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ask: What effect has carritine on scar tissue?

By Celtic Thunder
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A friend of mine was advised to take a carritine supplement to help with scar tissue and I'm wondering what carritine is (I had never heard of it before) and how it reduces scar tissue?


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Diane Porter

Celtic Thunder, the only references I have been able to find to carritine is L-carritine, an amino acid that assists in the breakdown of cells to provide energy. There are supplements with it available, but I was able to find no mention of anything having to do with scarring. It is included in one product that says it is a "tan enhancer," but they provide no detailed information and do not say whether it is safe or government-approved.

Your friend might have meant to say beta-carotene, a nutrient found in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale. Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant and immune system booster. Here's a Mayo Clinic explainer:

As an aid against scarring, many moisturizers and some anti-scar creams do include beta-carotene among their list of ingredients. Beta-carotene (which is converted to Vitamin A in the body) helps vision, helps repair body tissue, helps keep the skin smooth and healthy and helps the body fight infection, among other things. You may recall that Vitamin A is one of the ingredients in Retinol-A, a skin cream. Vitamin A supplements are sometimes used to treat scar tissue, but it depends on the wound and on the person involved; doses too high for you can be toxic.

Do you have a dermatologist? The best thing to do, if you can, is find a good dermatologist and have a skin examination. Then ask her about supplements or other treatments, including nutrition, to see what would help. Other things you can do to reduce the effects of scarring: keep the skin moisturized, massage the area gently to increase blood flow to the area and protect it from sunlight. A normal multivitamin will give you Vitamin A as well. Good luck!

October 6, 2008 - 8:23am
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