I recently had a patient come in looking for a natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis of the face and scalp. He had suffered with dandruff since he was a teen, but the condition had worsened and spread to chronic rashes on his face.
When I sat down to chat with this gentleman – now in his late thirties, what came out is that in his mind, what he needed help with was far more wide-reaching than just his skin. To him, this skin disorder had completely taken over his life.
Thoughts about his skin were all-consuming. He blamed his skin for everything else that was wrong with his life — work challenges, relationship challenges, and much, much more.
The worst part for him was that the condition affected not only his scalp, but also the skin on his face. He had red lesions on his forehead, the sides of his nose, and around the ears. Sometimes they were not only red, but also flaking and scaling. There was a tendency for him to have very oily skin, and any product he used to reduce the oil ended up irritating the redness even more.
“If I were a woman,” he said, “I could at least cover some of it up with make-up.” But being a man, the make-up he had tried just made his skin look even worse.
He had been to a number of dermatologists. Most recommended steroids, which inevitably made his skin worse. Anti-fungal creams helped somewhat, but not nearly enough. He had also done a course of phototherapy, which didn’t provide the cure he had hoped for.
He was very successful career-wise, but constantly compared himself to peers and friends from grad school. He was convinced that their successes were more impressive because they looked like normal and healthy people. My patient was his own worst critic.
Most people that seek out herbal consultations in my practice are holistically oriented. They buy organic foods, eat healthy diets, and have an all-round interested in natural health. This was *not* the case with this gentleman. In fact, I had a gut instinct that he didn’t even believe holistic treatment would actually even help. He looked at the herbs on my shelves with a skeptical eye. He seemed taken aback by the smell of the formula being extracted in the back of our clinic.
But because he had tried everything, and nothing had actually helped too much, he felt that he had nothing to lose.
I explained to him that every case of seb derm is different, and herbs would be specifically chosen for the precise look of his skin and scalp. I explained that healing is a journey – and it would take time to clear his skin. I explained that he had to be diligent – never missing a dose of herbal tea. And I reassured him that most people with seborrheic dermatitis get great results with Chinese herbs.
To his delight, he started noticing significant improvement within three weeks of taking the herbs. His mood and energy level changed – likely because I included herbs for stress and anxiety. Three weeks later, he was astounded by the change in the look of his skin. His treatment isn’t over yet and his skin hasn’t fully cleared. But I have faith (and more importantly – so does he!) that if he continues with his treatment for another couple of months, his skin will fully clear and he can move forward with a better life.
Learn more about our holistic treatment of seborrheic dermatitis…