Do you have unexplained skin problems that don't seem to be responding to your usual care routines? If so, you might have already started to look at your diet and the usual skin-related culprits like vitamins C and E or your fat intake. But you also need to take a look at how much iron you're getting. Iron, which people tend to think of as a muscle-builder, is also necessary for good skin health. If you have any of the following skin problems and can't figure out how to make them go away, have your doctor check you out for iron deficiency (there's a reason for this—sometimes food doesn't help) or see a dermatologist for a diagnosis.
Itchy and Dry Skin
Patches of dry skin, cracks near the corners of your mouth, and general itchiness (so not one spot in particular, but more spread out) could very well be due to a lack of iron. You must be careful not to scratch the itchy areas because that could lead to infections that might not heal properly.
A lack of iron means your body doesn't have the building blocks it needs to make more red blood cells. Because your red blood is one of the substances that makes your skin look more robust, a lack of red blood cells can make you seem pale or make your skin seem sallow. If people have been noting that you look a bit sickly lately, even though you've felt fine, it's time to talk to a dermatologist to see what's up with your skin.
Mediocre Wound Healing
A number of issues can delay wound healing, chief among them being simply not taking care of the wound properly. But if you have been following care protocols exactly and wounds still have not been healing or they keep getting infected, an iron deficiency may be the underlying cause. Again, the issue is the blood cells; without those, your hair, skin, and nails become rather weak and unable to heal normally. This is why you're not supposed to try to scratch itchy skin as mentioned above—if you scratch too hard and scrape your skin, that wound might not heal right.
It's important to note that even if you're getting a lot of iron in your diet, you might not be absorbing it correctly, which would lead to a deficiency. You must get your blood tested to see where your iron levels are. Once those are established, you can get more specific help for your iron intake, and your dermatologist can help you take care of any lingering effects on your skin.
For more information, contact local professionals like Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists of Moreno Valley.