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My Journey with Excema and Seborrheic Dermatitis


Whew! I'll try to make this quick, but...let's start from the beginning.


I am currently 28 years old and prior to 2021, my skin and scalp were completely healthy. I never had to use specific hypoallergenic products or adhere to a certain diet (however, I was pescatarian for 4 years). So here's a timeline of when the boat began to rock.


On April 20, 2021, I noticed discoloration on both of my underarms.















I immediately tried to set up a dermatologist appointment. Unfortunately, due to post covid delays, I was not able to get an appointment until months later. As a result, my skin breakouts worsened.






















I made it a priority to find a African-American dermatologist. I ended up going to two different dermatologists (the second, once my scalp issues started). The first one just performed a steam treatment and diagnosed me with excema. A few months later, I started to notice flaking on my scalp. This quickly increased to scaling, itching, and hair loss.



This is when I sought out another dermatologist. This dermatologist was more thorough. She was very compassionate and informative. She took skin biopsies, bloodwork, and a skin graft that all resulted in the diagnosis of Seborrheic Dermatitis. She informed me that there is no true cure to eliminate Seborrheic Dermatitis, but limiting stress, making dietary modifications, and finding the right products will help reduce flare ups. She prescribed me a medicated shampoo that was too harsh for my hair and made the hair loss worse, so I began trying product after product until I found something that worked.


So, on July 22, 2022, I made the very emotional and difficult decision to cut my loc babies after growing them for 4 years. I wanted to work on healing my scalp from the root and reattach them once I had better control of my Seborrheic Dermatitis.


As of May 28, 2023, WE'RE BACK. My scalp is healthy and my locs are reattached.



















Product Suggestions:


Skin:

I use each of these products daily.


Hair:

  • Royal Oils Scalp Elixir: I love this product. It instantly refreshes my scalp, and it is light enough to use daily.

  • Royal Oils Scalp Cream: I use this product about 1-2 times per week. It is a translucent cream. The applicator tips makes it easy to glide in between sectioned hair. It works well to prevent flaking and provide moisture.

  • Africare Glycerin: This product has truly healed my skin and hair. It has no additives. It aids in strengthening my hair follicles and preventing dryness of my skin and scalp. 10/10 recommend. Note: less is more with this product.

  • Derma-E Scalp Relief Shampoo: This shampoo nourishes my scalp very well. I alternate between this one and head and shoulders.

  • Head and Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo: The fungus that is Seborrheic Dermatitis is truly unpredictable. That's why it is best to alternate scalp cleansers. Head and shoulders shampoo lines all cleanse and nourish my scalp from the flakes and scaling that comes from flare up. Be sure to use a moisturizing conditioner after to retain necessary moisture.


Dietary Modifications:

As I mentioned earlier, I was pescatarian for four years. Now I eat seafood, chicken, and turkey. I completely refrain from red meat as it does not digest properly for me. Here is a list of other modifications I prioritize that have helped in nourishing my skin and scalp.

  • H2O: Most ailments work from the inside out. You have to stay hydrated to nourish your skin.

  • Limit Sugars: high sugar intake can cause increased inflammation and lead to flareups.

  • Dairy free: I substitute for nondairy alternatives as much as I can. I used oat milk and coconut or almond based yogurts. Cheese is the only dairy product I consume, simply because it's not a major part of my diet and I don't want to pay $6 for one pack of vegan cheese when groceries are already inflated.

  • Limit Carbohydrates: Excessive carbs can promote yeast growth

Reminder:

In the words of Jill Scott, "Everything ain't for everybody." Respectively, this is what works for me, and I hope this helps you on your journey. Trial and error is the only way to find out what works for you. No matter what your skin, hair, or body looks like, you are beautiful and wonderfully made. Know that your worth isn't defined by anything superficial, but by your divine essence. I want to leave you with a simple set of affirmations to remind you of that.


I am who I am. [THAT girl. beautifully and wonderfully made]

I know what I am not. [any negative term used to inaccurately describe you.]

I accept growth in every way. [in mind, body, and spirit]


Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. I'd be happy to help.


Love and light,

De'Ondra Fletcher

Founder, Crooked Magnolia



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