Sunday, August 05, 2007

Vitamin C, Niacin, and Multivitamins for Bedsores

My recent column on vitamins and bed sores has attracted considerable interest (type niacin and bed sores into Google and it comes up on the first page). As a result of the column, readers pointed my attention to topical skin creams. Why suffer with injections if soothing creams are available that can accomplish the same objectives?

Skin creams formulated with vitamin C have been available for at least a decade. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) is an active and stable form of vitamin C used in creams. Used regularly, creams formulated with high concentrations of MAP have been proven (using modern analytical wonder tools) to deliver a steady time-released dose of vitamin C to the skin.

Skin creams formulated with niacin are a very recent innovation. Spurred on by questions from readers, I investigated the use of niacin in creams. It turns out that niacin skin creams are a 21rst century innovation, and have only very recently become readily accessible to consumers. The easiest way to get them is to visit a dermatologist.

These new medications have been developed by the cosmetics industry in an effort to slow the inevitable aging of the skin. The primary cause of skin aging is damage caused by exposure to sunlight. The industry has conducted numerous controlled trials that prove beyond doubt that these creams are an effective means of protecting the skin from the sun. They have also proved beyond doubt that niacin and vitamin C creams effectively treat a variety of chronic, disfiguring skin conditions.

If you are responsible for caring for some one who is at risk for bed sores, high concentration skin creams containing derivatives of niacin and vitamin C with scientifically proven potency represent a novel opportunity. If you are convinced, like me, that delivering elevated doses of vitamin C and niacin directly and selectively to the skin is likely to help, then you can apply the creams to the whole body. If you want to test the effectiveness, then you can apply the vitamin creams to select spots and leave the rest of the skin as a control experiment.

Using injections of vitamin C and/or niacin to treat bed sores is a radical idea. Using skin creams developed by the cosmetics industry for general use is perfectly ordinary and extraordinarily safe. If these creams are the slightest bit effective for treating bed sores, it is hard to imagine a more comforting solution to a problem that currently causes untold suffering. Readers responsible for caring for individuals at risk for bed sores have everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving this a try.


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