Acne is one of the most common chronic skin disorders affecting millions of people around the world.
Acne breakouts often cause physical and psychological morbidity resulting in depression, anxiety, poor self-image and low self-confidence.
The good news, however, is that over time a lot of medications have been developed to prevent if not cure the problem of acne breakouts. This includes antibiotic, anti retinoid, Accutane, oral contraceptives and various other herbal and home remedies, minerals and vitamins.
This article will talk about one of the essentially required vitamins in our body, Vitamin D, and its effectiveness towards the problem of acne
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Table of Contents
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a group of vitamins or secosteroids. The most important Vitamin D component in the human body is Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2.
These two vitamins can be found in small amounts in food items like fatty fish and tuna among others.
These two vitamins are also otherwise known as cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol respectively.
Vitamin D essentially required by the body for the absorption of various minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc in the intestine.
Vitamin D is provided largely to the human body by synthesis of cholesterol when exposed to sunlight.
This vitamin is an essential requirement for the body and is known to be helpful towards healing various health conditions.
It is known as a good cure for rickets, osteoporosis, bone weakness and bone loss during hyperparathyroidism among various other conditions.
It is also further used at the time to prevent fracture in people with kidney failure. It is also used for various heart and blood pressure problems.
It also contributes towards boosting the immune system as a whole.
How does Vitamin D treat Acne?
In spite of a lack of strict evidence or research showing the link between skin health and Vitamin D, it is by and large considered very effective in treating skin infections and other conditions like acne breakouts.
Vitamin D tends to control insulin response in the body which prohibits the hormonal activity otherwise induced due to high levels of insulin.
This response of the hormone towards insulin stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum which results in the outbreak of acne.
Vitamin D is effective in the activation of macrophages, a kind of white blood cells which inhibits and digests dead cells and bacteria by moving along the walls of blood vessels.
This is effective in digesting all the acne causing bacteria as well as in inhibiting the dead skin cells, completely ridding the skin of their presence.
Furthermore, it tends to exhibit anti inflammatory properties and reduces the acne induced inflammation and the resultant redness and swelling.
It also tends to boost the immune system in general which is thereby strengthened to fight such conditions in a more strong way.
Some studies in controlled conditions have also shown Vitamin D to inhibit the growth of sebocytes. Sebocytes are those cells that are responsible for the growth of sebum.
In here, Vitamin D follows a direct approach to preventing acne breakouts. Some researchers further claim that Vitamin D contains antioxidant and non-comedogenic properties.
Diet inclusion of Vitamin D
The intake of Vitamin D in our body can be increased by adding the following food items to our meals:
- Cod liver oil is considered to be one of the greatest food sources of Vitamin D as well as vitamin a.
- Fish, specifically raw fish and those canned in oil are a good source of Vitamin D.
- Fortified cereals and fortified soy milk in high in Vitamin D content.
- Oysters, in addition to being high in Vitamin D content, also contains zinc, iron and copper.
- Black and red caviar.
- Eggs are a good source of Vitamin D , vitamin b12 and protein.
Vitamin D also known as sunshine vitamins are beneficial to the health in various ways. Some of these benefits have been enumerated below:
- It is known to provide protection against cancer.
- Vitamin D boosts the immune system in general providing a shield against infections.
- It relieves muscle spasm.
- It is known to have improve mood and depression.
In spite of the various health benefits that Vitamin D provides, its high doses can lead to various side effects. Some of these effects, though not severe, are enumerated below:
- High doses can lead to weakness and fatigue.
- It can further cause sleepiness and headache.
- Loss of appetite and vomiting.
- Dry mouth and metallic taste.
- Nausea and vomiting among others.
- It can increase the level of calcium in your blood excessively.
In order to maintain and ensure the effectiveness of Vitamin D in the treatment of acne and otherwise too, the following precautions must be maintained:
- During pregnancy and while breast feeding, not more than 4000 units should be consumed or else it may harm the infant.
- People with kidney diseases must be careful in its consumption and must not take higher doses in any case. For them, high dose would increase the risk of hardening of the arteries or renal osteodystrophy. This is a result of the high calcium level in blood induced by the in take of high doses of Vitamin D.
- Atherosclerosis worsens because of this condition.
- In people with sarciodosis, Vitamin D can increase calcium level in the blood which can further lead to kidney stones.
- People with histoplasmosis suffer the same problem.
- In people with hyperparathyroidism, the calcium level might increase uncontrollably because of high doses of Vitamin D.
- People suffering from lymphoma can witness a similar rise in Vitamin D levels which can cause kidney stones.
Vitamin D can interact with the following medicines/drugs and one must be cautious while using them together:
- Vitamin D increases aluminum absorption in the body. This can cause problems to people with kidney issues. It is therefore advised that antacid be taken only 2 to 4 hours before or after Vitamin D.
- Calcipotriene, a drug similar to Vitamin D might increase the risk of side effects when taken together with Vitamin D.
- It can interact with digoxin to cause highly irregular heartbeat and therefore you must consult a doctor before taking Vitamin D supplements.
- Taking Vitamin D along with dilitiazem can decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem and verapamil.
- Water pills can increase the calcium level in your blood and so does Vitamin D. It should therefore not be taken together else the effectiveness can be intensified which can further lead to kidney problems.
Customer review of Vitamin D for Acne
We did an analysis of online consumers to determine the effectiveness Vitamin D in treating acne breakouts based on how the experience of people who have used it been.
Here is a summary of what they liked and disliked about the vitamin:
What they liked about it
Cystic acne: Vitamin D was said to have cured cystic acne in a lot of consumers. Since its effectiveness depends on a lot of vitamin induced action along with boasting of the immunity system, its treatment is limited not only to the surface of the skin but goes on to heal even the most deep acne problems.
What they did not like about it
In our analysis of the survey, no consumer specially mentioned or expressed any dislike or issue with the use of Vitamin D. Therefore there has been included no point under this segment.
Vitamin D fights acne at various levels. It hampers the production of sebum, interferes with the hormone imbalance and boasts the immunity system overall to put forward a stronger fight against the bacteria.
Using this method does not essentially require taking in pills but can simply be used by adding Vitamin D rich food sources to your daily diet. It will also contribute towards your general bodily health by means of strengthening your immune system.
If you are tired of using anti biotic and other such medications and handling their subsequent side effects, this might just be the solution you have been looking for. Its side effects are negligible and it is definitely worth a try.