There is no clinical evidence that using collagen creams or taking a collagen supplement can improve seborrheic dermatitis. However, a study showed that women eating a diet rich in fruit had better seborrheic dermatitis (SD) control than those on a Western diet. Anecdotally, many SD sufferers found their symptoms improved and their skin looked healthier after taking collagen supplements.
Collagen is one of the most important building blocks for our skin. Eating a diet that helps your body produce more collagen or taking a high quality collagen supplement reduces seborrheic dermatitis symptoms and helps repair and maintain the skin barrier.
Let’s take a deep dive:
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is found in the connective tissues of our bodies, including skin, hair and nails. It’s responsible for providing strength and elasticity to these tissues.
When we are young, our bodies produce plenty of collagen and our skin looks smooth and plump. However, as we age, our bodies produce less collagen and our skin begins to wrinkle and sag.
Aging, trauma and inflammation can all damage the skin structure and cause loss of collagen. When this happens, we need to find a way to replenish the lost collagen.
Sources of collagen
Our body can make its own collagen but as we age, we produce less collagen in our skin every year. There are 3 main ways to help our body produce more collagen:
Foods that help your body make collagen
The most popular of these is bone broth. Bone broth not only contains collagen that the body can easily use right away, it also contains amino acids, minerals and other beneficial nutrients.
Other food sources of high collagen include chicken, fish, shellfish, egg whites, fruits high in Vitamin C, leafy greens, beans, nuts and surprisingly, even garlic.
We’re not sure if collagen supplements really work.There are studies showing that collagen supplements improve skin hydration and reduces signs of aging. But not all collagen supplements are manufactured equal.
If you’re taking a collagen supplement, make sure it’s hydrolyzed collagen. It’s easier for your body to absorb and use.
No woman above the age of 30 has avoided hearing about collagen creams. There are so many anti-aging creams in the market, it’s ridiculous. Collagen creams are supposed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by increasing the levels of collagen in your skin. These creams also claim to help hydrate your skin by trapping moisture in the top layers of your skin (epidermis).
I’m not sure if many or any of them work. Some of these creams can definitely help improve the appearance of skin for a short while but none will make permanent improvements to your skin.
How can collagen help treat seborrheic dermatitis?
There are no studies looking at the effect of collagen creams or supplements on seborrheic dermatitis. However, a study showed that people who ate a diet high in fruits had better seborrheic dermatitis control than those who were on a ‘Western diet’.
However, if you look at the skin benefits of collagen, many of these benefits may help improve seborrheic dermatitis. Collagen can help to reduce inflammation. It does this by slowing down the production of inflammatory cytokines.
Collagen also improves skin elasticity and hydration, leading to less sebum production. Less oil equates to less Malassezia and less irritating byproducts.
The most important role collagen has in seborrheic dermatitis is to promote skin healing. One of the main reasons for an SD flare is damaged skin barrier. The skin structure is further damaged by inflammation that occurs during the flare. Collagen helps your skin repair and protect it from further damage.
Side effects of using collagen
When used topically, most collagen creams are safe. However, on the odd occasion, it can cause skin irritation. In rare cases, people may be allergic to collagen. Risks and warnings:
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe with few reported side effects. However some people may experience digestive issues such as bloating or gas after taking them.
As collagen is derived from animal sources , people who are allergic to fish or shellfish may be allergic to collagen as well.
To wrap up
Eating foods that help your body make collagen or taking a high quality collagen supplement may help improve seborrheic dermatitis. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term efficacy of collagen for SD.