Spongiotic Dermatitis Foods to Avoid

Spongiotic dermatitis can be very frustrating, especially if you don’t know what is causing your symptoms. We are going to explore the foods to avoid if you have spongiotic dermatitis.

Did you know that researchers have found that specific foods can lead to an exacerbation of dermatitis?

My research has concluded that there are certain foods to avoid, (or at least avoid for a bit) to see if your symptoms improve. By investigating the types of foods you are eating, and how it changes your symptoms, you will develop a better understanding of what foods to avoid to keep your spongiotic dermatitis under control. 

By changing just your diet, you may not completely solve your symptoms, but you will be more in tune with what may be causing your symptoms which will  “move the needle” in the right direction. 

move the needle in the right direction infographic. Image of a guage that has a good (green) and bad (red) side. with the saying, "move the needle in the right direciton".

Every small step you take in the right direction, adds up to big moves! Let’s see what “steps in the right direction” we can take to avoid making your spongiotic dermatitis worse. 

Avoid High-Histamine Foods with Spongiotic Dermatitis

high histamine spongiotic dermatitis foods. Spongiotic Dermatitis Infographic of high-histamine foods. Spongiotic Dermatitis (SD) can cause an overactive immune system that is overwhelmed by high-histamine foods. Certain types of Fish, meats, fermented foods, vegetables, fruits, dairy, alcohol, chocolate, nuts, ketchup, and mayo

Foods that are high in histamine can cause your immune system to work on overdrive if you have spongiotic dermatitis. SD causes inflammation, and your immune system is trying to resolve the flare-up. When you add high-histamine foods into the body, now your immune system has to focus on both conditions.

Another example is if you have seasonal allergies and have hives (urticaria) on your skin from the pollen in the air,  then you eat foods high in histamine, then your body doesn’t know where to start, or is overworked. 

 According to a dermatology study by Ann Dermatol, the following foods are high in histamine. 


Fish is considered a really healthy protein that is filled with many nutrients. But depending on the species of fish or shellfish, you may be consuming excessive histamine as well. Here are the types of fish and shellfish that are considered to have high histamine levels. 

List of High-Histamine Fish and Shellfish

high-histamine fish and shellfish infographic. Certain fish species contain higher levels of histamine than others. Regardless of cooking methods, these fish are considered to have the highest histamine levels. Anchovy, hairtail, mackerel, pacific saury (mackerel pike), shrimp, squid, and tuna
  • Anchovy
  • Hairtail
  • Mackerel
  • Pacific saury (mackerel pike)
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Tuna


Animal meats do come with some great health benefits when consumed in moderation. They may be a food you want to avoid when limiting your histamine intake. The following meats have been identified as a high-histamine food. 

List of High-Histamine Meats 

  • Beef (grilled, boiled, raw) 
  • Chicken
  • Ham 
  • Pork
  • Sausage

Fermented Foods 

People either hate or love foods that are fermented. According to the Heart Foundation, yeast and bacteria break down sugar and turn it into an acid, gas, or alcohol. The fermentation process leaves you with histamine-rich foods, which is not a good choice for a histamine-free diet. 

List of Fermented High-Histamine Foods

  • Fermented Cabbage
  • Fermented Radish
  • Red pepper paste
  • Soybean paste


Vegetables have got to be safe when it comes to histamines, right? No. Although most veggies are good to go (low-histamine), there is a handful that do contain more histamine than others. 

List of High-Histamine Vegetables 

high-histamine vegetable infographic. Vegetables are a quick healthy snack, but there are certain vegetables you may want to avoid in a low-histamine diet. Avoid: Cabbage, carrot, onion, radish, and spinach.
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Spinach


Fruits are nutritious, give you a nice sugar boost, and are fun to eat. But, watch out for these fruits if you are looking to limit your histamine intake for spongiotic dermatitis. 

List of High-Histamine Fruits 

high-histamine fruits infographic. Fruits are packed with healthy hydration and nutrition. But, anyone looking to limit their histamine consumption will want to avoid these high-histamine fruits. Lemons, oranges, strawberries, tangerines, and tomatoes.
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Tomatoes


Dairy products may be a food you want to avoid when you have SD. Most milk-containing (and egg) consumables have high histamine numbers. 

List of High-Histamine Dairy Products  

  • Cheese
  • Eggs (boiled or raw) 
  • Milk
  • Yogurt


It is not just food items you have to worry about having high-histamine levels, drinks can top the histamine charts too. Here are some drinks you should avoid if you have spongiotic dermatitis and/or looking to lower the overall histamine in your body. 

