Nutrition and Your Skin Health

It’s easy to see how a poor diet can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but most people never make the connection between nutrition and skin health. The truth is that a poor diet can alter the structure of your skin and compromise its ability to protect you and heal itself.

Since March is National Nutrition Month®, our team of experienced providers at Easton Dermatology Associates have compiled some dietary guidelines to help you add more skin-friendly foods into your daily meals.

Nutrients the skin needs

To face daily challenges such as sun damage, dryness, wrinkles, aging/thinning, and injuries, your skin needs to be in top shape. And just like the rest of your body, that requires proper nutrition. 

Although a balanced diet is best for your overall health, each body part has specific requirements, including your skin. To maintain healthy skin, you need a wide variety of nutrients, including glucose, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. We’ve outlined some of the necessary nutrients and where to get them.

Skin Vitamins

Your skin craves vitamins, and each one supplies essential nutrients to help you skin perform its job day in and day out.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A comes in two types: retinoids, which promote new skin cells, and carotenoids, which prevent cell damage (premature aging). Include these vitamin A packed foods in your daily diet:

Or you can also take vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights aging and boosts the production of collagen, which is essential for your skin’s structure and resilience. You can find Vitamin C in:

Or you can also take vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin D

Your body relies on your skin and your diet for an adequate supply of vitamin D, which regulates calcium absorption and fuels your immune system. Your skin produces vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight. In addition, you can also get this nutrient from:

When levels of vitamin D become depleted in your body, you lose energy and put yourself at risk to infections and illness. You can also take vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin E

Your skin needs vitamin E to counteract UV damage and keep it soft and supple. It can even be used as a treatment for psoriasis and acne. You can find vitamin E in:

Vitamin E is beneficial in topical form as well. 

Skin minerals

About 6% of all the zinc in your body resides in your skin, and if you’re deficient, it shows. Zinc clears bacteria and excess oil from your skin, so getting enough zinc can ward off acne. It’s also an anti-inflammatory. Another important mineral, selenium fights skin infections, reduces inflammation, and protects cells from free radicals. To ensure you get enough of these minerals, eat the following:

Topically, selenium can calm red, sensitive skin and treat dandruff.

Fatty acids for skin health

Omega-3 fatty acids help you maintain thick, moisturized skin. A lack of these fatty acids can lead to thin, dry skin. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in: salmon, seabass, trout, shrimp, sardines, and oysters. 

You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from a vegetarian diet that includes walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, edamame, kidney beans, and soybean oil.

You might also consider taking a multivitamin that contains each of these vitamins and minerals in the amounts recommended for your daily allowance.

How do I know if I’m starving my skin?

Rashes and other skin conditions occur for a variety of reasons. The best way to know for sure what you’re dealing with is to visit our Easton or Salisbury, Maryland locations, so we can perform a thorough skin exam. Your skin will tell us if your symptoms are due to allergic reactions, nutritional deficiency, or a medical issue. 

If you suspect your diet is affecting your skin, call us today or visit us online at www.eastondermatology.com to make an appointment. 

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