What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis & How To Get Rid of It?

There are a lot of different types of skin conditions. Seborrheic dermatitis is one such skin condition that usually causes dryness of the face and also itchiness in the scalp. It affects about 6 million children and adults in the United States of America.
Let us read the following array of the article and discover about what vitamin deficiency causes seborrheic dermatitis and also know how to get rid of it.

What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

In case of Seborrheic dermatitis there occur dandruff and scaly patches on the scalp. It can be actually difficult to diagnose the condition as the skin reactions it triggers is similar to those that are caused by several other similar conditions, such as psoriasis, other forms of eczema and even several allergic reactions.

Sometimes there may be the formation of lesions that looks like rash on your scalp and that can be slightly itchy as well as result in the skin to stick on to your hair. In addition, there may be the occurrence of Erythema or skin peeling, which appears as the macules which are the discolored patches of the skin or as plaques having dry and white or even moist oily scales.

Moreover, irritated seborrheic dermatitis conditions can result in extremely dry skin to become yellow or turn pink in some areas.
Though the exact cause of Seborrheic dermatitis is yet not well known, it is believed to be related to a yeast or fungus, known as Malassezia and to an irregular response of the immune system. Apart from this, there are a number of risk factors for this conditions which include neurological or psychiatric conditions, such as depression and Parkinson’s diseases, a weak immune system certain medication and recovery from any serious medical conditions, such as heart attack.

What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Studies have shown that Seborrheic dermatitis as well as dandruffs, both are very common. About 42% of infants and about 50% of adults might suffer from these conditions at one point or the other.Seborrheic dermatitis can be caused due to several factors, such as a poor nutrient diet. For instances, taking low levels of nutrients like zinc and some of the most essential vitamins.

It is believed that low levels of vitamin B3 or Niacin, vitamin B2 or Riboflavin, and Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine, in the blood may play a significant role in the occurrence of Seborrheic dermatitis. However, it must be noted that the exact link associated with a poor nutrient diet and seborrheic dermatitis is still not understood completely. But, people suffering from this condition must consume more of these nutrients.

You must take foods like poultry, eggs, fish, dairy and dairy products, whole grains, green vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, which are all loaded with vitamins like Vitamin B2, B3 and B6.

How To Get Rid Of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Conventional Treatments For Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Medicated Shampoo: There are a lot of medicated shampoos that your doctor may prescribe you to treat seborrheic dermatitis.

Coal Tar Shampoo: It is a Keratolytic agent. This shampoo is known for softening the keratin protein present on your skin and to scope the dead cells of the skin to be easily sloughed off. The keratolytic agents are rich in salicylic acid and sulfur. Salicylic acid is beneficial in a conventional treatment for skin conditions, as this acid is oil-soluble as well as it reduce skin inflammation. Some of the side effects occurring from this shampoo may be contact dermatitis, photosensitivity and folliculitis.

Selenium Sulfide Shampoo: Selenium sulfide is a shampoo used for treating the condition of seborrheic dermatitis. It does by fighting the infection and relieving the itchiness that is caused due to dandruff and by removing the scaly particles caused by dandruff. There may be some side effects of this shampoo which may include alopecia, skin irritation and discoloration of hair.

Zinc Pyrithione Shampoo: This is another shampoo that contains antibacterial and antifungal agents and can treat the condition of seborrheic dermatitis. It is one of the most minimal expensive options for treating the condition. However, there may be a common side effect that may cause irritation in the skin.

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo: Tea tree oil shampoo make use of the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the tea tree oil for treating seborrheic dermatitis as well astreatthe dandruff caused due to it. It also naturally does the conditioning of the skin. This treatment seems to be very effective only for mild or moderate symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.However, there have been reports of side effects such as allergic contact dermatitis along with itching or irritation of the skin due to this tea tree oil shampoo.

Medications: Antifungal medications can be taken to treat the condition as well. Your doctor may recommend an antifungal medication in the form of a pill. However, these are not the first choice of treatment for the condition as they may cause possible side effects and drug interactions.

Topical Agents: Topical creams, gels and shampoos are prescribed as medications by dermatology practitioners for treating the seborrheic dermatitis’ symptoms. These may include, antifungal shampoos(Nizoral and Loprox), topical corticosteroids(Capex, Luxip, Clobex, Beta-Val, Hydrocortisone cream and Fluocinolone products) topical antifungals (Ertaczo and Ciclodan) and topical calcineurin inhibitors(pimecrolimus).However, make sure never to use medications without doctor’s prescription or for a prolonged period of time.

Natural Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated naturally by some lifestyle changes, home remedies and some alternative therapies or medications. Let us look at some of the natural treatments below.

