Seborrheic Dermatitis & Nutritional Supplements

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Seborrheic dermatitis is an itchy, red and scaly skin disorder that can effect any oily part of your body but most commonly effects the scalp. The skin is made from the inside out, and it takes 20 to 30 days for the skin that is forming now to reach the surface, so don't expect improvements to happen overnight. You should combine nutritional supplements with a healthy diet to achieve maximum effectiveness. Talk to your health care practitioner before taking any supplement.


When your body has too high a toxic load for your liver to effectively deal with, the toxins try to escape through your skin and often manifest as a skin disorder. Fiber is essential for absorbing and safely eliminating toxins from your body. The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, or CSNN, recommends taking a supplement of ground flaxseed, oat bran, pectin, psyllium, guar gum or rice bran fiber at a dosage of 5 g three times daily.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and according to it is essential for healthy skin. High doses of vitamin A can help to increase skin healing and to keep the skin moisturized and smooth. Phyllis Balch, in her book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” recommends taking 100,000 international units daily for one month, and then taking 50,000 IU daily for two weeks, followed by 25,000 IU daily from then on.

Essential Fatty Acid

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, may also be beneficial for seborrheic dermatitis; they are thought to promote both the healing of and the lubrication of the skin. CSNN recommends taking 500 mg of gamma linolenic acid, or GLA, which is an omega-6 EFA that is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. CSNN also recommends supplementing with fish oil that contains 1 to 2 g of combined EPA and DHA, which are omega-3 EFAs thought to also be beneficial to the skin. Alternatively, you can take cod liver oil, as long you have no history of liver disease.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil may be the most effective EFA supplement because not only does it provide EPA and DHA, it is also a great source of the two well known skin-supporting vitamins, A and D. Cod liver oil contains vitamin D3, which is the most active and absorbable form of vitamin D, and it is thought to promote the healing of skin tissue. If you are taking a high-dose vitamin A supplement already, talk to you doctor before adding in cod liver oil to ensure that you do not overdose on the vitamin.

B Vitamin

The B vitamins are also vital for healthy skin. Balch recommends taking a 50 to 100 mg B-complex supplement three times daily with meals. B vitamins encourage the proper circulation of nutrients and aid in the reproduction of healthy skin cells. In addition to the complex, Balch suggests taking 50 mg of a B6 supplement three times daily because a deficiency of B6 has been linked to skin disorders.