Scars and blemishes are the unfortunate markers of how far the skin will go to protect the body. A necessity of healing, scars provide a durable fibrin skin closure after surgery or accidents. Blemishes are the result of clogged pores and can leave unsightly red spots anywhere on the skin. Vitamins work at the cellular level to heal the skin and some may reduce the appearance of scars. Discuss use of any vitamin or supplement with a health care provider before trying it out.
Excessive sunlight exposure can rob the skin of its vitamin A and open the door to wrinkles, blemishes and scarring. Applied topically, this vitamin can boost collagen supplies and decrease the red, irritated appearance of blemishes. Vitamin A is available in commercial and prescription skin care products, and hides under many names including retinol, retinaldehyde, tretinoin and tazarotene. You may need to use topical vitamin A products for up to six months before noticing any visible improvement, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you’re pregnant, don't use vitamin A products because they can cause birth defects.
Some commercial products mix vitamin E with vitamin A to help stabilize the retinol in vitamin A. Used alone, either topically or orally, vitamin E helps to support healthy skin and immune function. The University of Ohio initiated a double-blind study in 2010 to determine whether people using vitamin E on scars, either topically or by mouth, might have a notable reduction in inflammation and the formation of keloids, or scars that are raised, red and ropy. As of December 2010, the results were not yet published, and further scientific studies are needed before this claim is finalized.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant that supports wound healing and the immune system. Vitamin C also refreshes the skin’s collagen supplies, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements; collagen may help heal blemishes. Ascorbic acid naturally detoxifies the skin and body by binding with and removing free radicals, the dangerous compounds developed from environmental toxins and sun exposure. The Office of Dietary Supplements suggests taking 75 to 90 mg of this antioxidant by mouth daily.