Acne patients are already accustomed to searching every possible corner for a new solution for this annoying skin disease. No detail is ever too small, and those suffering from acne never overlook them. New miracle acne cures are presented every day, however, 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 those cures.
Did you know that vitamin B5 is one of the 24 vitamins that are considered essential for our bodies?
Also known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is crucial for the optimal function of our bodies. It has a major role in the production of blood cells and the conversion of the ingested food into energy.
Vitamin B5 comes with a large variety of benefits.
So, what is the role of vitamin B5 for acne?
Some people compare the benefits of vitamin B5 to those of taking Accutane, which goes to show just how powerful it can be in reducing acne.
This comparison stems from the fact that it has a similar function with Accutane. The difference is – vitamin B5 reduces 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 extremely important for most of the body’s processes. So, taking vitamin B5 for acne and oily skin is strongly recommended.
A normal amount of sebum on our skin is actually good for acne – it keeps our skin hydrated, soft and healthy-looking. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. The overproduction of sebum is one of the biggest causes of acne out there. It blocks our pores and locks oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells in one place, which is a recipe for disaster.
If you suffer from inflammatory acne, vitamin B5 can be particularly helpful. This vitamin is known to decrease inflammation that causes acne and speeds up the healing process of acne that’s already formed on our skin. This makes it a great option for those who want to speed up the recovery time of the healing of hyperpigmentation.
On top of that, it can also aid the process of healing acne scars. B5 also has a positive effect on wound healing - it makes the cells multiply faster and it helps form new skin layers.
There are some studies out there that suggest that this particular vitamin can also have antimicrobial effects, which means that it can potentially kill the bacteria that are associated with acne, leaving you pimple-free in the long run. It also stops the growth of already existing bacteria and makes it harder for it to multiply – a win-win situation!
And if that isn’t enough, it also helps 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 along with stronger acne medication, it works miracles in conjunction with other, more conventional acne treatments and cures.
Now that we’ve covered all the possible benefits that come from this vitamin, let’s examine where exactly you can get it from. What are the best food sources of vitamin B5?
If you don’t like supplementing with vitamins, then this is the option for you. Just increase the intake of the foods listed here and you’re good to go in terms of increasing the vitamin B5 levels naturally.
Combine them with your acne treatment to see faster results.
It can be found in the following foods:
For the most optimal benefits, eat the foods mentioned above fresh. Since it’s a water-soluble vitamin, B5 loses some of its benefits when it’s boiled.
How can you tell if your levels of 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 properly. It’s been established that vitamin B5 deficiencies are rare and most often a result of malnutrition.
Although relatively rare, here are the most common symptoms of a B5 deficiency:
The treatment for B5 deficiency includes appropriate supplementation in the form of calcium pantothenate because it breaks down the Pantothenic acid that already exists in the body.
Increasing the amount of food that contains B5 is also recommended.
Doctors recommend 5 milligrams of vitamin B5 a day for those who are 14 or older. For most people, this can be achieved without supplementation, 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 per day to 4 mg/day.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need to take in higher amounts per day. Make sure to consult your doctor before increasing your dosage.
The good news is – excess B5 is not toxic for the body. A vitamin B5 overdose shouldn’t concern you since it’s a water-soluble vitamin and the excess gets out through the urinary tract.
If you increase the dosage to more than 10 grams a day, you may experience milder side-effects like diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, joint pain and increase the risk of bleeding.
When it comes to supplementation, 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 medication. It may interfere 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 the symptoms of B5 deficiency or an overdose. Don’t make any adjustments on your own. Both of these conditions are relatively easy to treat, by either lowering or increasing the dosage, so don’t panic if you recognize some of these symptoms.
Vitamins are crucial for glowing and healthy skin. In particular, vitamin B5 is important for many vital processes that occur in our bodies, like digestion, the formation of red blood cells, producing certain hormones and healing overall.
When it comes to acne treatment, there’s typically no universal structure for all of us to follow. Each individual is different, and everyone is going to have a different journey in the process of getting rid of acne for good. That being said, sometimes the cure is where you least expect to find it. Because there’s enough scientific research behind it, you should definitely keep in mind your vitamin B5 levels as part of your acne treatment.
While some of the evidence for the use of vitamin B5 for acne in terms of testimonials can be considered anecdotal, there’s no harm in incorporating some 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 in 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! There are so many products on the market that bait customers by naming fortified vitamins. Make sure to always look at the bigger picture and read the ingredient list as a whole.
Science aside, keep in mind that, generally speaking, most 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 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.