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Supplements for Cystic Acne

Supplements for Cystic Acne Supplements for Cystic Acne


Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the skin, and cystic acne is the most severe and painful form, characterized by deep and inflamed breakouts that feel like soft fluid-filled lumps beneath the skin. A nutritious diet is important to the treatment of all types of acne and certain supplements can play a supporting role in treating and reducing cystic acne. Consult with your health care practitioner before taking any new supplement however, because some supplements can cause unwanted side effects or be toxic in high doses.

Vitamin A

According to Phyllis Balch in her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," vitamin A, and its derivative beta-carotene are two powerful antioxidants. They can strengthen the protective layer of the skin and prevent bacteria from entering and causing eruptions. The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, or CSNN and Balch say to take a vitamin A supplement that also contains beta-carotene, at a dose of 100,000 IU of vitamin A daily for 1 to 3 months. After which time, you should reduce your dose to 5,000 IU daily. CSNN warns, however that you should not take high doses of vitamin A if you are pregnant or if you have a known liver pathology.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E and selenium work synergistically, which means that taking them together can enhance the absorption and usefulness of both. They are considered to be two powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Vitamin E and selenium may therefore be especially beneficial to cystic acne sufferers, since cysts are characterized by extreme inflammation. Balch says that vitamin E enhances skin healing and repair while selenium encourages tissue elasticity. As such, Balch recommends taking a supplement that combines these two nutrients, or taking the two supplements at the same time. For therapeutic purposes, Balch says to take 500 IU daily of vitamin E and 200 mcg daily of selenium.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body and CSNN recommends taking a fish oil supplement that contains 1 to 2 g of the combined omega-3 essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Balch adds that the essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, can aid in skin healing, help to keep the skin soft and smooth, repair damaged skin tissue and to dissolve fatty deposits that block pores. Flaxseed oil and primrose oil are two good sources of GLA, and Balch recommends taking one of these supplements daily, as directed on the bottle.

Digestive Enzymes

Many people have problems properly digesting their food, and they therefore become deficient in nutrients despite a healthy diet, due to an inability to break down and absorb nutrients. If you eat a healthy diet, and still suffer from cystic acne, then CSNN recommends taking a plant based digestive enzyme supplement that also contains hydrochloric acid, or HCL, with meals to help you break-down and assimilate nutrients that are essential for healthy skin.

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