Although acne is not a serious medical condition, it is annoying can be embarrassing. There are many different causes of acne and just as many treatments. Each acne case must be treated individually. Many authorities recommend vitamins for acne relief; however, the connections between vitamin B12 and acne are uncertain. Some authorities claim vitamin B12 to be a cure; others find that high doses can produce acne.
Primary Cause of Acne
The primary cause of acne is excessive production of sebum, a greasy secretion of the skin’s sebaceous glands. This oil clogs the pores, trapping dirt and sebum inside. A whitehead develops when these combine with bacteria and remain under the skin surface. Blackheads form when skin pigments and sebum combine and stop up the pores. Bacteria growth produces inflammation in both cases.
Role of Vitamins
Vitamins are essential to our bodily functions. Vitamin B12 is very important because it changes food into energy in the digestive system and helps in the production of red blood cells and nerve cells. It also improves blood circulation, regenerating skin cells and keeping the skin healthy, clear, and free of acne. Vitamin B12 also cleanses the body, regulating acidity of the blood and removing poisons such as secondhand cigarette smoke and cyanides that occur in various foods. This detoxification also improves overall skin health.
Vitamin B12 is naturally available in many foods, such as fresh meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Vegetarians have a high risk of vitamin B12 deficiencies and generally need to take supplements to meet their daily requirements.
Vitamins for acne relief, including vitamin B12, are available as supplements, skin care products and topical treatments. The entire vitamin B complex is beneficial, strengthening the immune system and freeing the body from bacteria and infections. It relieves stress, one of the most important causes of acne, and is an antioxidant that prevents damage to the body tissues and cells.
Pernicions Anemia and Injections
Some people receive injections of Vitamin B12 for pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 aids in the absorption of iron and helps folic acid to regulate red blood cells. It is also needed to create DNA, the genetic material found in all cells. Many of these patients develop distinctive acne that forms extensive areas of identical pimples breaking out all over the face; sometimes this includes the upper body. Because of the identical pimples, this acne is easy to recognize. It generally occurs after the first or second injection and disappears 8 to 14 days after the last injection. Since pernicious anemia is much more serious than acne, these patients must continue their vitamin B12 injections as prescribed.
The relationship between vitamin B12 and acne is not completely understood at this point, but we do know that B12 can help in most cases and is the culprit in a few others. One study indicates that a heavy secretion of vitamin B12 may irritate the skin and cause acne. This would be likely in the case of periodic injections for anemia. As a rule, the amount of vitamin B12 found in a vitamin supplement, cream or lotion is nontoxic and safe when taken as directed, even for individuals who have acne. Adverse effects are very rare.