Vitamin B5 for Acne: Can It Help?

Vitamin B5 for Acne: Can It Help?

Acne patients are already accustomed to constantly searching for a new solution to help with this annoying skin condition. No detail is ever too small, and those suffering from acne vulgaris never overlook them. New miracle acne cures are presented every day, and most of them aren't backed up by science. So when something that's proven by multiple studies appears, acne patients make a grab for it and hold on to it for dear life.

Vitamin B5 is one of them.

What Exactly is Vitamin B5?

Did you know that vitamin B5 is one of the 24 vitamins essential for our bodies?

Also known as pantothenic acid, this water-soluble vitamin is crucial for the optimal function of the human body. It has a major role in blood cell production, and it converts ingested food into energy.

Vitamin B5 Benefits

Vitamin B5 comes with a large variety of benefits for the human body - not just for skin health.

  • Helps you achieve acne-free skin
  • Help you maintain healthy hair
  • Improves eye vision
  • Aids digestion
  • Allows for the proper functioning of the nervous system and liver
  • Improves insulin resistance
  • Improves nail health
  • Speeds up various healing processes
  • Makes red blood cells
  • Helps process other vitamins - B2 in particular
  • It's involved in the production of sex and stress hormones in the adrenal glands
  • Synthesizes and lowers cholesterol

How Does Vitamin B5 Work on Acne?

So, what's the deal with vitamin B5 for acne?

Some people compare the benefits of using pantothenic acid for acne to those of taking Accutane, which goes to show just how powerful this dietary supplement can be in reducing acne lesions.

This comparison stems from the fact that pantothenic acid has a similar function to Accutane.

It all comes down to sebum - the oily substance our skin produces. A normal amount of sebum production on our skin is actually good for acne – it keeps our skin barrier hydrated, soft, and healthy-looking. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. When the skin's oil glands increase sebum production, it causes acne. Excess sebum creates clogged pores by locking oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells in one place - a recipe for disaster.

Pantothenic acid helps by reducing oil production without shrinking the sebaceous glands. It does so by increasing the amount of coenzyme A, which, in turn, increases the metabolic breakdown of oils. Not to mention, this coenzyme is essential for most of the body's processes. So, taking vitamin B5 for acne and oily skin is strongly recommended.

If you suffer from inflammatory acne, vitamin B5 can be particularly helpful. This vitamin has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it decreases the inflammation that causes acne breakouts and speeds up the healing process of acne and hyperpigmentation that's already formed on our skin. This makes it a great natural treatment for those who want to speed up their recovery time.

One study that tested the effects of pantothenic acid on forty-eight participants found that inflammatory lesions had a significant reduction after 12 weeks after using it.

On top of that, pantothenic acid can aid the process of healing acne scars. Pantothenic acid also has a positive effect on wound healing - it makes the cells multiply faster and helps form new skin layers.

Some studies suggest that this particular vitamin has antimicrobial effects, meaning it can potentially kill the bacteria associated with acne breakouts, leaving you pimple-free in the long run. Pantothenic acid also stops the growth of already existing bacteria and makes it harder for them to multiply, halting facial lesions in their tracks – a win-win!

And if that isn't enough, pantothenic acid plays a part in helping the skin repair itself, especially if you use it topically. It means that B5 not only keeps your skin clear but it also reduces the risk of scarring in the future. This is why some dermatologists prescribe it with stronger acne medication. It works miracles in conjunction with other, more conventional acne treatments and cures.

Vitamin B5-Rich Foods

Now we've covered all the possible benefits that come from this vitamin, let's examine where exactly you can get it from.

Getting vitamin B5 from food sources is a great option if you don't like supplementing with vitamins. Just increase your intake of the foods listed here, and you will increase vitamin B5 levels naturally.

Combine an increased pantothenic acid intake with your acne treatment for faster results.

Pantothenic acid can be found in the following foods:

  • Mushrooms
  • Avocados
  • Whole grains and cereals
  • Eggs - egg yolk
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Royal jelly
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Legumes (lentils, soybeans, and peas)
  • Potatoes

To get all the benefits of this natural acne treatment, eat the recommended foods fresh. Water-soluble vitamins tend to lose some of their benefits when boiled.

Symptoms of B5 Deficiency

How can you tell if your levels of vitamin B5 are adequate? We'll look into the optimal dosage later, but for now, let's see what signs your body gives you if you aren't supplementing pantothenic acid properly.

It's been established that vitamin B5 deficiencies are rare and most often a result of malnutrition.

Here are the most common symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency:

  • Burning sensations and numbness in the limbs
  • Muscle cramps and a tingling sensation
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Digestive problems
  • Insomnia and depression
  • Fatigue, short temper, and apathy
  • Hypoglycemia

The treatment for B5 deficiency includes appropriate supplementation in calcium pantothenate because it breaks down pantothenic acid that already exists in the body.

