunscreen based on your skin type.

Dermatologist's 7 tips to help men control seborrheic dermatitis.

  1. Don’t use harsh products on actively inflamed seborrhea because they will irritate the problem. This applies to cleansers, acne products, anti-aging products, some exfoliating products, and some chemical sunscreens.
  2. Medicated cleansers and shampoos are really helpful for seborrhea, so pick the right cleanser for the skin area you are treating. Pyrithione zinc is my favorite medicated cleanser and shampoo ingredient. Other ingredients for non-facial areas such as the scalp and trunk include shampoos with salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, tar, ketoconazole, and prescription ciclopirox.
  3. Over my 30+ years of practicing dermatology, I’ve found pharmaceutical-grade green tea creams to be the most important skin care product along with medicated pyrithione zinc. I use these as the cornerstone of any skin care routine I build to treat seborrhea.
  4. For thick crusty scale on scalp and ears, pre-treating skin with oil for 30 minutes before cleansing or shampooing really helps. Use coconut oil, mineral oil, olive oil, or any other oil. Wet the skin, towel dry, apply the oil, then wait 30 minutes or more. Shampoo or cleanse off the oil and as a last lather, use your medicated shampoo or soap.
  5. Always moisturize non-scalp areas of seborrhea to help the skin heal. Dry skin heals more slowly.
  6. Apply facial sunscreen daily if you have seborrhea because, as with most rashes, the barrier of the skin is compromised and sun may pass through to cause damage more easily. Use non-irritating mineral zinc oxide sunscreens matched to your skin type.
  7. For stubborn seborrhea, I use clotrimazole cream twice a day until the rash is clear plus a month or so. This non-prescription anti-yeast cream provides additional control against the Pityrosporum yeast that plays a role in seborrhea. This medicated cream can also be applied to ear and trunk involvement, too. The cream base is too thick to use on hairy areas like the scalp. One-percent hydrocortisone cream on top of the clotrimazole is helpful if the rash won’t budge, but this medicine has side effects that include skin thinning of the application site and, if applied near the eyes, can cause eye damage. It should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.