The skin is the largest organ of the body. It forms a protective barrier to bacterial attack, mechanical injury and toxic substances. When the skin is injured, the natural wound healing process of the body is instantly activated to repair the skin.
Haemostatis is the first stage of skin healing, which helps in blood coagulation at the site of the injury to stop bleeding. After the bleeding is brought under control, white blood cells arrive at the wound site to kill microorganisms that may have invaded the wound. The skin then starts repairing itself. The wound is covered by new skin tissues generated by the stem cells in the dermis.
Slow wound healing is frequently associated with deficiency of vitamins that support the healing process. To facilitate speedy recovery of the injured skin, consume sufficient amount of foods rich in vitamins that help to repair the skin.
4 Vitamins For Skin Healing
The skin contains large amounts of vitamin C. The epidermis contains higher levels of vitamin C than the dermis. Vitamin C plays an important role in the skin healing process. By activating the dormant fibroblasts in the skin, it stimulates growth of new skin tissues. Moreover, vitamin C also helps to repair the DNA of the cells damaged following a severe injury to the skin.
By negating activities of the free radicals, the antioxidant vitamin speeds up the healing process. According to researches, vitamin C deficiency slows down skin healing. Apart from promoting collagen production, vitamin C also helps to reduce inflammation at the site of the wound.
Topical application of vitamin C is occasionally recommended for speeding up wound healing. Usually increased intake of vitamin C rich foods and supplements can effectively meet the vitamin C requirement of the body. The best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bell peppers, papaya, pineapples, oranges, lemon, berries, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
In some cases, vitamin B5 helps to accelerate wound healing. It is most effective when combined with vitamin C for treating cuts and wounds. This B vitamin is found in a large number of plant and animal foods. Broccoli, cauliflower, legumes, egg yolk, chicken, meat, milk, peas, seeds and whole grains are the common sources of vitamin B5.
Vitamin B9, commonly known as folate also supports skin healing. This B vitamin helps in protein synthesis and cell division. It is needed right from the inception of the wound healing process.
It helps in DNA synthesis and metabolism of key amino acids involved in the repair process. About 400 mcg of folate is needed daily. The minimum daily requirement of vitamin B9 can be met through a balanced diet. Leafy green vegetables and grains are common sources of folate.
Although vitamin B12 is not directly associated with the wound repair process, nonetheless, maintaining a healthy reserve of this B vitamin is essential for maintaining a healthy supply of red blood cells that helps to initiate and sustain the healing process. Meat, fish and milk are the main sources of vitamin B12.