Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Vitamins for Hormonal Acne

Vitamins for Hormonal Acne Vitamins for Hormonal Acne Vitamins for Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne, a skin condition mainly affecting women, occurs when testosterone stimulates an overproduction of oil from the sebaceous glands, causing pores to plug and bacteria to grow. White blood cells rush to the site to fight the infection, leading to red, pus-filled pimples. Induced by puberty, pregnancy and birth control pills, hormonal acne is highly treatable. While a dermatologist should evaluate your condition, vitamins can play an important part in your battle against hormonal acne.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, a generic label for a group of molecules called retinoids, may help reduce hormonal acne outbreaks. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a 1985 study found that subjects with acne had decreased levels of retinol compared to subjects without acne. Additionally, vitamin A contains beta-carotene, a compound that protects your complexion from acne-inducing bacteria. Carrots, yams, cantaloupe, apricots, kale and spinach all provide beta-carotene.

Dr. Earl Mindell, a Beverly Hills pharmacist and nutritionist, recommends in the book "Alternative Cures" a daily supplement dose of 15 mg with a warning that when taken in excess, vitamin A can be toxic.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E's antioxidant properties have the ability to neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cell membranes. According to the Acne Resource Center, "Vitamin E regulates the retinol level in humans. Retinol, commonly known as vitamin A, is essential for healthy skin, mucous membranes and proper vision. Decreases in retinol levels cause the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in the cell, which causes toxic effects in the cell. Vitamin E curbs this oxidation process and restores normal levels of retinal. The acne in both men and women improve with vitamin E treatment."

Take 400 international units of the supplemental dry form daily. Food sources include soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and spinach. People who take blood thinners should not take vitamin E supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, another potent antioxidant, helps the immune system fight infections. It also yields valuable benefits in supporting tissue growth and repair and in drawing out impurities from the skin.

According to Dr. Richard Fried, dermatologist and author of the book "Healing Adult Acne," vitamin C, taken in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle including a well-balanced diet, lots of water, exercise and topical retinoids, can yield significant benefits in reducing hormonal acne. Food sources include pineapple, broccoli, peppers, strawberries and oranges. Alternatively, you can take 1,000 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C supplements daily. Fried cautions users to forgo the vitamin when taking birth control pills.

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