Of course it is said that vitamins C and E are good for skin, but I would like to know if it is actually possible to reverse any of the skin cell damage i.e. sunburn, skin aging, melanoma caused by sunlight through some vitamin?

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    What do you mean by 'damage' exactly? Sunburn, skin aging, melanoma? Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 4:58
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    @NateBarbettini edited question. Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 9:33

2 Answers 2



Skin damage is irreversible. The only thing you can do is make sure your skin is not damaged in the first place.

Skin damage is caused by a variety of factors, but by far the most important one for most people is UV exposure. The primary source of UV is the Sun, but tanning booths may be a significant factor for some people.

While sun burn causes an extreme amount of damage, all sun exposure will have an effect. If you are in the sun often, cover your skin, and wear high-factor sun cream on any exposed areas.

Skin is made up of layers:

enter image description here Image source: nih.gov

Skin damage from UV occurs when the rays reach and burn the dermis. This damage changes the cells' DNA, by creating free radicals. For this reason, although the cells are replaced every 21 days, the new cells inherit the same damage. This same mechanism is what causes tattoos to be present even in new skin cells - they 'inherit' the ink from the source cells in the dermis.

There is currently no therapy or treatment for this kind of cell damage.

For cells that have metastasised into melanoma, if they are caught soon enough, they are removed entirely, leaving a scar.


You can't reverse the skin damage, but you can treat wounds and burns, so your skin cell can regenerate faster.

Eating food full of antioxidants and vitamin C, such as blueberries, tomatoes, and cherries can reduce the body’s need for fluids, lowering only the risk for dehydration (study).

If you have a skin sunburn, here are few advices:

  • Do not pick, poke, scratch or peel your sunburn. It can cause even more irritation.
  • Apply moisturizer, or low-dose hydrocortisone cream, which may provide relief in some cases.
  • Apply Aloe vera lotion or gel.

    Used in traditional medicine by applying the clear gel from the Aloe plant and rubbing on the skin as ointment (safety study).

    A 2007 review of aloe vera's use in burns concluded, "cumulative evidence tends to support that aloe vera might be an effective interventions used in burn wound healing for first- to second-degree burns. Further, well-designed trials with sufficient details of the contents of aloe vera products should be carried out to determine the effectiveness of aloe vera.".(wiki)

  • Consider cortisone cream.

  • Watch for signs of infection.
  • Don't put ice on them, as it can damage your skin further. Instead have a cool bath or gentle shower, which may be soothing. Or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water.
  • Apply a cold wet compress.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever or some topical pain reliever.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing over sunburned areas.
  • Don't break small blisters. See: Should blisters be removed?
  • Pay close attention to any medications (herbal remedies or essential oils) that list an increased sensitivity to sunlight as a side effect.
  • Call emergency services for third-degree burns.

If you've signs of heatstroke or dehydration such as weak, faint, dizzy, rapid breathing, your eyes hurt, vomiting/diarrhea or something similar - call a doctor.

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