Can a Healthy Diet Help Your Scars Heal?
People end up with scars from many different causes, such as surgery, injury, or acne. If you have significant scarring, especially in a visible area, you’re probably anxious to help the scars fade and heal faster. Did you know that your diet plays an important role in this healing process?
There’s no single “magic” food that makes your body heal faster, but a diet that’s healthy overall with plenty of certain specific nutrients will help your body heal itself naturally and efficiently. In particular, vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, zinc, and iron are helpful for healing scars.
Collagen is made of protein, but it depends on vitamin C to form. Collagen is also important to the process of forming new skin. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin A boosts the body’s healing response, and lack thereof can impair it. Vitamin A also stimulates the synthesis of collagen. You can get vitamin A from whole milk, eggs, and fortified low-fat dairy products, or you can get it from plant-based sources such as dark leafy green vegetables as well as those that are yellow or orange.
Proteins are necessary for rebuilding damaged skin. If you have suffered a major injury or have surgery, you may need more protein than usual to help your body heal faster; you should ask your doctor for advice on this. Protein is easily obtainable from lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, soybeans, beans, and dairy products.
Zinc and Iron
Your body requires zinc to produce protein and collagen, and iron delivers much-needed oxygen to the damaged area. Lack of oxygen is a common cause of infection. A deficiency of either mineral can slow down your skin’s ability to repair and rebuild. The same foods that are rich in protein are also good sources of zinc and iron, and you can also get both minerals from whole grains as well as fortified breads and cereals.
Scars take time to heal and most never fade completely. However, the proper diet can go a long way toward smoothing, softening, and fading them, and maximising your skin’s healing.