General Guidelines for Healthy Skin

What to Tell Your Patients Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen. Drink plenty of filtered or spring water. Exercise regularly. Eliminate tobacco and alcohol. Avoid fried foods and hydrogenated fats. Consume a healthy diet.

Take B vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E.

Include essential fatty acids in diet and supplement regime.

Support healthy gastrointestinal, liver, and kidney function via diet, nutrients, and herbs.

Consume foods and supplements that contain probiotics (acidophilus, bifidobacterium).

sebum, which also may block pores. This causes the formation of a comedone or a pustule. Bacteria can overgrow and release enzymes to break down sebum, resulting in inflammation. If this process occurs at the skin's surface, redness and pustules are created. Inflammation deeper in the skin can create nodules or cysts, causing greater damage to the skin and possible scarring.

Women who are or who may become pregnant must avoid therapeutic doses of vitamin A because of its teratogenicity.

Acne presents a clinical challenge to the practitioner and to the patient. Several nutrients and herbs may be helpful for managing acne. Zinc supplements may help to reduce the severity of acne and assist in skin healing. A dose of 30 mg, two to three times per day, is recommended.32 Several months of zinc therapy may be required before improvement is noted. Long-term zinc therapy, in doses over 15 mg per day for more than three months, may lead to copper deficiency; thus, supplementation may become necessary and warrants close monitoring.

Large doses of vitamin A—such as 50,000 international units (IU) per day—have been used successfully for treating severe acne.33 Although this dose can be used safely in healthy individuals for a treatment period of a few months, it is important to monitor patients for signs and symptoms of vitamin A toxicity. Running routine liver enzyme tests and determining serum vitamin A levels are recommended. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include headaches, fatigue, and muscle andjoint pain. Women who are or who may become pregnant must avoid therapeutic doses of vitamin A because of its teratogenicity. It is advisable for young women who may become pregnant to avoid all vitamin A supplementation, with the exception of the amount in a prescribed prenatal vitamin. A prenatal supplement should not contain more than

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