Treat Itchy Scalp And Dandruff: It is always essential for you to treat itchy scalp and excess of dandruff. Dandruff can be caused due to a low or a weak immune system function, harsh chemicals present in shampoos, reactions to the winter dry air and a diet deficient in vitamins.

Some of the natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis and to get rid of itchy skin and dandruff include, preparing a DIY dry scalp shampoo for covering the itchy scalp areas, increasing the intake of berries, leafy greens and other antioxidant-rich foods, not shampooing frequently and also ensuring to clear off the scalp, and using a good humidifier in home.

Enhance The Function Of Your Immune System: We mentioned above that a weaken immune system can cause high levels of inflammation and result in seborrheic dermatitis and dandruffs. It is thus essential for you to enhance the function of your immune system. Mostly irritations of the skin or scalp are caused due to anxiety, depression, chronic stress and fatigue. In order to improve the overall immunity, you need to follow some things which include, getting 8 hours of regular sleep at night, regular exercise, taking supplements such as probiotics and omega-3-fatty acids, being relaxed, trying stress relieving methods such as, meditation, or yoga and prayers, considering the use of adaptogen herbs helping your body in dealing with levels of stress and also control the levels of cortisol; and eat more of anti-inflammatory foods, such as apple cider vinegar, garlic, avocado, banana, ginger, flaxseed and also coconut oil.

Remain Hydrated: One of the best natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is to always make sure you supply your skin enough of water all throughout the day. It is also essential for you to avoid too much of alcohol, salty foods, caffeine and sugary drinks, as they can actually aggravate and also dry out your skin. You need to try alternatives such as green tea, coconut water, or homemade juices and smoothies for increasing the water intake in your body.

Take A Zinc Supplement: Rash and skin irritation can be due to zinc deficiency. We also believe that zinc deficiency might be also a cause of seborrheic dermatitis. So, it is essential for you to take a zinc supplement which can help in addressing the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.

Reduce Or Restrict Taking Inflammatory Or Allergen Foods: You must also avoid or reduce the intake of inflammatory or allergen foods such as the packaged and also the processed foods(which worsens allergies and autoimmune reactions), added sugars and sweet beverages, fried foods, trans fats, processed oils such as soy, corn, sunflower and safflower oil, and also dairy products(if you have allergies to milk)

Avoid Using Irritating Beauty Products :One of the most important thing you need to keep in mind is to avoid using irritating beauty products. A chemicalladen hair or skin product when used regularly, can really worsen your condition. Apart from this, even itching or picking the skin of the scalp might also worsen the things.

It is thus essential for you to use natural and organic products as much as possible. If you want to use beauty products then look for the beauty products that do not contain ingredients like sodium laureth, parabens or lauryl sulfate.

Alternative Therapies: There are many alternative therapies for treating Seborrheic dermatitis. It is however, always advisable to consult with your doctor before trying any alternative therapy or medicine to your personal care routine.

Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil, may be used alone or in a shampoo, on the affected area of the scalp. However it must be noted that some studies have shown that this oil may trigger an allergic reaction.

Fish Oil Supplements: You can also take fish oil supplements available in the pill form. These types of fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is known for its tremendous health benefits and it can be an effective natural treatment to get rid of seborrheic dermatitis. You can apply aloe vera to your affected area, either in a product or directly by cutting a leaf of aloe vera plant.

Coconut Oil and Essential Oil: Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids, such as capric acid and lauric acid, and it has got strong antimicrobial, antiviral and strong antifungal properties making it an excellent natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. When applied over the skin, coconut oil is known to help in reducing excess of microbes, yeasts or fungus, which can result in irritation and also excess of dryness and oiliness.

It is also great using coconut oil along with some essential oils, such as cedarwood oil, rosemary, lemongrass, lavender and tea tree oil. Massage the oil on the affected or infected area of your scalp or skin and leave it on for at least 20 minutes, then rub gently and rinse it off. It can reduce the inflammation and also treat infections because of its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

Other Home Remedies to Get Rid of Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Below are some other home remedies that you need to follow so as to get rid of seborrheic dermatitis.

  • Wash your scalp and skin properly and on a regular basis. Make sure you avoid harsh soaps or shampoos.
  • Apply mineral oil to your scalp and leave it for an hour before you wash it off.
  • Avoid hair sprays, hair gels or other styling products when you are treating Seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Also avoid skin and hair products containing alcohol, as they can worsen the condition.


From the above description, you must have got a brief idea about seborrheic dermatitis and also about some of the ways to get rid of the condition. Make sure to see with your doctor before adopting any therapy or home remedy to your self-care routine.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 8, 2019

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