by Andrew Saul as featured in 'Food Matters'

Skin troubles are a common, often painful problem. Topical applications of vitamin E, and/or vitamin C and niacin provide rapid relief. The first reports indicating that vitamin E, and concentrated topical and IV solutions of vitamin C were a highly effective treatment for burns surfaced over 50 years ago. Vitamins may be used to treat both thermal burns and sun burns, as well as wrinkles, pigmentation, scrapes, bug bites, and even bed sores.

Foods alone do not provide sufficient vitamins to provide maximum healing. Vitamins also provide protection against skin-aging damage caused by exposure to the sun. The benefits of vitamin C and niacin have been proven in numerous controlled clinical trials using high potency vitamin C and niacin creams. [1-9] The scientific literature contains at least 29 reports published since 2003 using niacin creams and 8 using vitamin C creams. Even before the Korean War, orthomolecular physicians were reporting topical vitamin E to be a superior treatment for burns. [10] Recent research conforms this.

Linus Pauling reviewed the scientific literature on burns in his book "How to Live Longer and Feel Better." In the two decades since publication of this book, claims about burns have been tested and confirmed. [13-20] One animal study confirmed that, in severely burned animals treated with IV vitamin C, high intravenous doses of vitamin C are required to optimize burn treatment, equivalent to 120,000 mg/day for a human. [21]

Vitamin skeptics continue to argue that there are no proven benefits to vitamins at doses higher than the RDA. The case of vitamins and skin conditions is a clear case proving the skeptics wrong. It is time that physicians start to put the remarkable healing powers of vitamins to work for their patients. In the meantime, the low toxicity and ready availability of vitamin supplements and creams enables the self-educated to act for themselves.

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