Annually, around 50 million Americans are affected by acne. While the condition is typically known to affect adolescents, adults and children are affected by the condition at times. Studies have revealed that more than 40% of men and 50% of women above the age of 25 are known to have facial acne. Multiple options are presently available for treating the condition – with topical applications being the most common among all options. However, various other remedial measures have also been regularly tried with mixed results. Among the relatively new treatment options in place includes the use of l-lysine for acne. There are claims and counterclaims about the efficacy of l-lysine for acne. We therefore, look into the use of the amino acid for treating the condition and its actual effectiveness in resolving acne vulgaris.
What is acne, and is the use of l-lysine for acne effective in treating the condition?
Acne is the outbreak of pimples that occurs in most people at a young age. Lesions form in the skin when hair follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The sebaceous glands secrete oil in the skin as a matter of routine, and this collects in the pores that are clogged with hair follicles. Consequently, lesions form on the skin, and depending on the size of the opening form either whiteheads or blackheads. Small clogged openings result in whiteheads, while large clogged pores result in blackhead formation. Before we check out if l-lysine for acne is indeed effective it is important to learn all about the skin condition to understand if the amino acid will work in treating the condition.
Acne vulgaris can manifest from small lesions into large lumps or nodules that are classified as severe acne, and commonly known as cystic acne. These conditions result in the formation of swelling beneath the skin, which can aggravate further into serious infections. The condition is typically known to gradually reduce over a period of time, and individuals with oily skin are most likely to be affected during teenage. The lesions are not restricted to the face alone, but are also known to break out on the upper torso – upper arms, chest, neck and back.
What are the main reasons for acne vulgaris?
While many remedial options have proven effects, the actual causes behind acne have not been categorically identified/pin-pointed. Various conditions contribute to the formation of acne – including hormones and bacteria. Stress is also known to aggravate existing conditions of acne. Hormones are attributed to the formation of acne, because hormone levels significantly spike during puberty. This triggers possible excess secretion of sebum, when testosterone levels are high. Sebum is directly responsible for the oily condition, and when this combines with trapped hair follicles, acne outbreaks occur.
As we begin to look at the effectiveness of l-lysine for acne, it is essential to look at other conditions that cause the formation of lesions and comedones. This will help to match the mechanism of action of the amino acid with the condition to check out the effectiveness. Acne is also caused by the growth of bacteria in the clogged hair follicles. Comedones, commonly known as blackheads/whiteheads are as a result of the formation of large lesions that break out on the surface. Other reasons that are responsible for the skin condition include oral contraceptives and steroids. The mechanism of action of specific categories of medication sometimes trigger the outbreak of acne in certain individuals. There are different types of acne that affect individuals – acne that affects infants and acne that affects teens. There are possibilities of adults developing acne at a later stage, even if they have remained free from the formation of lesions as teenagers. Dermatologists are of the opinion that the condition is associated with the manner in which skin responds to outbreak. Specifically, dermatologists opine that the manner in which the skin handles the bacteria, will determine the outbreak and control of the condition. The most common bacteria found in hair follicles is Propionibacterium acnes, which is responsible for inflammation and the breaking down of sebum. High levels of bacteria accumulation in hair follicles increase the possibility of acne outbreaks.
What is L-lysine and is l-lysine for acne effective in treating the condition?
Among the various options that are touted to be effective in treating the condition, l-lysine for acne has become highly popular. The amino acid, popularly known as a building block for protein is used in protein biosynthesis. It is used in medication for preventing cold sores, and is also used to boost athletic performance. It is effective in treating canker sores caused by the virus herpes simplex liabilis. Either taken orally or used as a topical application on the skin, L-lysine has been effective in treating the condition. Of late, l-lysine for acne has become popular, with online claims about results.
To put it bluntly, the possibility of the effectiveness of l-lysine for acne treatment exists, but has not been documented till date. Studies have been conducted to determine if the amino acid is safe and the results have proved that L-lysine is safe to use as medication. However, it has not been specifically studied with respect to its effectiveness in treating the condition. The reasons that have prompted the claims are compelling and worth pursuing. Here is a close look at L-Lysine.
Will l-lysine for acne work?
As an amino acid and medication it does have a positive effect on conditions that are broadly similar to acne. L-Lysie is effective in treating canker sores – the outbreaks on the skin that are caused by the herpes simplex virus. While acne is due to other reasons, including bacterial buildup in the clogged hair follicles, the outbreak conditions are similar, through in different areas of the body. There are two types of amino acids in the body – amino acids that are made by the body, and amino acids from dietary sources. L-Lysine is classified as an essential amino acid as the body does not make it, the body receives it through dietary sources. L-Lysine has multiple important functions – biosynthesis of protein and most importantly the crosslinking of collagen polypeptides, apart from the uptake of nutrients from minerals. The properties and mechanism of action of this essential amino acid makes it effective in treating cold sores.
While it may be hard to conclusively state that l-lysine for acne treatment is effective, it can be safely stated that the nutrient uptake facilitated by L-Lysine and the mechanism of action that makes it effective in treating canker sores makes it a good option to try out. The most important factor here is the safety aspect. L-lysine has been proven in various studies to be relatively safe to try out and this makes it a good option. The overall effectiveness of the amino acid makes it a good choice for treating acne vulgaris. The ability of the amino acid to promote collagen in the skin helps in visible results. Treatment of acne is not considered complete without the resolution of lesions and comedones. Collagen buildup helps in the formation of skin over lesions and this is one of the reasons why l-lysine for acne is considered as a good option.
What are the best sources of L-lysine?
The best sources of L-Lysine include food products that have high protein content. For instance, red meat, chicken, dairy products, nuts, avocado and other food products that have high levels of protein are considered as good sources of L-Lysine. One of the reasons for the use of l-lysine for acne is the distinct action of the amino acid on skin. L-Lysine helps the skin to stretch, in addition to promoting collagen build up. Both the properties of L-Lysine make it extremely useful in treating lesions and comedones. Here it is essential to add that the amount of intake needs to be regulated to ensure that just the right amount of the essential amino acid is supplied to the body.
While there are known upper and lower limits that are prescribed as recommended dietary intake of L-Lysine for various benefits, there are presently no similar limits prescribed for acne. For instance, individuals with canker sores are recommended anywhere between 500 to 4000 mg of Lysine daily. While the condition is different, certain similarities in the visible manifestations of conditions and the outcomes of medication have resulted in individuals taking similar dosages. The duration of the medication depends on the gravity of the condition. Regardless of the efficacy of the medication, as seen in claims made online, the safest practice is to consult a dermatologist regarding the dosage of l-lysine for acne treatment. This will not only help preempt any possible adverse effects, it will also ensure that the treatment options are managed to deliver the best outcomes.