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Skin troubles are frustrating. Many people seem to be doing everything right when it comes to their skin care routine, but they just can't get rid of nagging, severely dry skin. That's because the health of your skin, like the health of all of the other structures in your body, relies heavily on access to the right vitamins and minerals 8.

If you have severely dry skin, a vitamin deficiency and/or mineral deficiency may be to blame 6. If you have dry cracked hands, vitamin deficiency may be to blame, again 6. If you're not getting enough of certain nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc, it can take a toll on your body and eventually manifest as uncomfortable skin conditions 8.

Read more: 11 Nutrients Americans Aren't Getting Enough Of

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is well-known for its role in skin health 8. Cells in two specific layers of the skin, called the dermis and epidermis, contain specialized receptors that pull vitamin A into the skin and keep it healthy 8. Because of its ability to keep your skin healthy, vitamin A is often added to both over-the-counter and prescription skin care items in the form of retinoids 8.

If you don't take in enough vitamin A on a regular basis, it can result in a thickening of the skin due to a protein called keratin 68. But if it builds up, it can cause patches of rough, dry and bumpy skin 1.

If you have bumps on the back of the arms, vitamin deficiency may cause that, too 6. This condition, known as keratosis pilaris, is also associated with the buildup of keratin. You may also notice areas of severe drying and scaling, similar to the plaques seen in those with psoriasis. In addition to severely dry skin, vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness (and eventual total blindness) and diarrhea 6.

Correcting a Vitamin A Deficiency

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If you have one of these underlying conditions, working with your doctor to get them under control is the first step in correcting vitamin A deficiency 6. For those without an accompanying medical condition, you can increase your vitamin A intake by eating more vitamin A-rich foods, such as:

  • sweet potatoes
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • pumpkin
  • cantaloupe
  • red bell peppers
  • mangoes
  • broccoli

This can help ensure that you meet your daily vitamin A needs, which is 700 micrograms per day for women and 900 micrograms daily for men.

Vitamin C Deficiency

If you have unrelenting, severe dry skin, deficiency in vitamin C may also be to blame 6. According to a review published in Nutrients in August 2017, normal healthy skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C. That's because your body uses vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that's a major component of not only your skin, but also your blood vessels 8.

If you're not getting enough vitamin C, it can disrupt the production of collagen and lead to a condition called hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is a thickening of the skin that can cause severe dryness, scaling, itching and calluses 7. In addition to dry skin, other symptoms like fatigue, inflammation of the gums, joint pain and delayed wound healing also indicate that you may have a vitamin C deficiency 68.

Correcting a Vitamin C Deficiency

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  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Grapefruits and grapefruit juice
  • Kiwifruit
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower :

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased immune function :

Correcting a Zinc Deficiency

  • Beef
  • Alaskan king crab
  • Lobster
  • Pork chops
  • Baked beans
  • Chicken (dark meat)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Cashews :
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