Does Emergen-C Help With Acne?

Woman looking in mirror
Vitamin C might help treat your acne. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Emergen-C is a is product made by Alacer Corp. that provides you with a hefty dose of vitamin C. Emergen-C is added to liquids to create a vitamin drink that supplies you with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, vitamin C plays an important role in the prevention of infections. The added vitamin C might boost your immune system, so Emergen-C might also have a mild effect on your acne breakouts.

Acne

Acne is a skin problem that occurs when your hair follicles get clogged with a combination of dead skin cells and the oils on your skin. Acne most often appears on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest areas because these areas have the highest concentration of oil-producing glands. When your hair follicles get clogged, bacteria is able to grow, which causes the red and raised bumps characteristic of an acne breakout. Over-the-counter topical treatments or prescription creams can help treat your acne. Regular washing might also cut down on the number of breakouts you experience.

Emergen-C

Emergen-C is a powder that you add to a drink to deliver 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C to your body. The product comes in a variety of flavors and formulas, but the primary purpose of each is to provide a significant dose of vitamin C. Many people use Emergen-C during cold and flu season because certain scientific studies suggest that vitamin C might help ward off illness. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that vitamin C does play an important role in the prevention of infection, but large doses are not likely to treat or prevent a cold.

Connections

The National Institutes of Health reports that women need 75 milligrams of vitamin C per day, and men need 90 milligrams. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, but it also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, substances that can build up in your body and cause health problems like cancer. Vitamin C might also make your white blood cells work more efficiently so that an infection is less likely. In the treatment of acne, vitamin C can boost your immune system so that you are better able to fight off toxins that contribute to breakouts, according to the book "Acne Messages Crack the Code of Zits and Say Goodbye to Acne." Vitamin C is also an anti-inflammatory, which might help reduce the severity of your breakouts.

Considerations

The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the claims by the Alacer Corp. in reference to Emergen-C. The Emergen-C line of products should not be relied on to treat any medical condition, including acne, without the advice of a doctor. While the high vitamin C content of Emergen-C may help reduce your acne symptoms, it will not eliminate or treat your breakouts. High doses of vitamin C can cause nausea, vomiting or abdominal cramps. Always ask your doctor before taking Emergen-C for any reason. Consult with your dermatologist if your acne does not go away, it it gets worse or it it interferes with your daily life.

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