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Dietary and Food Dermatology

Diets and foods that affect the skin.
Updated!   This page is also available as a PDF File (not updated).


Dietary, foods, diseases on left; associated foods and disease on right.
actinic keratoses
may be reduced by a low fat diet
atopic dermatitis
avoid: cow’s milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, soy products, tree nuts, wheat
5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid (5HIAA) excretion, urinary
avocado, bananas, eggplant, red plum, tomatoes, walnut
biotin deficiency
alopecia, hypotonia, intertriginous dermatitis, lethargy, periorificial dermatitis, waxy facial pallor, xerosis
BROW-free diet
for dermatitis herpetiformis; Avoid Barley, Rye, Oats, Wheat
cobalamin (B12) deficiency
angular chelitis, beefy red tongue, hyperpigmentation (generalized), hyperpigmented macules, poliosis
carcinoid s., precipitated by
avocados, cheese, chocolate, eating, eggplant, EtOH, hot beverages/foods, red plums, tomatoes, walnuts
cobalt, diet low in
avoid; apricots, beans, beer, beets, cabbage, chocolate, cloves, cocoa, coffee, flour (whole grain), liver, nuts, scallops, tea
copper deficiency
facial abnormalities, light hair, Menkes’ s., pili torti
elementary diet
essential and nonessential amino acids and simple sugars, electrolytes, trace elements & vitamins; useful for dermatitis herpetiformis (gluten sensitive enteropathy)
elimination diet (add back one food item per day)
Avoid: dairy products, wheat, egg chocolate, cola drinks, nuts, seeds, shellfish, corn, tomato, strawberries, citrus fruits, packaged & prepared meats, dried fruits, sugar substitutes, herbs, spices
Eat: fresh & frozen vegetables & fruits, fresh meat, poultry, fish baked or broiled (not breaded), water, tea, salt, sugar, fresh lemon
essential fatty acid deficiency
results in: alopecia, increased transepidermal water loss, intertriginous erosions, xerotic dermatitis
flushing
precipitated by: capsaicin (in red pepper), cheese, chocolate, Coprinus mushrooms, dumping s., hot beverages, lemon, monosodium glutamate, nitrites, sodium nitrite (cured meats), sulfites, spiced foods, spoiled fish, spoiled cheese
histamine elimination diet
avoid: beefsteak, cheese, chicken liver, eggplant, red wine, spinach, tomatoes
iron deficiency
alopecia, light hair, koilonychia
Kwashiorkor
crazy paving dermatosis, enamel paint spits, flag sign, flaky paint, hypopigmentation, peripheral edema, xerosis
marasmus
brittle hair, monkey facies, wrinkled skin, xerosis
niacin (Vit. B3) deficiency
angular stomatitis, cheilosis, Casal’s necklace, sores (oral, perirectal), symmetric hyperpigmented plaques (sun-exposed)  AKA pellagra
nickel reduction diet
avoid: shellfish, chocolate milk, beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, lentils, peas, soy protein powder (in prepared meats, soups, bouillon), spinach, sprouts, bran, buckwheat, millet, muesli, multi-grain breads, oat meal, rice (unpolished), rye bran, sesame seeds, wheat bran, cereals, bran biscuits, dates, figs, pineapple, prunes, raspberries, chocolate and cocoa, bottled tea, almonds, baking powder, nuts, licorice, marzipan
eat: alcohol, asparagus, bananas, beets, berries (except raspberries), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butter, carbonated beverages, cabbage, cauliflower, cheese, Chinese cabbage, coffee & tea (weak), corn, corn flakes, cornmeal, cornstarch, cucumber, dill, eggplant, eggs, fish, garlic, macaroni, margarine, meat (fresh), mushrooms, onions, parsley, peaches, pears, peppers, popcorn, potatoes, poultry, raisins, rhubarb, rice (polished), spaghetti, wheat flour, whole grain rye & wheat bread, yeast, yogurt
phosphorous-rich diet
(lowers Ca++ levels in calcinosis cutis): ale, artichokes, beer, broccoli, brussel sprouts,  caramel, cocoa, colas, flounder, liver, milk, nuts seeds, oyster, salmon, wheat germ
protein restriction diet
arginosuccin aciduria: restrict protein (1-1.5 gram/kg/day) with arginine suplementation (3-5 mmol/kg/day)
pseudoxanthoma elasticum
calcium-restricted diet (controversial)
pyridoxine (B6) deficiency
angular stomatitis, cheilosis, glossitis, oral erosions, pellagra-like dermatitis, seborrhea-like dermatitis
Refsum syndrome
restrict phytanic acid; avoid animal fat (ruminants), dairy products, green vegetables
riboflavin (B2) deficiency
angular stomatitis, cheilosis, magenta glossitis, perleche, scrotal dermatitis, seborrhea-like dermatitis
Richner-Hanhart s.
low phenylalanine/low tyrosine diet, low protein diet
selenium deficiency
hypopigmentation (generalized), white nails
Sjogren-Larsson s.
low fat diet, long chain fatty acid restriction
thiamin (B1) deficiency
AKA beriberi: edema, glossitis, peripheral neuropathy, Korsakoff confabulation, Wernicke encephalopathy
urticaria, contact
apricot pit, apple, bean, beer, buckwheat flour, caraway seed, carrot, egg, endive, fish, flour, garlic, kiwi, lettuce, litchi, maize, mango, meat (chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, liver, pork), milk, mustard, peach, peanut, pickle (cucumber), potato, rice, salami casing (mold), shellfish, soybean, spices, strawberry, tomato, watermelon
vitamin A (retinol) deficiency
phrynoderma, xerosis
vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency
corkscrew hairs, follicular hyperkeratosis, friable gums, hemorrhage, poor wound healing, splinter hemorrhages (fingernail) AKA scurvy
vitamin E (tocopherol) deficiency
jaundice, phrynoderma
vitamin K deficiency
intracutaneous hemorrhage, purpura
zinc deficiency
acral & periorificial pustulo-bullous dermatitis, alopecia, angular stomatitis, glossitis, pustular paronychia

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