Nutritional Fixes for Common Skin Problems

Posted on May 25, 2016 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

The common belief is that acne just goes away once you are no longer a teenager anymore, but the truth is skin can be temperamental—problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis are common among many people of all ages. Each of these common skin problems can be aggravated by the foods we eat, for instance, everyone knows that if you eat a lot of greasy fast food you will probably not only feel sick, but also develop a lot of acne.

While food can cause your skin to revolt against you, it can also be used as a means of fighting skin blemishes if you know what to avoid and what to eat. Here is some nutritional information on how you can fight each of these skin blemishes:


Who doesn’t love acne? It always manages to flare up at the worst times and embarrasses you. While prominent in the teen years, acne can remain an issue throughout your entire life. The food you are eating on a daily basis can have a massive impact on the prominence of your acne problems. Acne occurs when your sebaceous glands in your skin become infected and inflamed. It is a smart idea to cut down on food high in saturated and hydrogenated fats as well as junk food. Sweets that are high in sugar content like cupcakes and cookies can also cause flare ups. Try to include food that is selenium-rich like Brazil nuts, cashews, tuna and whole-wheat bread.


Psoriasis can be really difficult to deal with and it can be embarrassing. With psoriasis you get red skin patches that develop what looks to be silver colored scales—this is caused by the rapid growth and proliferation of cells in the outer most layers of your skin. These red patches can become quite itchy and sore and in a lot of cases crack and bleed. Every case of psoriasis can be a little different, for some stress is the cause of outbreaks, but for a lot of people their diet is a direct contributor to the outbreaks. Avoid eating foods with a lot of saturated fats as these have been known to aggravate psoriasis. Essential fatty acids should be included in your diet however, fish oil and seed soils are a great source of essential fatty acids. Consider utilizing a lot of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices as well, such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, rosemary and garlic.


Eczema is an irritating skin condition that starts off as patches of red not too dissimilar from psoriasis. The different between eczema and psoriasis is you don’t get the silver colored scales. Eczema can develop anywhere on your skin and there are plenty of triggers, but sensitivity to foods is one of the most common triggers. Foods to avoid eating a lot of if you want to not aggravate your eczema are nuts, food additives, milk, eggs and fish. Vitamin E has been known to help reduce your symptoms of eczema and reduce redness, other important nutrients are zin and Omega-3 fatty acids.