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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy

Certain foods may have an adverse effect on our skin health. For example, the superbug MRSA, which can cause hard-to-treat skin infections, appears to contaminate approximately 5% of U.S. retail meat; mysterious skin hives or allergic reactions may be a sign of alpha-gal meat allergies; a lack of safety thresholds in U.S. meat for drug residues, toxic metals, and pesticides can potentially result in jaundice and skin cancer; a case of Vitamin A poisoning from fish actually resulted in one man experiencing such serious peeling of his skin it took more than three months to heal; using tanning beds instead of natural sunlight or supplements to get Vitamin D is linked to an increased risk of the deadliest kind of skin cancer; milk consumption has been associated with increased acne risk; and low antioxidants levels in the skin may correlate with the development of wrinkles.

On the other hand, a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables may be linked with decreased facial and overall skin wrinkling. Eating carotenoid rich foods as part of a whole-foods, plant-based diet can help contribute to healthy-looking skin in general, including decreasing cellulite and acne. Reducing methionine intake by eating a primarily plant-based diet may be a way to treat some skin cancers. More specifically, consuming flax seeds may help improve sensitive skin

There are also other foods that may be used as alternatives or supplements to medications (which often have adverse effects on skin health). For example, Indian gooseberries, also known as amla, may help treat diabetes without the potential side effects of the drug, Glyburide, which in rare cases can result in skin peeling off. Also, oatmeal lotion may relieve skin itch and irritation associated with chemotherapy. Green tea ointment applied to the skin may help treat external genital warts and Gorlin Syndrome, a rare genetic condition where a person is covered in skin cancers. As a note of caution, if you are using aromatherapy, avoid topically applying the essential oils that are used to avoid skin irritation.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

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