Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet

A Seborrheic Dermatitis aims to reduce symptoms, such as scalp inflammation and dandruff, by altering a person’s diet.

What is a Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a skin condition which usually affects the scalp. Sometimes known as Seborrheic Eczema or dandruff, the condition typically causes inflammation, redness and flaky skin. Although the scalp is mainly affected by Seborrheic Dermatitis, the eyebrows, ears, chest and/or face may also be affected in some patients.

As the condition is usually chronic, individuals with Seborrheic Dermatitis typically find that their condition flares-up at certain times. Whilst treatment is available, it doesn’t always prevent future flare-ups or resolve the condition completely.

Some physicians maintain that a Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet helps to reduce symptoms and prevents the condition from worsening. If effective, a Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet could help to prevent future flare-ups and may effectively put the condition into remission.

What symptoms can a Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet resolve?

Seborrheic Dermatitis typically causes the skin to become dry and flaky. When this occurs on the scalp, flakes of skin may remain on the scalp and in the hair, giving the appearance of dandruff. In addition to this, patients may experience the following symptoms:

  • Skin irritation
  • Redness of the skin
  • Itching of the scalp
  • Scaly skin
  • Areas of greasy skin, sometimes covered with scales or crusty skin

As well as being unsightly, the symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis can cause discomfort. It patients constantly scratch their skin in response to the itching caused by the condition, they may also suffer from broken or cracked skin. When this happens, they may have an increased risk of contracting a secondary bacterial infection and may require additional treatment.

What causes the condition and will a Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet help?

There are many factors which are believed to cause or contribute to Seborrheic Dermatitis. The main two factors associated with the condition are:

  • Excess yeast being present on the skin
  • Abnormal immune system response

When excess amounts of yeast are delivered on to the skin via oil secretions, it can cause the skin to become dry, flaky and inflamed. It is believed that this is why Seborrheic Dermatitis affects areas of the body which are known to be particularly oily, such as the scalp. If the body’s immune system responds to this excess yeast, skin irritation and redness will follow.

Although this is commonly cited as a cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis, there are various other factors which can affect the development of the conditions. It is believed that the following factors can play a role in the development of Seborrheic Dermatitis and may exacerbate flare-ups of the condition:

  • Genetics
  • Cold weather
  • Hormones
  • Compromised immunity
  • Existing health problems, such as Acne, Rosacea and Psoriasis

Although it’s unclear why these factors are linked to Seborrheic Dermatitis, the conditions appears to be more prevalent in individuals who have family members with Seborrheic Dermatitis, have existing conditions, produce excess oil due to unbalanced hormone levels, have compromised immunity, spend time in cold environments and/or have certain existing illnesses or medical conditions.

Even though the exact cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis remains unknown, many people maintain that a Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet can help to minimize symptoms, regardless of the exact cause of the condition.

Is the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet a form of treatment?

When patients are diagnosed with Seborrheic Dermatitis, they may be offered various treatments, such as:

  • Medicated shampoos
  • Anti-fungal lotions
  • Corticosteroid creams

Shampoos containing Coal Tar, Salicylic Acid, Zinc Pyrithione or Selenium Sulfide often help to reduce symptoms on the scalp and may resolve acute flare-ups of the condition. Alternatively, anti-fungal lotions may be applied to the scalp or affected areas of the skin in order to reduce the amount of yeast on the skin’s surface and, therefore, reduce the patient’s symptoms. Corticosteroid creams may also be prescribed to patients, as these can help to reduce inflammation and skin irritation.

However, many individuals with Seborrheic Dermatitis rely on self-care measures to manage the condition and to prevent flare-ups. One of the most used homecare treatments is the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet. This involves modifying your food intake in order to limit inflammation. Sometimes known as an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’, it is believed that the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet can reduce inflammation and, therefore, reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Whilst some physicians maintain that diet is not linked to the development of the condition, many medical professionals and patients report benefits associated with the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet. There are, however, inconsistencies in what foods are favored on this type of diet. Generally, people following the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet are advised to consume healthy amounts of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
  • Spices, such as turmeric, oregano and ginger
  • Foods containing high levels of vitamin C
  • Blueberries, cherries and strawberries
  • Vitamin B and E-rich foods
  • Garlic

As Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation, many people feel that they are important to include on the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet. Often found in fish, individuals following the diet may choose to eat salmon, mackerel or sardines regularly. Similarly, leafy, green vegetables contain a range of nutrients, as well as beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant and neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. Similarly, cherries, blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants and help to combat inflammation.

As vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, it is vital for healthy skin. By increasing your vitamin C intake using the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet, you may be able to improve the appearance of skin and prevent excessive flaking.

Vitamin E is also beneficial as it is crucial to the formation of skin cells, whilst vitamin B deficiencies have been linked to skin problems, such as Eczema. Furthermore, certain spices, such as turmeric, have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect and could, therefore, reduce symptoms when consumed as part of the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet.

As well as increasing the intake of anti-inflammatory foods, the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet requires that inflammatory foods and substances are avoided. These may include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Saturated fats
  • Processed foods
  • Foods high in sugar

For many people, the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet is effective in reducing their symptoms and preventing flare-ups. However, individuals should also seek medical advice before beginning a new diet or healthcare regime. Working with a qualified dietician or nutritionist can help patients to ensure that they are eating a healthy diet, whilst still reducing the symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Furthermore, some patients may have a particular trigger and may need to amend the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet based on their own body’s reactions. If patients believe that a food allergy or intolerance may be triggering or exacerbating their symptoms, they may wish to request patch testing in order to determine which allergens they are sensitive to.

Whilst many people rely on the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet, additional treatment may be needed in some cases. Using the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet may substantially reduce symptoms, for example, but patients may still require prescription-strength medication when their condition flares-ups.

By combining medical treatment with homecare measures, such as the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet, most patients are able to successfully manage their condition and minimize symptoms, such as dry skin, redness and irritation.

Will the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet prevent the condition?

As the exact cause of Seborrheic Dermatitis remains unknown, it can be difficult to prevent the condition from developing completely. Whilst some patients may find that Seborrheic Dermatitis will resolve on its own, it is usually a chronic condition which cannot be prevented.

However, patients with Seborrheic Dermatitis may be able to prevent flare-ups by using various treatment measures. Some patients may be able to avoid flare-ups by following the Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet, for example, whereas others may favor a particular shampoo which helps to keep their symptoms at bay.

When patients are first diagnosed with the condition, they may need to try various different prescription-strength lotions or shampoos in order to find one that’s effective for them. Similarly, individuals may try numerous different self-care measures in order to determine what is most beneficial for them. However, once patients have identified the most effective products and the right type of Seborrheic Dermatitis Diet for them, there is a good chance that their symptoms will be minimized and future flare-ups prevented.