What is the role of diet in seborrheic dermatitis?

Diet and Seborrheic Dermatitis: New Pieces of the Puzzle

Depending on how slow (or fast) one eats and how much (or little) one eats, most people spend about 4 % of their lives consuming food. It should come as no surprise that diet can influence many health issues - including various hair conditions. However, the extent to which diet really impacts hair & scalp disorders is only just starting to be properly examined by researchers.

Dr. Donovan lecturing at the 2019 World Trichology Conference

Dr. Donovan lecturing at the 2019 World Trichology Conference

At the 2019 World Trichology Conference (pictured above), I had the opportunity to speak to conference delegates about a few of these issues. Here, I am speaking to the audience about a fascinating study from Sweden which provided some nice evidence that diet really can impact the scalp. This study showed that a diet rich in fruit was associated with a 25 % reduction in the risk for seborrheic dermatitis and a more typical “Western” diet (which the authors classified as a diet high in meat, potatoes, alcohol) was associated with an increased risk for seborrheic dermatitis - particularly for females. It is proposed that the inflammatory potential of our foods may influences these trends. Other factors may also be involved. Studies of dietary factors are challenging to conduct but have profound impact on multiple aspects of human health.


Sanders et al. Association Between Diet and Seborrheic Dermatitis: A Cross Sectional Study. Journal Investigative Dermatology 2019; 139: 108-114

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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