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Food hacks to help improve your medical skin conditon

As dermatologists, we are the only true experts in all conditions affecting the skin. We offer various over the counter recommendations, as well as prescription creams, pills, injections, and treatments both medical & cosmetic (e.g. Botox, fillers, lasers, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, fat reduction etc).
At the same time, our patients often ask us which natural things (including food, vitamins, etc) they can try to improve their medical conditions. Based on reviewing the scientific medical literature, the following is presently known to be worth trying or not worth trying:


  • worse with high glycemic diets
  • may be worse with dairy intake (particularly skim milk) and with whey protein
  • may be better with: zinc, probiotics & omega-3 fatty acids

Aging skin:

  • worse skin in diabetics and those eating deep-fried foods
  • appears better with: diet high in potassium, vitamin A & C, vegetables & legumes, olive oil & tomato paste
  • antioxidants consumed via food appear to function in a different fashion from isolated supplements.

Atopic dermatitis / eczema:

  • synbiotics may help (probiotics + prebiotics)
  • poor data or doesn’t work: fish oil supplements, Chinese herbal medicine, evening primrose oil & borage seed oil, vitamin D

Pre-cancers (Actinic keratosis) & Skin cancers (BCC, SCC):

  • Niacinamide 500mg 2/day appears to help reduce these lesions (by 13-23%)


  • dietary changes leading to weight loss helps the condition and improves treatment efficacy
  • gastric bypass helpful in obese patients
  • smoking and alcohol worsen psoriasis
  • possible benefit of vitamin D & fish oils


  • flares with: alcohol, hot beverages, spices, hot sauce, tomatoes, cinnamon, citrus & chocolate
  • improves with high-fiber diet and possibly zinc


  • zinc may be helpful

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