Dermatitis Diet: Foods to Avoid & What to Eat

Updated in April 2024

A dermatitis diet involves avoiding certain foods, like shrimp, peanuts and milk. Patients are advised to consult a dermatologist or registered dietitian to determine whether their skin symptoms are related to consuming foods, however, before undergoing a dermatitis diet. A health care professional can evaluate presenting symptoms and help to identify triggering foods to help manage this condition. 

Although dermatitis may not always be directly related to food, there are certain food sources that can aggravate dermatitis symptoms and cause more redness, itching, flaking and blisters. Therefore, assessing diet and dietary habits is an important part of dermatitis treatment. 

Man chopping vegetables in kitchen

Foods to avoid 

To know which foods should be avoided in a dermatitis diet, you should determine which ones are causing or worsening your symptoms. You can do this by avoiding consumption of one specific food at a time for five days. If symptoms improve, then you should continue to avoid this food. If symptoms remain the same, you can continue to test other suspect foods. 

Some of the foods that are associated with dermatitis symptoms include milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, walnuts, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, seafood, peas, lentils, beans, hazelnuts and Brazilian nuts. 

Dermatitis is commonly caused by food allergies, although there are other things that can trigger this condition, such as mites, pollen, dust and specific factors. You should see a dermatologist for allergy testing if you are unsure of what is stimulating the dermatitis. 

What to eat 

Dermatitis is characterized by chronic inflammation of the skin, which is why consuming foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may be an excellent strategy for treating dermatitis. Patients are advised to: 

  • Eat more anti-inflammatory foods. See a full list of natural anti-inflammatory foods and how to incorporate them in your diet. 
  • Eat more antioxidant foods, which help to strengthen the skin and the immune system. Check out a full list of natural antioxidant foods and the health benefits they can provide. 

Another natural way to treat dermatitis is take supplements, such as omega-3, zinc, quercetin, borage oil or probiotics. Dosing should be recommended by your doctor. 

Avocado is another great food that helps to hydrate the skin and improve overall skin health. You can incorporate this food into your diet in moderation. Read more about the benefits of avocado and check out our delicious avocado recipes. 

Online symptom checker

Report your symptoms below to determine your risk for dermatitis: 

  1. 1. Redness and/or darkening of the skin
  2. 2. Peeling of the affected skin
  3. 3. Thickening of the skin
  4. 4. Itching and/or discomfort in the area
  5. 5. Bubbles, small blisters and/or crusts on the skin
  6. 6. Dry skin
  7. 7. Swelling of the skin
  8. 8. Wounds in the affected area

This quiz is only a guidance tool, and should not be used to confirm a diagnosis, nor does it replace consultation with a dermatologist or general practitioner.