The thing about skin is that it’s so easy to take for granted. That is, until something goes wrong. It’s easy to assume when you’re very young that your skin will remain smooth and wrinkle-free forever. And of course we all hope we’ll never get skin cancer. But problems as relatively simple as the fine lines that appear with aging, or as serious as skin cancer, do crop up. The reality is that it is a dynamic organ (did you know it replaces itself every 28 days?) that needs your love and support. Whether you need pharmaceutical skin treatments for problems you’ve already got, or vitamins for skin to strengthen it and prevent problems, we’ve got the info and products you need!


Skin, as it turns out, needs nutrients just as much as your innards do. And, conveniently, your innards benefit from most of the same nutrients as your skin. Vitamins that do double duty are:

Vitamin A

As an antioxidant, vitamin A plays a role in both skin health and immune system function, among other things. Scientists at the Medical University of Poland have shown that topical retinoids—vitamin A, in other words—can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. They also improve skin elasticity and reduce sagging by helping to remove damaged skin fibers and form new blood vessels.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends vitamin A for acne, and authors and doctors at Healthline.com state that both topical and oral prescription medications used to treat psoriasis contain vitamin A. Be careful, though. Too little vitamin A means your skin might get dry and itchy or bumpy. Too much (more than 200,000mcg’s a day) can cause nausea, vomiting, or vertigo. Taking more than 10,000mcg’s a day long-term can result in much worse consequences.

You’ll find vitamin A in products like Ortho Molecular’s Cosmedix, which enhances collagen formation.

Vitamin C

According to doctors at the Harvard Medical School, a few clinical studies have demonstrated that vitamin C can improve wrinkles:

One study showed that daily use of a vitamin C formulation for at least three months improved the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles of the face and neck, as well as improved overall skin texture and appearance.

Vitamin C may also help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays when used in combination with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Clinical studies have shown that combining vitamin C with other topical ingredients, namely ferulic acid and vitamin E, can diminish redness and help protect the skin from long-term damage caused by harmful sun rays.

Vitamin E

In addition to vitamin E’s protective effects, studies show that topical vitamin E can reduce sunburn-induced skin swelling and blistering. Our Orthomega capsules contain vitamin E, along with DHA and EPA, to support healthy skin.


Zinc really likes to do double-duty. Not only does it help strengthen your immune system, it also helps your skin heal from wounds better. Products like our Reacted Zinc contain a high concentration of this trace mineral.


Selenium is also a trace mineral, which means our bodies only need a small amount of it. This “small” mineral actually plays a key role in some key bodily functions such as reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, and DNA synthesis. And it’s anti-aging in that the enzymes and proteins that rely on selenium–selenoproteins–are antioxidants. They’re warriors against free radicals in our bodies that damage various kinds of cells, including skin cells. In other words, according to experts, selenium can potentially fight aging at the cellular, even DNA, level. Pretty amazing, right?

Remember that oral supplementation with any of these vitamins is not the only way to get them. In fact, a healthy diet is often a tastier, less-expensive way to get them. And the direct administration of skin creams and oils can provide more protection.

Now, say you’re taking or eating all of these vitamins, though, and you still develop one or more of these skin ailments:

  • Acne
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

What can you do? That’s when you see your doctor about prescription skin treatments.

Prescription Skin Treatments: So Many Options!

Generally, prescription skin treatments fall into 8 categories:

  • Anti-aging compounds
  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungals
  • Antivirals
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Biologics
  • Retinoids

Anti-Aging Compounds

While we can’t necessarily call wrinkles, sagging, stiffness, and sun spots “ailments” in the same way that psoriasis or melanoma are, they are definitely still curses that many of us fight. Aging itself, at least in terms of the skin, is mostly a matter of cell degradation, free radical damage, and collagen depletion. So fighting aging means replenishing collagen, giving your skin the antioxidant tools it needs to beat those free radicals into submission, and helping it rebuild cells. It also means avoiding overexposure to the sun and smoking, both of which speed up skin aging. 

The anti-aging compound medicated creams we provide contain vitamins k, e, b, as well as estriol (for women whose skin problems are exacerbated by menopause), and ascorbic acid. The beauty of compounding is that your cream is customized to your specific needs. The mixture of tailored vitamin doses and active-ingredient concentrations gives you better results when used over a period of time.


Antibiotics treat skin wounds or lesions that have become infected. The CDC recommends that you see a doctor if you have symptoms of cellulitis, which are:

  • Skin redness
  • Pain, tenderness, or warmth when the affected skin is touched
  • Swelling of the affected area

Skin abscesses resemble cellulitis in their symptoms, with the addition of pus. Most cases of cellulitis or abscess resolve quickly with treatment, but some can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream and become life-threatening.


You’ll need an antifungal if you’ve got athlete’s foot, jock itch, yeast infection, or ringworm. Antifungals can come as creams, sprays, solutions, oral medications, injections, or even shampoos. The way you get your antifungal will depend on where the symptoms are showing up on your skin and what type of fungal infection you have. For example, a shampoo with ketoconazole, a substance that helps break down fungal cell walls, may be prescribed for fungal scalp infections.


As if UV light, fungi, and bacteria weren’t enough, viruses can also attack our skin. They show up as cold sores or a herpes simplex virus infection of the skin. Antivirals can’t kill the infection because they can’t kill the virus, but they can speed up the healing process and relieve symptoms.


Just as corticosteroids can reduce inflammation in the nose, so can they reduce it in conditions like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Steroid creams have been the first line of treatment for the past 50 years, says the Mayo Clinic, but aren’t a cure because they don’t treat the underlying cause of inflammation. They do, however, help to control skin flare-ups and relieve symptoms like itching and irritation. You can get some corticosteroids over the counter, like hydrocortisone, for treatment of milder symptoms. More potent steroids require a prescription.


Eczema is another skin problem that involves an overactive immune system. So certain kinds of immune-system suppressors, like JAK inhibitors, can relieve symptoms. Unfortunately, since the exact cause of eczema hasn’t been discovered yet, oral immunosuppressants can’t cure eczema, but they can make life easier.


Biologics are a relatively new kind of pharmaceutical drug which is made, extracted, or semisynthesized from biological sources. Some biologics can target specific overactive parts of the immune system, such as those that cause psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. The American Academy of Dermatology Association reports that it can prevent the arthritis from worsening and causing more joint damage.


Some prescription-strength vitamin-A formulations are available, such as tretinoin (Retin-A, generic), tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac), and adapalene (Differin). Adapalene is also available over the counter in a weaker version of its prescription counterpart. Because retinoids can cause skin dryness and irritation, doctors often recommend using them only every other day at first and then gradually working up to nightly applications. Because retinoids increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, wear sunscreen during the day.

The Short of It

When we show our skin some love, it loves us back. Even when it has problems, it deserves the best that we can give it, either through vitamins for skin or prescription antifungals, antivirals, antibiotics, retinoids, etc. Now that you know your options and where to get them (hint: us!), take some time to shop for the products your skin needs. Or, better yet, schedule a check-up with your dermatologist. Your skin will thank you for it.


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