9 Diet Changes That Could Cure Your Seborrheic Dermatitis

Reports of people curing their seborrheic dermatitis through diet alone are abound. This article, sums up all these different dietary recommendations and evaluates the potential value they may offer.

Most of the items discussed are simple diet changes and not complete diet plans. If you are after diet plans, you may want to have a look at an earlier article that reviewed 5 specific seborrheic dermatitis friendly diet plans as reported by others.

Some snippets from the discussion below:

  • Many believe that caffeine (coffee often gets the most blame) leads to flare-ups; but little evidence exists and medical literature suggest it’s possible that other hot beverages in general may have this effect
  • Increasing consumption of yogurt, kefir, and or other probiotic rich foods can better your digestive health and make your skin more resilient to skin issues
  • Improving your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio can lead to reduced levels of overall inflammation and reduce the severity of flare-ups
  • Cutting out refined carbohydrates can improve digestion and reduce sebum production
  • Consuming fat and sugar in the same meal increases the fermentation potential of the sugar component (possibly increasing systemic inflammation)
  • Some individuals complain that grains cause increase flare-ups for them
  • Low levels of vitamin D are common among those affected by seborrheic dermatitis, yet supplementation is not always the solution – discussed in greater detail in: The Potential Connection Between Seborrheic Dermatitis and Vitamin D

Questions welcomed and encouraged
Please note that this is a brief overview which is based on countless hours of online research, if you would like references to where the information was obtained, please feel free to inquire in the comments section.

1. Remove or Strongly Restrict Omega 6 Consumption

Omega 6 fatty acids are mainly found in vegetable oils that most people regularly consume. Many people have reported impressive results by simply removing or at the very least minimizing their daily consumption of common vegetable oils. And while olive oil is almost completely void of Omega 6’s, many people who have had problems with seborrheic dermatitis strongly advise against it due to the potential connection between oleic acid and seborrheic dermatitis.

Almost all common vegetable oils, salad dressing, and dips are very high in omega 6s. Try replacing all of these items with something as simple as yogurt (yogurt also has the benefit of being high in live probiotics – discussed in point 9) and see how your seborrheic dermatitis reacts.

Learn more about the role of omega fatty acids in skin disease
Chapter 8 - Omega fatty acids
 Cover Photo

2. Completely Remove White Flour and Other Baked Goods

This suggestion is a popular topic among individuals trying to cure seborrheic dermatitis with diet. Removal of white flour and other baked products greatly increases your digestive strength and speed. This positive impact on digestion is believed to be the main cause of the positive changes that result.

For me the flour hypothesis played a big role in finally curing my seborrheic dermatitis. It was certainly one of the keys, however, I do currently eat baked goods. For me it had more to do with timing on their consumption than with total avoidance.

Highly recommend that you experiment with this dietary suggestion and see what type of impact it has on your seborrheic dermatitis.

Rediscover what a balanced diet really is and what it can do for your skin
The 8 Components of Healthy Skin - Achieving Dietary Balance
 Cover Photo

3. Remove High Fat-High Sugar Foods

People in modern day society seem to love high fat high sugar foods. This dietary trend became popular in the end of the 16

th century with the rising popularity of tea and coffee houses. While enjoying tea many individuals also started to indulge in sugary pastry and creams. Many researchers associated this practice with increased weight gain and other health concerns.

At its root this problem causes digestion to slow down due to fat, while the sugar ferments in the digestive tract. This creates the perfect environment for internal yeasts and fungi to flourish. Creating a toxicity spice on the body. If the body is already weekend due to other factors, a compounding effect occurs.

By cutting out high fat high sugar foods you improve your digestion and bodies internal organs rest and recover.

Learn more about the digestive process and it's role in skin health
Chapter 5 - Your Digestion
 Cover Photo

4. Remove Grains

Very closely related to number two and another hot topic of online seborrheic dermatitis dietary discussions. This dietary recommendation focus on complete elimination from grains in the diet. Made popular by a famous online nutrition forum (www.marksdailyapple.com), this dietary modification is known as the Paleo diet. It is said to vastly improve athletic performance and other aspects of health.

However, the Paleo diet lacks real scientific credibility and many medical researchers strongly advise against this diet.

Personally I’ve tried this dietary change, but was not a fun. It just did not feel write focusing strictly on protein to feed my body. I constantly felt sluggish and felt like I was missing the fuel my body needed.

5. Make Sure to Get Your Vitamin D

Honestly I think this is one of the overlooked keys of improving seborrheic dermatitis. Low vitamin D levels are common among individuals affected by the condition and this connection has been discussed in great detail in another post (The Potential Connection Between Seborrheic Dermatitis and Vitamin D).

Now, many people online try increasing their vitamin D through D3 supplements. In my experience these supplements had little results on my seborrheic dermatitis.

