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Seborrheic dermatitis and nutrition

To date, the link between diet and seborrheic dermatitis has not been clearly established. Yeast of the Malassezia genus, which occurs naturally on the surface of the skin and scalp, is an integral part of the commensal flora, independent of any diet.

Adopting a healthy diet

However, it has been shown that adopting a healthy diet is far from futile in helping to fight seborrheic dermatitis and can help prevent a worsening of seborrheic dermatitis symptoms(1). 
Feedback from patients with seborrheic dermatitis who have modified their diet confirms this and demonstrates a positive impact on the disease(1).
 
But what does a diet adapted to seborrheic dermatitis look like? Which foods should be preferred and which should be avoided? It can sometimes be difficult to find your way around!
 
A balanced diet provides the necessary vitamins:
  • vitamin A found in butter, liver, eggs; 
  • vitamin C, found in fruits (strawberries, citrus fruits, melons, etc.) and vegetables (peppers, cauliflowers, etc.); 
  • and vitamin E, which is found in oils (sunflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil, etc.), almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, etc.; 
  • as for omegas 3 and 6, they are found in fatty fish and oils (rapeseed oil, olive oil, etc.).
It is also important to adopt a diet balanced in protein, iron and essential fatty acids to ensure good metabolism. 
 
You should also limit your intake of certain foods such as saturated fats (cream, etc.) and rapidly absorbed sugars (sweets, cakes, etc.). 
 
Finally, opt for home-made rather than processed foods whenever possible. Processed foods often contain high quantities of salt and/or sugar.  

Diet, sleep, cosmetic products, etc.

In addition to diet, which can have an impact on your skin and your seborrheic dermatitis, a healthy lifestyle in general is essential for good skin health:
  • Lack of sleep
  • the use of unsuitable cosmetics
  • overexposure to UV rays
are all factors that can damage the skin.  
 
Exposure to certain toxins such as tobacco and alcohol is also not recommended, as they can lead to seborrheic dermatitis flare-ups. If you are highly dependent on these substances, please feel free to discuss this with your physician. He or she will be able to help you and support you in this process.
 
(1) Sarah B, Crystal H,. Possible Nutrient Mediators in Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. (1988), 22, pp. 153–164.

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