Iron has a crucial role in the sustenance of the human body. The reason is that iron is one of the essential elements the body needs to survive. It is used to synthesize hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that helps in transporting oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
By implication, when there is low iron in the body, you won’t have enough oxygen supply to body parts, which can cause weaker organs and muscles, and a host of other problems. But the question of this article is – can iron deficiency cause acne?
What Is Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency is one of the leading nutritional deficiencies in the world. It occurs when there is insufficient iron in the body to meet its needs. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as not eating enough iron-rich foods, blood loss, or an inability to absorb iron from food.
When left untreated, iron deficiency can lead to anemia, a condition that results in a lack of healthy red blood cells. Signs and symptoms of anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and pale skin.
How Much Iron Do We Need?
The recommended daily intake of iron for adults is 18 milligrams per day. However, pregnant women need 27 milligrams per day, and breastfeeding women need 9 milligrams per day [R].
What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Iron?
Since iron is essential for the body to produce hemoglobin, a lack of it can lead to anemia. Anemia symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and pale skin. In severe cases, anemia can lead to heart failure, organ damage, and even death.
Can Iron Deficiency Cause Acne?
There is some evidence that suggests that low iron levels might be linked to acne breakouts. A study found that iron levels were significantly lower in women with acne than in those without the condition.
Another study, found that anemic women were more likely to have acne than non-anemic women. However, it’s important to note that these studies were small and more research is needed to confirm a link between low iron levels and acne.
How Does Iron Deficiency Cause Acne?
While it’s still not 100% clear how iron deficiency causes acne, researchers believe that it has something to do with the role that iron plays in the body.
You see, iron is involved in many important processes in the body, including cell growth, DNA synthesis, and hormone production. So, when there’s not enough iron available, these processes can be disrupted, which can lead to the development of acne.
Additionally, iron deficiency can also cause inflammation and a build-up of toxins in the body. These can also contribute to the development of acne breakouts.
Iron And Collagen
Another theory is that low iron levels might cause a decrease in collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps to keep the skin firm and elastic.
A study found that women with anemia had lower levels of collagen than those who didn’t have the condition.
How To Know If You Have Low Iron?
If you think you might have low iron levels, it’s important to see a doctor so they can order a blood test. This will help to confirm whether or not you have an iron deficiency.
Treatment for low iron levels generally involves taking iron supplements. In some cases, you might also need to make changes to your diet to ensure that you’re getting enough iron-rich foods.
Foods that are high in iron include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals.
Blood Circulation And Acne
The link between blood circulation and acne is a topic of much debate. Some people believe that poor blood circulation is a major cause of acne, while others think it has nothing to do with the condition.
However, there is some evidence that suggests a link between low iron levels and poor blood circulation. A study found that women with anemia had lower levels of oxygen in their blood than those who didn’t have the condition.
What Does This Mean For Acne?
While more research is needed, this information suggests that low iron levels might be linked to poor blood circulation, which could potentially contribute to the development of acne.
How To Improve Blood Circulation?
If you’re looking to improve your blood circulation, there are a few things you can do.
Some easy tips include:
- Exercising regularly
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Limiting your alcohol intake
- Wearing compression socks if you have to sit or stand for long periods of time
Ways To Increase Iron Intake
If you’re looking to increase your iron intake, there are a few things you can do.
Some easy tips include:
- Adding iron-rich foods to your diet, such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals
- Taking an iron supplement if you’re not getting enough iron from your diet
- Reducing your caffeine intake, as caffeine can inhibit the absorption of iron
- Avoiding drinking tea or coffee with meals, as these beverages can decrease the amount of iron that the body absorbs from food.
Can You Take Too Much Iron?
Yes, it is possible to take too much iron. Symptoms of iron overload include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and chest pain. If you think you might be taking too much iron, it’s important to speak with your doctor.
Can Iron Supplements Affect Your Skin?
Iron supplements can darken your skin to an extent. Although iron is essential for survival, excess iron will accumulate in the liver and skin and cause hyper melanosis or melanin’s excess production. However, when used in the right quantity, iron can make your skin glow.
Apart from this, it strengthens the nails. Foods rich in iron like cashews, oysters, and spinach are ideal iron sources for skin glow.
Besides, what iron deficiency does is to make the red blood cells appear smaller and paler. When there are insufficient red blood cells, your skin can look pale and dull.
So, Does Iron Deficiency Cause Acne?
The jury is still out on this one. However, there is some evidence that suggests a link between low iron levels and the development of acne. If you think you might have low iron levels, it’s important to see a doctor so they can order a blood test. Treatment for low iron levels generally involves taking iron supplements.
If you’re looking to improve your blood circulation, there are a few things you can do. Some easy tips include exercising regularly, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting your alcohol intake, and wearing compression socks if you have to sit or stand for long periods of time.
And finally, if you’re looking to increase your iron intake, there are a few things you can do. Some easy tips include adding iron-rich foods to your diet, such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals, and taking an iron supplement if you’re not getting enough iron from your diet. Just be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new supplements.
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