Standing in the grass, barefooted, bent over with my hands shielding my eyes, I wait as a cold concoction of apple cider vinegar and water gets poured over my head out of an old plastic bottle. In the next field a group of staring white cows give me strange looks and I wonder myself what I am doing?But with a daily routine of tomato picking in the Aussie fields of Toowoomba, getting dirty green fingers to the core, and showering in an open field in a cheap black pop up tent, what better time to try out this alternative, natural method to get rid of my scalp dermatitis.
It started behind my ears and travelling around Asia in the hot, humid climate for an extensive period of time made the condition thrive. It worsened to horrible thick layered scales, scabbing, lumps, weeping liquid, itching and flaking spreading from my ears to all over my scalp! Hoorah just what a girl wants! …..
The worst part for me was the hair loss, I probably lost about two thirds of my hair and for any woman or man it was extremely difficult and confidence bashing!
Luckily for me I had an amazing support network starting with my boyfriend James who loved me even as a baldy and applied all sorts of potions onto a teary emotional me. (Thankyou) And awesome family and friends who threw me positive lines and wireless hugs!
When the scalp was at it’s worst and I was able to see a good doctor I was prescribed Zatamil – Mometasone furoate 0.1%, this came in a small bottle and was in liquid form. On open wounds it was incredibly sore like pouring lemon into a cut, but it quickly sorted the infection with constant application. The problem I found was that without persistent use the flakes would come right back.
I was lucky that by using this strong liquid and combining it with the use of Nizoral 2% shampoo (an anti dandruff shampoo with Ketoconazole) I was able to keep the condition at a level where it enabled new hair growth to come in like baby hair. Yay!
Once at this stage, the apple cider vinegar came into play.
It may not work for everyone but I have certainly noticed an improvement, dermatitis has been kept under control up to now fingers crossed.
So what is it?
Simples… Any organic unpasteurised apple cider vinegar……. mixed with half part water.
When first starting I would recommend using more water so the vinegar is more diluted to get used to it as the vinegar is strong and on open wounds this will sting!
You can apply with a spray bottle, pour over like I did, or soak a cotton wool pad and apply wet to the affected area.
At first I was doing it everyday (leaving it on as long as possible and washing out next shower) After reading other forums from dermatitis suffers they explained it balanced the PH levels of the skin (something along those lines)
…Improves the condition of your hair, making it shinier and refined my curls
…Tightened the skin and helped the sore areas
…Kept the infection/scales to very little reducing buildup and itchiness
… 100% natural mother earth lending a helping hand!
… It stinks!!!! You will smell of a bag of fish and chips haha as James told me every day. Now, in a field in Aus I honestly couldn’t care what I smelt of, must have been the backpacker hippy vibe I had going on…
But now back in the UK it’s a bit of a different story. Even after washing your hair the smell is hard to get rid of. But for me it’s either having a head that smells like a dressed salad or having a flakey, nasty head with no hair and I know what option I will take.
So I would highly recommend it. Natural, cheap and give it a go I say.
Now, whilst on the topic of dermatitis and currently it is one of those unknown areas as to cause or proper treatments. I stumbled across the link between sugar intake and bad dermatitis which got me thinking.
Well they currently suggest (one theory) that dermatitis is a yeast that grows on the surface of the skin… So back to basic science, yeast needs sugar and heat to grow, multiply and survive.
Well 10 months in Asia where my sugar content was through the roof and I was living in a hot and extremely humid environment. Almost like the fuel and heat fire triangle, makes sense, so if you take away one of the elements, sugar, as still in Australia I couldn’t take away heat the yeast shouldn’t have anything to feed on and the dermatitis should decrease.
People who know me will tell you that I love food. I love food. I LOVE FOOD.
Downfalls being chocolate, alcohol and anything with custard on it! Love all the veggies too in fact anything edible but as an experiment I decided for 1 month to eliminate all and I mean ALL sugar from my diet. This will only work if you are incredibly strict, give the fire more wood and it will light back up good again just when you thought it was out.
I searched online for a sugar free diet and was so surprised of the things I was to avoid. Dried fruits, a lot of fresh fruits, juices, milk, breads,
So Simple was the new. Mainly plain natural foods. (Boring really especially when you have a chef bf but he was handy for planing meals and being creative with what I could have)
A vain 27 year old woman getting and keeping my hair flake free was a large enough incentive to do it. An example of a breakfast…. Plain rolled oats, almonds and water!!! Lunch avocado and sourdough.
When in the supermarkets I checked the back of everything I bought and was shocked especially by the amount of sugar in pasta sauces, milk and yoghurts. The aim was stick to anything with less than 3g of sugar preferably closer to 0g the better.
Watch out when they state how much sugar…. Per…. 100g try and catch you out!
A better scalp, yay, it hadn’t cleared up completely but it hadn’t worsened, the flakes were thin, and it was now controlled. Now what I wasn’t sure of was whether my sugar free ODC eating or the use of the medicated lotions and shampoo had sorted me out?
But I managed to answer.
During the whole experiment I had dermatitis which went right into my ear canal which I was never able to put the harsh lotion on, the shampoo hadn’t cleared it and I was still suffering from a weeping yellow liquid and flakes inside (so sexy I know) but after the sugar free trial the inside of my ears had completely cleared up. So boom and I noticed when I did indulge in some sugary treats after the experiment my ear problem came back.
So Advice to any dermatitis sufferers after the two year mission and ongoing battle.
1 Go sugar free completely then reintroduce
2 If it’s really infected see your doc right away and ask for the lotion or something equivalent to get rid of any bacteria
3 Follow up with Nizorol Shampoo (shamp with Ketoconazole)
4 Once under control apply apple cider vinegar, leave and wash off
5 Do NOT pick the scalp. This for me was what lead to the hair loss as the hair follicles became so weak.
6 Take skin hair and nails vitamins and generally just eat really healthy watching your sugar levels (lots of nuts) to promote and encourage hair grown. It will grow back!
Really hope this has helped, if it solves or helps just one person then I shall be a happy bunny
How is my situation now?
Scalp looks healthy, flakes to a minimum.
Blast it with apple cider once a week!
Use faith in nature tea tree shampoo, natural and not animal tested.
So far so good!
When it starts to creep back I watch what I eat a little more and apple blast it more regularly and have the Nizoral 2% on backup if it decides to misbehave.
Last secret tip. Sugar free diet, alcohol is a no no, but if you have to (like I did) drink Gin and T least amount of sugar
Good Luck Peeps
Let me know how you get on x