yogurt; dairy, yogurt for breakfast, special yogurt, Greek yogurt

Have you ever heard of seborrheic dermatitis? This skin condition resembles dandruff on the face. Probably the cause of both conditions is an overgrowth of the yeast that normally co-exists with other microbes on our face and scalp skin. The prime candidates belong to the genus Malassezia. This type of yeast loves the oils that human skin produces (Triana et al, Frontiers in Microbiology, Sep. 14, 2017). Dermatologists prescribe topical steroids or immune modulating compounds to treat this condition (Gupta & Versteeg, American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, April 2017). But one reader reports significant success with Greek yogurt.

How Do You Use Greek Yogurt to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Q. I had been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis and I also had dandruff. One day I read in a magazine that Greek yogurt could help.

I decided to give it a try and shampooed with it, also applying it to my face. The next day the dermatitis was gone. I continue to apply yogurt before washing my hair.

That was over eight years ago, and I haven’t had dandruff or dermatitis since. I use Chobani but I suppose any brand of Greek yogurt would work.

A. There is a community of microbes that normally live on our skin and scalp. When the balance is disrupted, the result can be dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. This skin condition is similar to dandruff on the face, causing itching, redness and flaking.

Restoring Microbial Balance:

We have not seen any studies of your approach, but research on a probiotic solution applied to the scalp showed that it helped restore microbiome balance (Kao et al, Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology, Aug. 2016). The acetic acid produced by the probiotic in the studied solution was thought to be beneficial. While yogurt may not have acetic acid, the lactic acid in yogurt might work in a similar fashion. Several years ago, one reader reported that taking a probiotic orally was beneficial against dandruff.

Other Home Remedies for Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis:

People have found other home remedies helpful for dandruff. They include soaking the scalp in old-fashioned amber Listerine or a baking soda solution. Some people have had success with salt water, apple cider vinegar or milk of magnesia.

Noxzema for Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Some other readers have found relief with Noxzema. Here is one such story:

Q. My dermatologist prescribed both a gel and a cream for seborrheic dermatitis, but neither worked. Then I happened to clean my face with Noxzema, although I had not used it for 50 years.

The seborrheic dermatitis has gone away. I had already stopped using the prescription medication, so Noxzema gets the credit.

A. Noxzema is a non-soap facial cleanser. Many readers have found it helpful against eczema. Perhaps others with seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition characterized by flakes, itch and redness, like dandruff on the face) may also find it helpful.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Edie
    Seminole, FL

    I have a friend with glossopharyngeal neuralgia-an exposed nerve on the back of her throat. Very painful to eat and swallow. Can you think of a natural remedy for relief of the pain?
    Thank you! I love your show❤️❤️❤️

  2. C

    I use the aloe plant. Remove a leaf. Cut a small slice and rub lightly into skin. Does wonders. Also takes care of dried lips and cracked corners of the mouth. I put ir on at night.

    When it first got cold down here and dry, had chapped lips. Two nights of applying to lips and all gone. Just buy an aloe plant, treat it right and it will help you.

  3. Kaydee

    I once had dandruff and cured it by salt in the final rinse when I shampooed. Never had the problem again, but now I have an eyelash problem. Wake up in the morning with yellowish flakes in the roots of my eyelashes and on the lids. I have been washing my eyes with Johnson’s Baby shampoo to clean it off. My eye doctor thinks it’s not my eyes but a sinus infection and my allergist has given me 7 days of antibiotic ointment for my nasal passages but I have 1 more day left and still no relief for my eyes. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Marilyn
      New York

      You could have the beginnings of a problem with Demodex, a mite that is ubiquitous but can become prevalent once the flora of the skin is disrupted. It’s also more of a problem as people age bc their immune systems aren’t as effective.

      Once Demodex really takes hold it can be a huge problem, so you want to address it right away. The symptoms often lead people to be diagnosed with “dry eye”, because the meibomian glands (which produce the oil component of our tears) become blocked with these organisms. There is one product on the market that is derived from Tea Tree oil, but contains only the component of Tea Tree oil that is effective against Demodex, and in the most effective strength (determined by the research) and that is something called Cliradex. It’s about $45 for about a one month supply but I make it last longer by using one side, storing it and then using the other side of the towlette.

      I tried everything else and Cliradex got the problem right under control. I stopped using baby shampoo–it didn’t work. When the problem was really bad I used a sulphur containing soap or Selsun Blue, which contains sulphur. I also smeared vaseline or aquaphor on my lashes at night. The organism emerges at night and this inhibits their movement and ability to do further damage. Other symptoms of Demodex infestation are conical “dandruff” at the base of the lashes, misdirected lashes, thinning of the lashes, swollen and reddened eyelids, “ocular rosacea” (which actually has been found to be caused in many cases by the Demodex organism), a feeling of something in the eye, reddened eyes, blurry vision.

      It’s also a good idea to treat the entire face and scalp, as well as maintaining very clean bedding. Washing your bedding with Borax may be helpful. I’ve found shampoos content Neem oil to be extremely helpful and still wash my face with it also. I’m an RN and did extensive research; that’s how I learned of Cliradex very soon after it went on the market. It was a life saver. Demodex can make you extremely miserable!

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.