Instead I tried something different. Instead of supplement with Vitamin D, I started searching for foods natural high in this vitamin. For me the food of choice ended up being spring water sardines. These bad boys are loaded with calcium, protein, vitamin D, and omega 3s, while also being very low in sodium. What else could you ask for?

At one point I was eating a pack of sardines every single day. This alone practically made my seborrheic dermatitis disappear. However, it still seemed to lurk in the background undetected and eating a can of sardines every single day became unattractive.

Also. please note that omega 3s become void of benefits if consumed together with omega 6s. This is a fairly recent discovery by the University of British Columbia, but can explain why some people seem to not experience any benefit of high omega 3 consumption.

You can find more details about the research here.

6. Replace Red Meats with Fish

Fairly closely related to the previous point. If you cut all the red meats from you diet and instead focus on sea food you usually end up boosting your omega 3 consumption like never before.

Also some people have just experienced an overall improvement in seborrheic dermatitis from cutting out red meat alone. If you look at the data behind red meat and its effect on human health you begin to wonder why we are so dependent on it.

Personally I do enjoy red meat every now and then as it is too hard to avoid all together. However, I do eat a lot less of it now then I used to. Mainly because I focus on other foods to get better nutrition value.

7. Learn to Eat Properly

Eating habits have one of the strongest effects on how well you food is digested. Do you slouch while you eat? How well do you chew your food? Do you enjoy long meals with the family or are you a more grab and go type person?

All of these small little things related to how you eat have an immense effect on how well your food gets digested. It is quite a complex topic and I personally don’t feel like going to deep here. So if you want more information you can check out this article or drop me an information request in the comments and I’ll take the time to write out a proper summary.

8. Cut Down on Coffee/Caffeine Intake

Many individuals report that cutting down on caffeinated beverages can help reduce flare up severity. While there is no hard data on why this may be the case, many associate it with improved hydration levels (the common belief is that caffeinated beverages are dehydrating).

But does reducing caffeine intake really lead to improved skin hydration levels?

First off, if we consider overall hydration levels, studies suggest that caffeine leading to dehydration is more of a myth then reality [1]. On the contrary, even during exercise, caffeine intake does not lead to dehydrate [2].

Digging through the literature on this subject further, it was interesting to find the following:

Coffee (or caffeine alone) does not effectively promote flushing; however, hot coffee (or even hot water) does [3].

So maybe it’s a feedback loop that simply leads us down the wrong path. Once we convince ourselves that coffee is the culprit, it acts similar to a negative placebo effect.

9. Increase Consumption Yogurt/Kefir and Other Fermented Foods

Another very popular hypothesis in regards to seborrheic dermatitis, is that the condition is closely related to digestive issues. And in order to improve things on this front, foods high in probiotics (or probiotic supplements for that matter) are often cited as being helpful.

The most common items that get mentioned are kefir and yogurt; two dairy products known for their abundance of lactic acid producing probiotic cultures. Alteratively, some prefer to stick to non-dairy fermented dishes/beverages like kimchi, sauerkraut, or kombucha.

In either case, the theory is if you can consume enough fermented foods you can improve your digestive health, leading to more stable immune function, and eventual relief of seborrheic dermatitis. Weather or not it’s as simple as this a highly debated/controversial topic and no medical evidence currently exists to back it up. Nonetheless, some studies in related skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis have shown some initial promise [4, 5, 6, 7, 8].


There are tons of dietary recommendations online that deal with treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. The above six appear to be the most popular ones and have been very successful for me in the past. However, my final cure for my personal seborrheic dermatitis focused on many aspects of health and not just diet alone. Please give some of these changes try, perhaps they could be the diet changes that cure your seborrheic dermatitis once and for all.

Think These Diet Changes Could Cure Your Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Give these a try and make sure to let the world know you your results in the comments below. Also if you would like more information or have you own dietary suggestion for curing seborrheic dermatitis, please drop a comment (would love to have some support).

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  1. Lawrence E. Armstrong, Amy C. Pumerantz, Melissa W. Roti, Daniel A. Judelson, Greig Watson, Joao C. Dias, Bufclent Sufkmen, Douglas J. Casa, Carl M. Maresh, Harris Lieberman, Mark Kellogg "Fluid, Electrolyte, and Renal Indices of Hydration during 11 Days of Controlled Caffeine Consumption" Human Kinetics 15.3 (2016): 252-265. doi.org
  2. C. H. S. Ruxton "The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks" Wiley 33.1 (2008): 15-25. doi.org
  3. J K Wilkin "Oral thermal-induced flushing in erythematotelangiectatic rosacea." The Journal of investigative dermatology 76.1 (1981): 15-8. PubMed
  4. Vitória H M Mottin, Edna S Suyenaga "An approach on the potential use of probiotics in the treatment of skin conditions: acne and atopic dermatitis." International journal of dermatology 57.12 (2018): 1425-1432. PubMed
  5. Mary-Margaret Kober, Whitney P Bowe "The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging." International journal of women's dermatology 1.2 (2017): 85-89. PubMed
  6. Whitney P Bowe, Alan C Logan "Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?" Gut pathogens 3.1 (2011): 1. PubMed
  7. M Rahmati Roudsari, R Karimi, S Sohrabvandi, A M Mortazavian "Health effects of probiotics on the skin." Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 55.9 (2016): 1219-40. PubMed
  8. Emma Weiss, Rajani Katta "Diet and rosacea: the role of dietary change in the management of rosacea." Dermatology practical & conceptual 7.4 (2018): 31-37. PubMed
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About Michael Anders

