Acne can be a problem for anyone, but it most often serves as a plague to teens everywhere. New medications and topical treatments are created constantly that claim to rid the world of the acne menace, but often a simple change in diet and a few supplements can help clear up and prevent pimples.
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid required by the body but not produced by it (see References 1). The only way to obtain a good supply of L-Lysine is to eat a supply of foods that contain it or take supplements. Two of its major roles are to form collagen -- which helps build strong skin, among other things -- and repair tissue. Because of this, L-Lysine is helpful for maintaining healthy skin, including reducing acne, and even helps in speeding up healing time for cold sores.
One benefit of using L-Lysine over commercial acne products is that it is a natural substance that is needed by the body anyway, whether acne is a problem or not. Because of this, it is easy to rest assured that L-Lysine is not causing any detrimental effects to the body as long as it is used within recommended daily amounts.
Although L-Lysine may not help in ridding everyone of acne, it is a safe method that is definitely worth trying.
Zinc is a mineral that needs to be replenished daily because the body does not have any system for storing it (see References 2). While zinc has many uses, one that specifically applies to acne is that of wound healing. It is also useful in the development of babies, youths and adolescents. This is applicable because adolescence is, as mentioned above, a prime time for acne development. Zinc has also been proven in studies to effectively combat acne in many cases. (see References 3)
Zinc, like L-Lysine, is also a natural substance required in the body and poses virtually no danger when taken within recommended doses. Overdosing on zinc, however, is not always a good thing and can cause problems. Consult a physician before starting a high-zinc acne treatment program.
Dietary supplements, also known as vitamin pills, can be a good way to be sure to get enough L-Lysine and zinc each day, but supplements are almost never as effective as consumption of foods that naturally contain desired nutrients.
L-Lysine is found naturally in red meat, pork, poultry, milk products (especially Parmesan cheese) and potatoes (see Resources 1).
Zinc occurs naturally in oysters, beef shanks, Alaska king crab, lobster and cashews (see References 2).
If an adequate amount of either of these nutrients cannot be obtained through food, supplements are OK, but be sure to follow all directions and recommendations found on the bottle.
With proper application of zinc and L-Lysine, mild to moderate acne could be reduced or ceased. For heavy acne, they can be helpful as well, but it is best to consult a physician on an appropriate treatment method as well.