While the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, several factors such as genetics, stress, and diet have been linked to its development and severity. One particular dietary factor that has been the subject of much debate is the consumption of eggs.
Some people with seborrheic dermatitis have reported a direct link between their symptoms and their egg intake, while others have found no correlation. But what does the scientific evidence say? And why do some people thrive on an egg-less diet?
The scientific evidence doesn’t have much to say unfortunately. No researcher has been interested enough in eggs and seb derm to do experiments on it. Eggs, eaten as part of a balanced diet, improves skin health. However, if you suspect you’re sensitive or allergic to eggs, stop eating it for a few weeks to see if your rash improves.
Let’s take a deep dive:
Skin benefits of eating eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin D, which is essential for healthy skin. In fact, a deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to several skin conditions, including seborrheic dermatitis.
Eggs also contain biotin, a B vitamin that is important not only for healthy skin, hair, and nails but may also improve your seb derm control. Biotin helps to build keratin, a protein that makes up the structure of the skin, hair, and nails. It also helps to keep the skin hydrated, which is important for preventing dryness and flakiness.
Eggs contain antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing damage to the skin.
Potential risks of eggs
While eggs can be a nutritious part of a healthy diet, they may also trigger allergic reactions in some people. According to Mayo Clinic, eggs are one of the most common food allergies in children. Fortunately, most children grow out of this allergy by the time they reach adulthood. The part of the egg that causes the allergy can vary from person to person. For most, it will be the egg white. For a small number of people, it may be the yolk.
For people with seborrheic dermatitis, an egg allergy may exacerbate symptoms, as the immune system reacts to the allergen by producing inflammation in the skin. Some seb derm sufferers find that certain foods, including eggs, can trigger flare-ups of the condition, although more research is needed to fully understand this connection.
While eggs can provide important nutrients for healthy skin, they may also pose a risk for those with seb derm who are allergic to them.
Do eggs cause seborrheic dermatitis?
That pretty much sums it up. There is no evidence that eating eggs cause seborrheic dermatitis. Eggs are only a problem if you have a sensitivity or allergy to them.
That’s where to problem arises. How do you know if you’re sensitive to eggs? As I keep saying, seb derm and other skin rashes are symptoms, not diagnoses. We know that if you’re prone to skin rashes, you’re also prone to having systemic allergies (it all boils down to your wonky immune system). Maybe you have seb derm AND you’re sensitive to egg proteins which are sneakily making your rash worse
You can pay hundreds of dollars and go through the pain of having a skin prick test for food allergies. Or you can stop eating eggs for a few weeks and see if your rash improves.
Do eggs improve seborrheic dermatitis?
Just as there is no evidence that eggs worsen seborrheic dermatitis, there is also no evidence that eggs improve seborrheic dermatitis. However, as you know, it’s pretty hard to find links between specific food types and diseases.
Sadly, research into seb derm is also sorely lacking compared to many other skin rashes. There are only a few dietary studies looking into the link between your diet and seb derm.
Having said that, you don’t need a study to tell you that healthy food is healthy. We know eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals including biotin, anti-oxidants and Vitamin D.
Unless you’re allergic to eggs, I highly recommend consuming eggs as part of a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.
A diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats may help support overall skin health and reduce inflammation that can contribute to seborrheic dermatitis.
How do eggs affect Malassezia growth?
Egg yolk contains a high amount of arachidonic acid, which is a long-chain fatty acid (LCFA). Seb derm sufferers hate LCFAs as these compounds can increase the growth of Malassezia. In fact, egg yolk is sometimes used as a medium to grow Malassezia in the lab.
However, LCFAs only matters if they are applied topically to the skin. If you ingest LCFAs, for example, if you eat 10 eggs or drink a litre of olive oil, it’s not going to increase the amount of LCFAs on your skin.
All of this to say, eggs don’t worsen seb derm and when eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet, may even improve your skin health, helping you with seb derm control. However, if you suspect an allergy or sensitivity to eggs, stop eating them for a few weeks to see if it makes any difference to your rash.