It is well known that vitamin A affects growth, development and vision. It stimulates the immune system and, last but not least, it is essential for the optimal functioning of the skin and the regulation of sebum production. And since sebum is excess oil produced during an acne rash, there is good reason to think that vitamin A is useful in the treatment of acne.
In May 2006, interesting research was published in the Journal for Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. The researchers tested blood levels of vitamin A in 100 patients with acne and found that they were significantly lower than those of age-matched individuals living in good health.
They also found that "the administration of Vitamin A and E to patients with acne has been shown to improve their condition of acne".
Vitamin A comes in two forms: retinol and provitamin A, usually available as beta-carotene. In simple terms, retinol is found mainly in organ meat, liver and fish oil and beta-carotene in vegetables. Since the body can convert beta-carotene to retinol whenever it is needed, there is no particular reason to consume retinol because the plant form of vitamin A, beta-carotene, is sufficient.
Dermatologists began using very high doses of vitamin A in the 1930s to treat patients with a wide variety of skin problems. The normal intake of vitamin A is about 5,000 to 10,000 units, but dermatologists used doses of about 300,000 units in most conditions and more than a million of them. Units for others. Such high doses present a risk of toxicity. Under normal conditions, a patient who takes a normal dose of 5,000 units a day has no such risk.
In addition, vegetable sources of vitamin A are even safer. An important safety tip is about pregnancy. It is best to avoid retinol supplements during pregnancy because high doses can harm the fetus.
Is vitamin A a cure for acne? Evidence to date indicates that vitamin A is missing in the diet of patients with acne and that providing them with vitamin A is helpful. In some cases, acne scars are gone. What does not seem clear is the dosage and form of vitamin A needed to heal.
Until new research is published on these issues, patients with acne should make sure that their diet contains a wide variety of vegetables to give them a safe dose of provitamin A or a supplement giving them a safe amount of retinol. . If in doubt about the dosage, especially during pregnancy, a health care professional with experience and expertise in this area should be consulted.