Seborrheic Dermatitis And Your Diet: What To Eat And Avoid

Seborrheic Dermatitis And Your Diet: What To Eat And Avoid

Flaky skin, red patches, and an itchy scalp—do the mention of these symptoms ring a bell?

Combatting seborrheic dermatitis can feel like an uphill battle. And more so when you've waded through so much treatment trial and error without any glimpse of success.

While medical treatment may be effective for some seborrheic dermatitis patients, people have noted that conventional treatments such as medicated shampoos provide only temporary relief. Hence, it is not unusual for people to use natural and medical management options concurrently to improve their outcomes. 

Changing one's dietary patterns is a practical natural approach. But can a 'seborrheic dermatitis diet' really help to tackle flare-ups and alleviate symptoms? And what does science say about your diet and seborrheic dermatitis?

We'll explore the connection between the two and whether you should include and exclude certain types of foods to improve your skin condition. 

What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a highly prevalent inflammatory skin disease that affects areas rich in sebum, an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands. The scalp, face, and chest are areas of the body most prone to seborrheic dermatitis. [1]

Suppose you've had this condition for some time. In that case, you're probably well acquainted with the hallmark signs and characteristics of seborrheic dermatitis, some of which overlap with a closely-related condition called dandruff. Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are widespread skin problems that frequently affect adults and can evoke significant embarrassment and frustration.

The truth is, scientists and researchers have yet to fully understand the changes and factors that contribute to the emergence of this skin condition. Nonetheless, the underlying mechanism behind seborrheic dermatitis development is thought to be an interplay of various factors, including the overgrowth of Malassezia. 

Individual susceptibility to seborrheic dermatitis may also be affected by skin barrier integrity, emotional stress, and nutritional factors. [2]

Hence, identifying modifiable lifestyle factors and making specific changes could help reduce disease burden. From changing your pillowcase more frequently to practicing better stress management and getting more exercise—all these baby steps help support recovery and remission.

Where does your diet come into play, though? 

The Link Between Seborrheic Dermatitis and Specific Dietary Patterns

Several studies have investigated the link between an individual's eating habits and the occurrence of flare-ups or the development of this condition.

The results were mixed. Essentially, researchers have yet to confirm whether a specific dietary pattern could either trigger seborrheic dermatitis or, in contrast, improve your skin condition. 

One such study recruited both seborrheic dermatitis patients and individuals without it. Researchers then evaluated their dietary habits by utilizing a food frequency questionnaire to collect data about how often they ate certain types of foods. Ultimately, the study did not find any significant link between diet and seborrheic dermatitis. [3]

However, another study garnered some contrasting results. In this case, researchers found that a diet consisting of high fruit intake was associated with a lower risk of seborrheic dermatitis. On the other hand, a Western dietary pattern high in meat and processed foods was linked to an increased risk in females. [4]

What Dietary Choices Are Recommended?

Ultimately, we can't say that adopting a particular diet will increase or decrease the risk of seborrheic dermatitis. But this doesn't mean that you should completely neglect this core health pillar. After all, maintaining a balanced diet and increasing intake of foods that support your immune system will ensure you stay in the pink of health and help keep chronic diseases at bay. [5]

Based on Facebook and Reddit seb derm groups, several people have trialed dietary changes and seen improvement. Hence, drawing from this mountain of anecdotal evidence, you may wish to experiment with some changes in your eating habits.

According to their personal accounts, some have noticed a diet rich in dairy and gluten food items can aggravate symptoms and cause a massive flare-up.

Additionally, seborrheic dermatitis is essentially an inflammatory skin condition. Hence, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet may help combat and alleviate symptoms. Foods with potent anti-inflammatory properties include green leafy vegetables, olive oil, nuts, avocado, and citrus fruits. [6]

Tipping the scale in your favor

The key is to listen to your body. 

There are groups of people who have tried changing their diet to foster healing better but to no avail. Yet others achieve recovery success when they do. 

Nonetheless, the National Eczema Association notes that people with eczema may start making shifts to their diet by removing foods they think contribute to flares. Such foods include those packed with saturated fatty acids, processed oil, gluten, dairy, carbs, or added sugars, as they could be risk factors for symptom exacerbation. [7]

If you wish to give the elimination diet a go, remove as many food culprits as possible. Then, gradually add them back to see if there's any noticeable difference.

To sum it up, foods may not be the direct trigger for your symptoms. But avoiding highly-inflammatory ingredients and incorporating more anti-inflammatory and whole foods may give your body the upper edge in warding off those pesky symptoms.

Ultimately, you can tip the scale in your favor. 

In any case, though, it's best to consult a healthcare professional who can provide medical advice on how you may best steer your diet towards tackling seborrheic dermatitis.

How About Nutritional Supplements?

There are limited studies on the efficacy of dietary supplements in treating and preventing seborrheic dermatitis episodes.

In the case of atopic dermatitis, another form of eczema, researchers did not find a clear link between various supplements and the treatment of this skin ailment. These supplements include fish oil, evening primrose oil, probiotics, and vitamins, all of which did not significantly improve symptoms. [7]

Nonetheless, any outcome may yet again be on a case-by-case basis. After all, there are personal reports of natural supplements like fish oil and probiotics aiding in the relief of seborrheic dermatitis symptoms.

Before commencing on any nutritional supplement, though, be sure to seek your doctor's or dermatologist's advice.

There Isn't A One-Size-Fits-All Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet.

One dietary pattern may work wonders for someone else but do nothing for you. And vice versa. 

The truth is, you may need to do some experimenting to find out if foods affect the severity of your condition.

Then again, as mama always said, "You are what you eat." Watching your diet may not be the miracle cure for your symptoms. But if you choose to adopt a healthy dietary approach, your body will thank you in the long run.

Hey, we've got another solution for you—the Calming Seborrheic Serum.

This unique formula assimilates holistic ingredients, carefully designed to clear away the Malassezia fungus, reduce flaking, combat itchiness, and restore normal skin function. What you get is peaceful skin for peace of mind.

And if you're not happy with the results, we've got your back. Email us to let us know, and we'll send a full refund right your way. Keep the bottle. That's our peaceful skin guarantee.

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