Vitamin deficiency: 7 symptoms that can be seen in your face
Swollen eyes, cracks at the corner of the mouth, pale skin — these are the signs of vitamin deficiency that can appear on your face. A deficiency is usually caused by eating incorrectly or not having a balanced diet. That said, some people are more prone to illness or developing a deficiency than others, so there's a chance the following seven symptoms may have a different underlying cause. You should pay attention to any other unpleasant symptoms, because a vitamin deficiency is often accompanied by a deterioration in your general health.
1. Sensitive gums
If your gums have been bleeding recently or your teeth are feeling loose, you may be deficient in vitamin C. In addition to these symptoms, there's an increased risk of infection and poor wound healing. As well as being important for a healthy immune system, vitamin C is required for collagen production and keeping connective tissues strong. Citrus fruits, spinach, peppers, broccoli, green cabbage, and currants are rich in vitamin C and should be included in your diet if you're suffering from a deficiency.
2. Pale skin
If you don't have naturally pale skin, this may a sign that you're not getting enough vitamin B12. Depending on the severity, this can lead to severe symptoms such as dementia, paralysis or damage to your nervous system. If you're suffering from exhaustion, infections or mood swings when your skin is pale, a lack of vitamins is the most likely cause. Vitamin B12 is extremely important for a healthy metabolism as well as blood production and cell division. You can only get it in animal products, which is why vegans in particular should keep an eye on their vitamin B12 intake and take supplements where necessary. To prevent a deficiency, include pot cheese, liver, beef, oysters, trout and herring in your diet.
3. Dried out hair
Regularly dyeing, drying and straightening your hair can cause it to dry out. If you avoid these activities and regularly treat your hair with the right products, the problem should quickly disappear. If that doesn't happen, you may be lacking in biotin. Brittle fingernails are another sign of this deficiency. To prevent this, include food that's high in biotin in your diet, such as soya products, beans, tomatoes, eggs or oatmeal.
4. Cracks at the corners of the mouth
Are you suffering from this symptom in addition to pale lips, hair loss, tiredness or forgetfulness? Well, you're probably deficient in iron. The element is important for transporting oxygen around your body as well as producing hemoglobin and red blood cells. Pig's liver, oatmeal, liverwurst, lentils, and chanterelles are particularly rich in iron.
Problems such as acne, eczema, poor wound healing, and dry skin can be due to a deficiency in zinc. The element plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy as well as in cell division and replacement. If you're suffering from a particularly bad case of zits or acne, it may be worth applying a zinc lotion to the affected areas. However, it's still best to keep your zinc levels up through what you eat. Wheat bran, oysters, Edam cheese, calf's liver, and pumpkin seeds are particularly abundant in zinc.
6. Swollen eyelids
It's not unusual to have swollen eyelids now and then, e.g. if you have just been crying. Yet if you find them to be permanently swollen, you may be suffering from an iodine deficiency. Since iodine is important for your thyroid gland to function correctly, a deficiency may have serious consequences such as an underactive thyroid, thyroid nodules or even thyroid cancer. That's why you should make sure to include enough iodine in your diet by regularly consuming dairy products, cranberries, and seafood. If you're suffering from increased tiredness, hair loss or bad moods, you should consult a doctor as you may have an underactive thyroid.
As we get older, it's perfectly normal for more and more wrinkles to appear on our faces. But if you find that you're getting lots of wrinkles over a short period of time, you may be suffering from a vitamin E deficiency. The reason why you're getting wrinkles is because vitamin E helps to reduce oxidative stress and protects cells. When there are insufficient amounts of vitamin E in your system, collagen production slows down; a lack of collagen decreases the skin elasticity, meaning wrinkles are more likely to form. In addition, vitamin E is important for a robust immune system, fertility, and healthy eyes. Vitamin E is found in walnuts, wholegrain products, muesli, almonds, and plant-based oils (e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil).
As you can see, your face says a lot about what your body is missing out on. To be sure, you should always consult a doctor first and only take supplements when you're actually suffering from a deficiency.