List of Drinks with High-Histamine Levels 

  • Alcohol
  • Beer
  • Green tea
  • Wine


A few snacks are considered a “no-no” when cutting out foods that have elevated histamine levels. Here are the biggest culprits. 

List of High-Histamine Snacks 

  • Chocolate
  • Laver, toasted or raw
  • Nuts


There may be histamines hiding in your condiments! Luckily this list is pretty sort. 

List of High-Histamine Condiments 

  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise

In addition to these high-histamine foods, it is recommended to avoid fast foods due to additives and unknown histamine levels. 

Avoid foods that you are allergic to

The most common food allergies are the “Big 8” (Soon to be “Big 9”). If you are allergic to these foods, try cutting them out of your diet for a few weeks and see if your condition improves. 

If you are unsure if you have food allergies, speak with your doctor about food allergy testing. 

Did you know? About 90% of all the food allergies in the world can be categorized into the “Big 9” allergens. 

Big 9 Allergen List

big nine (9) allergen list infographic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies nine foods as major allergens. The newest addition to the lineup is sesame. Sesame was added under the "FASTER Act of 2021". The Big 9: Eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soybeans, tree nuts, wheat, and sesame.

Here are the Big 9 allergen foods that may be causing spongiotic dermatitis. The FDA.gov explains the breakdown of each food listed below.  

  1. Eggs – include geese, ducks, and quail. 
  2. Fish
  3. Milk – includes goats, sheep, deer, and buffalo
  4. Peanuts
  5. Shellfish
  6. Soybeans
  7. Tree nuts
  8. Wheat 
  9. Sesame 

Consider a Food Elimination Diet 

An elimination diet is when you remove a specific food item from your diet for 2 to 4 weeks and then reintroduce them back into your diet to try and find what you might have an allergy or intolerance to. The University of Wisconsin, explains this process in great detail, and also lists the main steps to conducting an elimination diet.

You can grab their PDF file here: UW Integrative Health “The Elimination Diet”

Of course, Talk with your doctor about starting a food elimination diet! But, something you are eating may be causing your spongiotic dermatitis.

Spongiotic Dermatitis Specific Diet 

There is no perfect diet when it comes to spongiotic dermatitis (SD), you will need to find out if you have any food allergies or sensitivities and create a diet around that (with the help of your doctor). 

Changing your diet may help with alleviating SD symptoms, and in some cases get rid of symptoms completely. Avoiding foods you are allergic to, as well as high-histamine foods, is a really solid start to improving your spongiotic dermatitis.

Choosing foods that are considered low-histamine may help improve your health and symptoms. Here are some scientifically tested low histamine foods that may improve your condition.  

Low Histamine Foods for a Spongiotic Dermatitis Diet 

Spongiotic Dermatitis Infographic of high-histamine foods. Spongiotic Dermatitis (SD) can cause an overactive immune system that is overwhelmed by high-histamine foods. Certain types of Fish, meats, fermented foods, vegetables, fruits, dairy, alcohol, chocolate, nuts, ketchup, and mayo
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Olives
  • Soybeans

Unfortunately, there is much debate on which foods to avoid for a low histamine diet. Find what foods make YOU feel better, or that improve your symptoms. 


These are the frequently asked questions I have run across for spongiotic dermatitis. 

What triggers spongiotic dermatitis (SD)? 

SD can be triggered by certain foods, allergies, other health conditions, and even drug reactions.

What foods make spongiotic dermatitis worse? 

Foods that are high in histamine or that you have an allergy or sensitivity to are found to make spongiotic dermatitis worse. Avoid foods you are allergic to, and discuss a low-histamine diet with your doctor.  

Does spongiotic dermatitis ever go away? 

Maybe. There are many probable causes of SD like food, allergies, and medications. So, technically if you avoid what is causing your symptoms, your symptoms should go away. 

Is spongiotic dermatitis curable?

There is no cure for the actual inflammation of the skin (natural response), but avoiding your triggers will prevent SD from coming back. 

Final Thoughts 

That wraps up the foods you should avoid if you suffer from spongiotic dermatitis.

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out my Spongiotic Dermatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments guide. There are way more juicy facts about SD that aren’t covered in this article.

If you have SD, you know the importance of moisturizers and protecting the skin. I have done my research to find the best SD moisturizers available! Check out: 10 Best Spongiotic Dermatitis Moisturizers

Do you suffer from SD, and have found something that is a “must have” or “must do” for other readers? Hit me up via email. chris@allergypreventions.com

By Chris

Chris is the creator of Allergy Preventions. As an allergy sufferer himself, his vision is to help others find relief from allergies. By combining his 14 years of Public Health experience, personal experience, and his thirst for knowledge, he is dedicated to providing quality recommendations to assist families with allergy symptom relief.