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Teens and Vitamins: Fight the Acne Battle

Acne treatments don't have to be prescription drugs. See what vitamins help teens fight acne naturally.

Zits are a common occurrence for adolescents everywhere. In fact, 85 percent[1] of teens deal with acne. But just because almost everyone has at least one pimple on their face, doesn’t mean you have to deal with the embarrassment of it. There is hope, even if you’ve tried everything.

Getting to the Last Resort with Acne Treatment
You're probably like most teens who've rushed off to the store to buy every product on the shelf that promises to banish acne forever, when you first started developing pimples. The letdown happened when you brought it home and it didn’t work as well as it said it would on the box.

The next step you might have made was going in to see your doctor. This is when the prescription drug round started. You may have tried one drug, then another one and then another one. One may have worked better than another but not quite good enough. After a while, with a red irritated face, you may have thought, “Forget it, I’ll just deal with it.”

Research on Vitamins for Acne
The good news is that you don’t have to deal with it – you still have hope in fighting your skin problems – vitamins! Yes, it may sound like it will never work, but consider these findings:

  • The Australia’s RMIT University and Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Dermatology conducted a study that found a direct link between diet and acne development.
  • A study by Dr. Lit-Hung Leung published in 1995 found that high doses of vitamin B5 decreased pore size and solved acne problems.
  • Zinc has been effective in the treatment of acne and recognized by The National Library of Science.
  • The Department of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York finds that vitamin A, tea tree oil and zinc are effective acne treatments.
  • The Lasky Skin Clinic in 2008 found that Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-acne properties.

The Vitamins for Teens with Acne
Vitamin B
As you read above, Dr. Lit-Hung Leung stumbled upon the finding of how vitamin B5 works in attacking acne and many sufferers have found it to be effective. Vitamin B5 helps create coenzyme-A, which helps metabolize fat in the body. Since a buildup of fat in the body from eating a fatty diet is one of the causes of acne, this helps slow down outbreaks.

According to The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institute of Health[2], vitamin B6 can also help settle down some of the inflammation you may experience with your acne. If you face is inflamed, it may be because you are deficient in this vitamin.

Vitamin A 
Vitamin A is one of the most popular vitamins for acne. It’s also known as retinol and is an antioxidant, which has great effects on the skin. It protects skin cells from damage and can even slow down the aging process (once you’re down worrying about the acne!).

Skin that's rough and dry looking is usually showing signs of vitamin A deficiency. Take vitamin A supplements with vitamin E because the fat from the E vitamin helps the body better digest the nutrients of the A vitamin.

Vitamin E
This antioxidant fights acne, but it also promotes healing. Scars from past blemishes can slowly disappear by rubbing the liquid of an opened vitamin E softgel on the skin. Of course, liquid vitamin E is also available, which can save you the messy process of opening softgels. Different strengths and dosages exist too, so a little trial and error may be necessary.

Like vitamin E, either you can ingest this or you can break open the pill and use it as a mask on the skin. Niacin helps open blood vessels to improve circulation, which helps the skin breathe, preventing toxins from building up under the skin causing acne outbreaks.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C isn’t just good for improving your immune system to ward off colds, it can also attack acne. Collagen is an important skin protein and supports body tissue. Vitamin C helps the production of collagen and detoxifies the body to eliminate toxic substances, which could lead to build up and acne development.

Hormones…teens have them and they can be a major cause of acne. Zinc plays an important role in regulating hormones and can work wonders on hormonal-based acne.

Fish Oil
Fish oil is also an anti-inflammatory and can help simmer down those pimples that seem to have flashing, bright red light bulbs on top of them.

This isn’t a vitamin but chromium is a helpful mineral. It helps with regulating blood sugar. Some acne sufferers seem to have flare ups when they experience blood sugar level fluctuations and this may help counteract this effect.

Talk to Your Doctor
Before you jump into vitamin treatment of your acne, give your doctor a quick call. In most cases, it’ll be okay to supplement your diet with these vitamins, but you need to make sure. Sometimes, taking too much of a vitamin can make you sick, especially if you are taking other supplements or prescription drugs. It’s best to check with the medical experts whenever you start a new treatment for any medical problem.

  1. [1] - Don’t let acne ruin those important teenage years, UC Davis Health System, UCDMD.UCDavis.edu
  2. [2] - Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Blemish-Free Skin, Holistic Healing, About.com
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