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The real vitamins your skin needs

Your skin is the outward manifestation of health. So when you have a skin condition, go deep, writes Shikha Sharma.

brunch Updated: Sep 10, 2016 22:10 IST
Deficiencies of essential vitamins lead to a host of skin diseases
Deficiencies of essential vitamins lead to a host of skin diseases(Getty Images)

Whatever your thoughts on creams that promote glowing skin, the truth is that the radiance of your skin depends on the balance of your diet. Here are some conditions to note.

Pale and dull skin

This is the result of low levels of oxygenation, or a deficiency of iron, or vitamins B12 or B6, or folic acid. Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, including eggs and dairy; vitamin B6 is in papaya, oranges and dark green leafy vegetables; and folic acid is found in dalia and brown rice, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Dermatitis

This is a catch-all word for a number of skin diseases that have symptoms like severe itching, skin crusts, swelling in reddish patches, and skin so dry that it comes off in flakes. There are many reasons for this including deficiencies of vitamin B3, zinc, and biotin.

Zinc can be found in wheatgerm, spinach, pumpkin and squash seeds, cashew nuts and cocoa. Biotin is in eggs, peanuts, nuts, whole grains, carrots and walnuts. Vitamin B3 is in peanuts, mushrooms, green peas and non-vegetarian foods.

Essential fatty acids are found in various nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews (Shutterstock)

Delayed healing of wounds

A deficiency of protein, zinc or vitamin C can lead to this condition. Protein is in sprouts, paneer, soya, nuts and non-vegetarian foods; the richest source of vitamin C is amla, as well as oranges and lemons.

General skin disorders

A deficiency of vitamins A, B and C can lead to the overproduction of keratin in the hair causing several hair conditions. A lack of vitamins B3 (niacin) and C causes small blood vessels near the surface of the skin to break, creating bruises. A lack of essential fatty acids also affects the skin. Find them in nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios, besides sunflower, sesame and flaxseeds.

Nail deformation and discolouration

Lack of vitamin B12 leads to nail discolouration, while a deficiency of biotin increases the risk of fungal nail infections which result in nail deformation. Changes in nail shape and surface can be due to deficiencies of iron, folic acid or protein.

From HT Brunch, September 11, 2016

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