A boil is a pus-filled sac from a bacterial infection in moist areas, such as the back of the neck, armpit, buttocks and groin. Boils usually originate in a hair follicle or sweat gland. This painful lump usually affects people with compromised immune systems, like those with diabetes. Taking vitamins that promote a strong immune system can help you fight bacterial infections in the skin.
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Vitamin B6 may help strengthen your immune system. Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with impaired immune functioning. Additionally, vitamin B6 is necessary to maintain skin health. To reverse vitamin B6 deficiency, take 1.9 mg per day if you are a woman and 2.9 mg per day if you are a man.
Vitamin C boosts your immune system and aids in the production of collagen. Collagen helps heal wounds and prevent scarring. According to researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, increasing vitamin C levels to 428 mg per day can significantly decrease skin infections. Eat citrus fruits containing vitamin C in abundance, such as oranges, pineapples, kiwi, mango, peaches and grapefruit.
Vitamin E and Zinc
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin E and zinc help your skin heal. Zinc helps sustain blood levels of vitamin E and aids in the absorption of vitamin A. Spinach is an efficient source of zinc and vitamin E. Take 400 to 800 IU of vitamin E per day, combined with 30 mg of zinc. Both vitamins can be taken orally or applied topically.
A direct connection between an individual with boils and vitamin and mineral deficiencies does not exist, according to Columbia University Health Services. However, keeping your immune system strong and in optimal condition can help the body prevent and fight infections. See your physician if a boil becomes infected. Antibiotics are often prescribed as a treatment for severe boils.
- Columbia University Health Services: Go Ask Alice: Boils
- “Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association”; Relationship of Vitamin C and Skin Symptoms and Signs; E. Cheraskin, et al.; October 1978
- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: Vitamin C
- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: Vitamin B6
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cutaneous Drug Reactions