After being affected by seborrheic dermatitis, I have made it my goal to gather and organize all the information that has helped me in my journey.

Notable Community Replies

  1. Hi Michael,
    I was wondering what do you stand on digestive enzyme supplements. Actually, I live with 4 friends and It is very hard for me to avoid trigger foods every single time, it’s a pain in the arse. It always gives my skin few setbacks. What do you think of this “Top Secret Nutrition: Digestive Enzymes”". I found it on bodybuilding(dot)com with a very high rating. Highly appreciate your suggestion. Thanks

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  2. Hey Micheal,
    hmmm. I have read that papaya and pineapple are also very good for digestion. what do you think ?
    My improvements are very much visible now. Reduction in redness and rashes are smaller in size. It’s just that every now and then I eat something which cause redness or sometimes rashes. Burning feelings have almost gone but sometimes I get very slight itching (only due to trigger food). Otherwise, things are much better now.
    Recently, I have noticed that my SD on chest is being irritated, any suggestions on this?
    Just one question, before treating your SD, did your skin looked aged or any wrinkle problems, and is your facial skin looks normal now?

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  3. Hey Sultan,
    Yeah, I heard they are good as well. However, I remember I hear something about most Papayas are GMO or something. Pineapples should be good though.
    Funny enough, I’m actually currently writing the digestion chapter for the SD book. It’s not ready, but you can check my current chapter outline here: https://goo.gl/Jd3SC6

    Regards to that weird feeling, it acted up quite significantly in the past couple days. Not sure exactly why it occurred.
    Possible reasons:

    1. Currently writing a book about SD and thoughts alone might have triggered this.
    2. Haven’t been taking glutamine for past 4-5 months as I decided to take a break.
    3. Have been going out, drinking quite a bit of alcohol and eating lots of crap. Maybe went overboard?
    4. Have been in the sun quite a bit without any sun-screen. Probably not a good idea.

    Even had a bit of irritation, similar to how it original started, but on the opposite nostril.
    However, it has calmed drastically as I have reversed reasons 2-4 above (still writing the book:) )

    In terms of the skin ageing and wrinkles, it was never really a problem for me.
    However, I never used the hydro-cortisone for more than a week or two when first prescribed.
    From much of my research, these seem to be possible side-effects.

    You will likely see these issues diminish though. The Restoraderm Moisturiser contains Sodium PCA and Hyaluronic Hcid, which are used it many anti-wrinkle/anti-ageing creams.

    For the chest, not sure. Maybe you can try a bit of Sudocrem there.
    I’m currently working on my own cream similar to the Restoraderm, but it seems that having several variations is key.
    A variation with a higher concentration of moisturising ingredients might be good for the chest as the skin is thicker there.
    Will send you a sample if I manage to perfect it (still a bit too greasy).

    All the best.

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  4. Hi Micheal,
    I am really looking forward to your SD book. Digestion chapter looks awesome. I have also noticed that when I am having poor digestion and gas problems I tend to react to even non-trigger foods. Two days ago I eat spicy food and I got the trigger, but surprisingly yesterday I eat spicy food and nothing happened (my stomach was better yesterday and no gas issues).
    It’s shocking how you got the trigger just by thinking. My friends sometimes tell me I think about my problems too much, let it go and things will be alright. Well they may be right. Mind over matter, maybe!
    I still havent started the glutamine because my initial experience with glutamine wasn’t very good.
    Junk food is the ultimate culprit whether it’s acne, SD or ezcema. They all promotes inflammation in the body. Anything heaty for the body is really bad. Do you think this is linked to whether poor digestion or weak immune system?
    I hope your SD will go away.
    Ahhh, well I stupidly used it for many months every 2 year. The problem is Restoraderm moisturizer caused redness. Do you have any other moisturizer with those ingredients, helpful for both wrinkles and SD? I am considering aveeno daily moisturising lotion, what do you think about this ?
    That is so great, I hope you will be successful in creating your own version of restoraderm and I would love to receive a sample.
    Best of luck.

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  5. Hey Micheal,
    Most of my diet is cooked food. Which cooking oil would you prefer?

    Reply Permalink