You probably already know about the benefits of vitamin E as a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
While vitamin E certainly has a great reputation in those areas, it also has some very beneficial qualities for keeping skin in top condition, particularly during summer when your patients are spending a great deal of time outside.
How can vitamin E oil keep skin in top shape while your patients are out having fun in the sun this summer?
As much as we may all love to be outdoors during the summer, our skin may not feel quite the same way. The combination of sun and wind can easily dry out the skin, particularly the delicate skin around the eyes and on the chest.
Vitamin E oil is included in many moisturizers, as well as being sold on its own as a topical oil or cream in order to help rehydrate dry, flaky skin from too much time in the sun. This can have many other benefits, including reducing some of the symptoms of sunburn, such as the burning, stinging sensation that often comes with excess sun exposure.
Although your patients’ best bet to protect themselves against sunburn is a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) before going out in the sun, vitamin E oil is an excellent after-sun soother for skin.
Treating symptoms of skin issues
Although vitamin E oil cannot treat skin conditions such as allergies, atopic dermatitis or eczema, it can help soothe the symptoms of dryness, itching, and flakiness.1,2 Moreover, treating these symptoms will not only make your patients more comfortable but will lessen the severity and duration of their symptoms by reducing the urge to scratch the affected areas of skin.
While most vitamin E preparations for treating such symptoms come in topical form, one study showed benefits of oral vitamin E for treating atopic dermatitis.1 The researchers theorized that the antioxidant properties of the oral vitamin E preparation decreased the serum levels of immunoglobulin E, which appeared to improve symptoms.1 This could indicate a possible benefit for your patients who suffer from atopic dermatitis.
Another study that looked at potential benefits for vitamin E oil in relieving symptoms of several common dermatological issues found that topical vitamin E could be helpful in reducing symptoms of psoriasis without adverse side effects.2 Although it did not appear to show much benefit, the researchers thought it might be a good option for mild cases of psoriasis.
Word of caution
Topical preparations that include vitamin E tend to be very heavy. If your patients are prone to acne or have oily skin in general, they should consider only using a very small amount of any preparation that contains vitamin E oil. It may be best for them to only use it at night, once they have removed any makeup, in order to avoid the possibility of clogging up their pores.
1 Jaffary F, Faghihi G, Mokhtarian A, Hosseini SM. Effects of oral vitamin E on treatment of atopic dermatitis: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. 2015;20(11):1053-1057.
2 Keen MA, Hassan I. Vitamin E in dermatology. Indian Dermatology Online Journal. 2016;7(4):311-315.