Hello everyone. After a long and arduous journey, I have finally found the cure to seborrheic dermatitis for me. But before that, I'll just go over some backstory.
I've had the redness for over a year now. However, in the past 6 months it got really bad, to the point where the creams and such didn't help much.
Now I am a man of science. I'm about to finish my bachelor of science, so I take science very seriously and don't trust alternative medicine. However, science has failed me for dermatitis and I didn't see myself using creams my whole life.
And so it began. First with sea salt. Nothing. Next with cutting out sugars, artificial flavouring and high glycemic carbs. Still nothing, although a very slight improvement. Liver cleanse. Nothing, once again.
I was losing hope. But then, I have stumbled upon this scientific article.[I can't post links, just google the title] (Over-stimulation of insulin/IGF-1 signaling by Western diet may promote diseases of civilization: lessons learnt from Laron syndrome)
On the other hand, seborrhea, acne, T2D and cancer are frequently observed in acromegaly with increased GH/IGF-1 signaling in comparison to healthy controls
Ok, so increased hormone amount of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 causes seborrhea. Now we have something palpable here. Next up is what causes increased IGF-1. In the same article, they have this picture: [remove spaces between bit and ly]
bit . ly/2gZWLbE
Then it hit me. I started taking whey protein shakes daily for the past year. This whole time, I never suspected protein shakes to be the cause. But here I am now.
So I did more research. Then I found a table of foods and IGF-1 spikes. Here I've simplified it to be more readable:
Macronutrient (% total energy) IGF-I IGFBP-1 IGFBP-3
Protein intake 2.45 1.08 0.32
Plant protein intake −0.16 4.09 0.14
Animal protein intake 2.33 0.04 0.24
->Meat and meat products 0.89 0.93 0.13
->Dairy protein intake 2.37 −0.45 0.42
->Fish and shellfish 0.40 −0.93 0.00
->Eggs and egg products protein 0.14 0.08 −0.42
Total fat −0.49 0.41 −0.29
->Saturated fat −0.29 0.91 −0.27
->Monounsaturated fat −0.65 −1.93 −0.19
->Polyunsaturated fat 0.33 −0.08 0.24
Carbohydrate −0.16 −2.04 −0.26
Starch −0.97 1.95 −0.28
Sugars 0.63 −4.98 −0.01
Fiber (g) 1.87 1.74 0.39
Calcium intake (mg) 3.29 −2.10 0.81
IGFBP-1 and 3 are insulin-like growth factor binding proteins aka where the hormone binds to, to activate its effect. More spots to bind mean more potential effects.
As you can see, dairy protein and calcium (which is in dairy) not only increase IGF-1 concentrations the most, but they also increase IGFBP-3meaning, there's more spots to bind. (dairy decreases IGFBP-1 but the 3 version of the protein is much more potent so overall it's an increased response)
More hormone + more spots to bind = more seborrhea leading to potentially seborrheic dermatitis.
Ok now it makes sense. I always had deramtitis when I woke up and I didn't know why. Now I know that it is because IGF-1 is secreted a lot when you sleep.
Now why does IGF-1 cause dermatitis?
Well, according to another scientific paper (too lazy to find it), seborrheic dermatitis is a result of 3 things: high seborrhea amount, high lipid secretion and permeable cells.
When your IGF-1 is elevated, you have more lipid production. More lipid = more food for seborrhea = more seborrhea = more waste products from seborrhea = more waste affecting cells = inflammation.
So finally, here's the conclusion.
For me specifically, dairy from whey protein shakes caused an increase in Insulin Like Growth Factor-1 which caused more lipid secretion, which caused increased seborrhea amount which caused inflammation/dermatitis. Now that I don't take shakes anymore, I can eat whatever I want and my face if 100% good (except alcohol). I even drink some milk in my coffee throughout the day. Different people tolerate different foods differently, so it's all trial and error.
And this is why I love science. No try this, try that. No "body expelling toxins from leaky gut out of my face". No random anecdotal evidence of what can help. But solid proof of what causes seborrheic dermatitis and how to take care of it.
Sidenote: head and shoulders conditioner also worked great before for me. I use it when I drink alcohol now to lessen the outbreak.