Can skin problems be linked to a vitamin deficiency?

Man with rash scratches arm

Can skin problems be linked to a vitamin deficiency?

From pimples to dry patches, we can face skin issues throughout our lives – and these can be uncomfortable and even painful. There are many reasons why skin problems might arise, from genetic conditions to the lifestyle choices we make.

However, we might not always consider how vitamin deficiencies can be linked to our skin’s health – for example how a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause rashes, or how antioxidant vitamin E is essential for fighting skin-damaging free radicals. Read on to discover which vitamin deficiencies are linked to which skin conditions, and how to get them in your diet.

Which skin conditions are linked to vitamin B deficiency?

The eight B-complex vitamins are essential for helping our bodies to function healthily, and that covers healthy skin. A vitamin B deficiency is associated with acne, rashes, dry skin and cracked lips, and can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and cosmetics.

In particular, many people do not have enough vitamin B12 in their diet, which is mainly found in animal-based foods like meat, fish and eggs. There is no vegan source of B12, unless it’s contained in a fortified food such as cereal or plant milk, or taken in the form of a supplement. Try Nature’s Truth B12 with Folic Acid – as this formula provides you with a high-strength dose of vitamin B12.

Also read: The best supplements for vegans

Does vitamin D deficiency cause psoriasis?

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with skin health conditions including psoriasis, a chronic skin disease that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin. There are many different ways to treat psoriasis, and what works can vary for different individuals. For the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis, vitamin D creams are one of the options that might be prescribed, along with or instead of steroid creams.

It’s definitely not the case that everyone with this autoimmune skin condition will be lacking enough vitamin D in their diet though, as the condition has many causes.

You’ll find vitamin D as an ingredient in many supplements that are targeted at helping you maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.

If you’re concerned about the health of your skin due to conditions such as acne or psoriasis, always talk to your GP.

Also read: Why vitamin D is important all year round

How does vitamin A deficiency affect skin health?

senior couple apply face cream in mirror

A lack of sufficient vitamin A is associated with wrinkles and fine lines, because vitamin A helps to promote the production of collagen and elastin. This is why you’ll often see vitamin A, in the form of the derivative retinol, as a common ingredient in many topical skin creams due to its anti-ageing effects. But in more extreme cases, low levels can be linked to dry and scaly skin, too.

If you are deficient in this essential vitamin, you may also be more sensitive to skin damage caused by sunlight. It’s also associated with the prevention and treatment of some types of acne and acne scarring.

It should be possible to get all the vitamin A that you need from a healthy and balanced diet, and it is important not to have more vitamin A than you need, especially if you are pregnant.

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting adequate levels of vitamin A, you might want to consider a supplement, such as Nature’s Truth Vitamin A 10,000 IU Softgels.

Also read: The best supplements for optimal eye health

What role does vitamin E play in skin health?

open palm holding mixed nuts

We know that vitamin E helps to keep skin healthy in a variety of ways. Perhaps most importantly, vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it helps combat the skin-damaging free radicals that are produced by everything from the metabolism of food in our body to toxins in the environment around us.

The effects of free radicals include breaking down collagen in the skin, the structural protein that keeps our skin firm and plump, and helps stop wrinkles and fine lines from forming.

The vitamin E levels in our bodies tend to decrease with age, probably because our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients as we get older. Vitamin E content in our skin can also be lowered by exposure to the sun or UV light.

It should be possible to get the vitamin E your body needs from a balanced diet. Some of the forms of vitamin E that are applied to the skin topically, such as in a serum, might be different from those you get from food.

If you’re concerned that you need more vitamin E than you are getting from your diet, you might want to consider a supplement, such as Nature’s Truth Vitamin E. You’ll also find vitamin E as an ingredient in many supplements for maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails.

Also read: Essential oils to add to your beauty routine

Why is vitamin C good for the skin?

Vitamin C plays many roles in maintaining healthy, happy skin, including the formation of the skin barrier and the production of collagen.

It’s thought that vitamin C deficiency plays a part in some skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. But vitamin C deficiency is, in fact, rare in the developed world, where most people are able to obtain enough from their diets. Good sources of vitamin C include fruits such as strawberries and citrus fruits, and vegetables including peppers and potatoes.

You’ll also find that vitamin C is present in many multivitamin supplements.

Speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement regime.

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Nature's Truth

Nature's Truth

Writer and expert