Increasing the amount of food that contains B5 is also recommended.

How Pantothenic Acid Should You Take?

Doctors recommend a daily oral dose of 5 milligrams for those who are 14 or older. Most people can achieve this without pantothenic acid supplements through a well-balanced diet.

The amount of B5 our body needs increases as we get older. Younger patients, depending on their age, have to take from 1.7 milligrams to 4 mg a day.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need higher amounts per day. Consult your doctor to make sure you have the correct dose.

Overdose and Side Effects

The good news is that excess vitamin B5 is not toxic to the body. A vitamin B5 overdose shouldn't concern you since it's a water-soluble vitamin. This means the excess comes out through the urinary tract system.

If you increase your pantothenic acid dosage to more than 10 grams a day, you may experience milder adverse effects like diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, joint pain, and an increased risk of bleeding.

When it comes to pantothenic acid supplements, an overdose of B5 can cause an imbalance in other vitamins from the B group. This is why most doctors prescribe a B complex vitamin for various problems in the body.

Additionally, B5 can also interact with other medications. It may interfere with or lessen the effect of the antibiotic tetracycline. On the other hand, it can increase the effect of certain drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease, such as donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine.

If you take some blood-thinning drugs like warfarin or aspirin, vitamin B5 supplements can increase the risk of bleeding.

Consult your doctor if you think you're experiencing symptoms of a B5 deficiency or an overdose. Don't make any adjustments on your own. Both of these conditions are relatively easy to treat by lowering or increasing the dosage, so don't panic if you recognize some of the symptoms.

Don't Just Rely on B5 to Cure Your Acne Breakouts

Science aside, remember that most serious facial acne vulgaris and skin problems aren't caused by a lack of vitamin B5 levels in the body. Irregular sleeping patterns, poor dietary choices, chronic high-stress levels, and a lack of proper diagnosis are where the majority of skin issues lie. These factors are the first things you should keep in mind when trying to properly diagnose and treat acne.

Stick to a Good Skincare Routine

No matter what oral treatment or pantothenic acid supplement you're taking for acne, it's important you keep to a regular skincare routine to whisk away excess oil, destroy debris, and keep your skin clean. There are many skincare products you can try, from hyaluronic acid moisturizers to salicylic acid cleansers. If you have severe or moderate facial acne blemishes, your dermatologist might recommend a specific routine or certain skincare ingredients to help you achieve clearer skin.

We recommend the Complete Clear 3-Step System to treat acne. It will reduce inflammation, control oily skin, and help you clear your acne.

FAQs: Everything You Need to Know About Taking Vitamin B5 for Acne

How long does it take for B5 to clear acne?

If you're thinking of taking pantothenic acid for acne, don't expect to see results until at least 12 weeks have passed. This may feel like a long time, but remember that most acne treatments will take a while to work, especially if you have severe cystic acne. Unfortunately, patience is key when it comes to skin care and acne.

Is vitamin B3 or B5 better for acne?

Vitamin B, in general, is a great vitamin to introduce into your skincare routine if you're looking for improved skin health. That means vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) is a great option to try. It's available over the counter, without a prescription, and is often found in topical treatments. Like all vitamin B variations, B3 is water-soluble and helps control the skin's moisture levels, preventing water loss.

Final Thoughts

Vitamins are crucial for glowing and healthy skin. Vitamin B5, in particular, is important for many vital processes that occur in our bodies, like digestion, the formation of red cells, producing certain hormones, and overall healing.

When it comes to taking pantothenic acid as an acne treatment, there's typically no universal rule to follow. Each individual is different, and everyone will have a different journey when it comes to getting rid of acne for good. That said, sometimes the cure is where you least expect to find it. There's enough scientific research behind B5 to suggest it can help and prevent acne. So keep your vitamin B5 levels in mind as part of your acne treatment.

While some of the evidence that supports vitamin B5 for treating acne can be considered anecdotal, there's no harm in incorporating vitamin B5-rich food in your diet, as long as it comes from a healthy source.

Using cosmetic products that contain B5 in them, like cleansers, creams, and gels, is an easy and relatively harmless way to incorporate the vitamin into your skincare routine. Be careful, though - just because a product or a food label has B5 as one of the listed ingredients, it doesn't necessarily make it healthy for you! So many products on the market bait customers by naming fortified vitamins. Always look at the bigger picture and read the ingredient list.


Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Antimicrobial Activity of Pantothenol against Staphylococci Possessing a Prokaryotic Type II Pantothenate Kinase

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of a Novel Pantothenic Acid-Based Dietary Supplement in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Facial Acne

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