Cystic Acne, Vitamin Deficiency the Cause?

All acne starts with oil, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells in the pores.  Cystic acne is a more severe form of acne, where the person has large deep lesions, namely nodules (hard and closed), and cysts (inflamed and more raised).  Other smaller lesions are usually also present. For several decades, health professionals have known that there is a link between vitamin deficiency and acne, including cystic acne.  In the 1930’s a dermatologist, Aierlin T. R. Maynard MD, treated some of his acne patients with U.V. light therapy with reported success.  He theorized that the U.V. light treatments worked because they stimulated the production of vitamin D in his patients, who apparently had deficiency.  His treatments were so successful that he started using it on all his patients and rarely used any other forms of acne therapy.

Hormones and Acne

Scientists recognize that hormonal fluctuations play a role in acne.  Hormonally related acne affects both genders at various stages of life.  Teenage boys and young men have some of the most severe forms of cystic acne (like acne conglobata).  In the female, breakouts of acne may happen with puberty, the menstrual cycle, pre-menopause, and menopause.  In both genders, androgens play a role. 

Vitamins, Hormones and Acne

Hormones need vitamins for their formation.  The body needs Vitamin B5 to form enzyme A, which in turn it uses for the synthesis of androgens like testosterone.  Other vitamins like B12 and C have a more indirect role in hormonal synthesis. Hormonal fluctuations tend to cause over secretion of the sebaceous glands (oil glands in the skin), due to the bodies reaction to a depletion or deficiency of vitamins.  Vitamin deficiency also causes a lower immunity to bacterial infections.  The over production of oil, coupled with the lower immunity sets the stage for acne outbreaks, including cystic acne.

Multivitamins and Curing Acne

Vitamins tend to work together in a synergistic way rather than an isolated one, to carry out body functions.  If a person has a vitamin deficiency that results in cystic acne, it is often hard to determine which vitamin they are lacking.  In such cases it is advisable for a person to take a multivitamin.  The caution here is to avoid taking one with iodine, as this mineral can make acne worse. 

Using Specific Vitamins to Cure Acne

Some professionals say that Vitamins A and D taken together can help with cystic acne.  Vitamin A strengthens the protective epithelial layer of the skin.  Vitamin D3 helps with healing and tissue repair.  The two types of vitamins also have synergistic effects on the skin.  Vitamin B is important for skin health and tone, and a deficiency is associated with acne.  Vitamin B supplements help with acne; Vitamin B6 is particularly effective with acne associated with the menstrual cycle.  Vitamin C helps with acne, because of its involvement with supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and repairing collagen in the skin.  Vitamin E is also used to treat cystic acne, due to its role in tissue healing and repair.

Vitamin Deficiency and Cystic Acne

All acne is caused from a mixture of oil, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells.  Cystic acne is a more severe form of acne, where the affected person has large deep lesions, namely nodules (hard and closed) and cysts (inflamed and more raised).  Other smaller lesions (“pimples”) are usually also present. For several decades, health professionals have known that there is a link between vitamin deficiency and acne, including cystic acne.  In the 1930’s a dermatologist, Aierlin T. R. Maynard MD, treated some of his acne patients with U.V. light therapy with reported success.  He theorized that the U.V. light treatments worked because they stimulated production of vitamin D in his patients, who apparently has deficiency.  His treatments were so successful that he started using it on all his patients and rarely used any other forms of acne therapy.

Hormones and Acne

Scientists recognize that hormonal fluctuations play a role in the presence of acne.  This is seen in the occurrence of acne in both genders at various stages of life.  Some of the most severe forms of cystic acne (like acne conglobata) are seen in teenage boys and young men.  In females breakouts of acne are associated with puberty, the menstrual cycle, pre-menopause, and menopause.  In both genders androgens play a role. 

Vitamins, Hormones and Acne

Hormones need vitamins for their formation.  Vitamin B5 is needed to form enzyme A, which in turn is needed for the synthesis of androgens like testosterone.  Other vitamins like B12 and C have a more indirect role in hormonal synthesis. Hormonal fluctuations tend to cause over secretion of the sebaceous glands (oil glands in the skin), due to the bodies reaction to a depletion or deficiency of vitamins.  Vitamin deficiency also causes a lower immunity to bacterial infections.  The over production of oil, coupled with the lower immunity sets the stage for acne outbreaks, including cystic acne.

Multivitamins and Curing Acne

Vitamins tend to work together in a synergistic manner rather than an isolated one, to carry out body functions.  If a person has a vitamin deficiency that results in the presence of cystic acne, I may be hard to determine which vitamin they are lacking.  In such cases it may be advisable for a person to take a multivitamin.  The caution here is to avoid taking one with iodine, as this mineral can make acne worse. 

Using Specific Vitamins to Cure Acne

Some professionals say that Vitamins A and D taken together can help with cystic acne.  Vitamin A strengthens the protective epithelial layer of the skin.  Vitamin D3 helps with healing and tissue repair.  The two types of vitamins also have synergistic effects on the skin.  Vitamin B is important for skin health and tone, and a deficiency is associated with acne.  Vitamin B supplements help with acne; Vitamin B6 is particularly effective with acne associated with the menstrual cycle.  Vitamin C helps with acne, because it is involved in supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and repairing collagen in the skin.  Vitamin E is also used to treat cystic acne, due to its role in tissue healing and repair.

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