Dry skin problems are often precipitated by malnutrition. Many dermatologists cite the example of the elderly in this regard. In aging people, the body struggles to maintain a balance between various nutrients. This is a major contributing factor to the appearance of wrinkles and other symptoms of aging skin among the aged.
Malnutrition refers to a state of deficiency of various nutrients, including critical vitamins and minerals. Please note that malnutrition is often used to signify the lack of food intake. However, malnutrition can be established in a human being who is consuming sufficient amounts of food. Malnutrition essentially represents an imbalanced state of nutrients, wherein some nutrients are consumed in excessive amounts and some are deficient. People with malnutrition are prone to developing dull-looking skin that is more susceptible to aging rapidly.
The relationship between dry skin and malnutrition is best exemplified by the following:
Dry Skin Problems Due to Vitamin-Linked Malnutrition
Vitamin deficiency is among the most common kinds of malnutrition. Among these, vitamin E deficiency can be particularly harmful for the skin. Vitamin E is among the most critical of vitamins needed to safeguard the skin against the usual pollutants and external factors. Vitamin E-deficient skin is unable to retain the basic amount of moisture, leading to extensive dryness. Vitamin E is necessary for the skin’s healing mechanism. Such skin fails to balance the daily rejuvenation process and hence, develops a scaly, dry exterior that is formed of dead skin cells.
Vitamin-deficient skin is often prone to developing rashes as the outer surface of the skin becomes flaky and scratchy. Vitamin E deficiency has also been linked with a decreased ability of the skin to protect itself against the sun’s harmful UV rays that are widely-acknowledged as an aging factor.
Another significant vitamin for maintaining healthy skin is vitamin B3 or Niacin. Malnourished individuals often tend develop a dry and thick skin that bruises easily. Such people often complain about inexplicable bouts of pigmentation that surface and disappear in rapid succession. These symptoms are indicative of dry skin problems caused by vitamin B3 deficiency.
Dry Skin Problems Due to Antioxidant-Linked Malnutrition
Antioxidants are found in abundance in healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, most fresh food sources contain antioxidants in trace amounts. Thus, maintaining the daily intake of antioxidants is rather easy. However, people who depend entirely on packaged foods are prone to developing a deficiency of antioxidants like beta-carotenes, co-enzymes anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins.
Dry skin problems are usually the first symptom indicating a deficiency of antioxidants. This isn't surprising since antioxidants are among the most marketed of ingredients in skincare products. The role of antioxidants is most significant for enhancing the body’s natural anti-aging mechanism.
This includes helping the skin to fight-off free radicals that are an established cause of aging. Antioxidants are also vital for the synthesis of collagen and elastin—two primary proteins in the human tissue that maintain the elasticity and youthfulness of skin. In terms of overall effectively, antioxidants can be understood as the skin’s intrinsic combination of a moisturizer and sunscreen that aids tissue repair and ensures that aging spots don’t develop.
Specific causes of malnutrition are diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner, and over-the-counter supplements for rectifying the deficiency are available. Malnutrition can be easily avoided by ensuring a balanced diet sourced from various food groups.