Can low protein cause skin problems?

by Denise Miller
(Sulphur, Louisisana)

Denise's Question:

If I am not getting enough protein in my daily diet will it cause my face to break out?

Suzy's Answer:

Thank you for the great question, Denise!

First, let me say that if you are concerned about your skin, it would be a good idea to visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist is an expert on skin and skin disorders, both causes and cures.

Having said that, a diet that does not provide enough protein is not good for your skin, and may cause a skin rash.

Protein has a number of functions in the body.

It is the building material for your skin, bones, muscles and other tissues. Whenever there is any damage to any of your tissues, either due to normal wear and tear, or to injury, protein is necessary to rebuild that tissue.

In addition, protein is a major component of enzymes, antibodies, and hormones. These are chemicals that play a major role in many processes in the body that, among other things,fight disease, digest food, and allow you to enjoy a healthy love life.

Proteins also function as regulators of fluid balance and acid-base balance, which help keep you from swelling up, drying up, and/or becoming toxic, any of which could be life-threatening.

Proteins are also involved in the clotting of blood, and functions as transporters in the body, carrying important nutrients. For example, hemoglobin, a protein in the blood, carries the oxygen from your lungs to your cells.

Finally, protein can be used by your body for energy. This is not the best use of protein, since it has so many uniquely important functions, as listed above, but without another source, your body can convert protein to energy.

More information

If you are unsure about which foods are good protein sources, you can visit our protein page by clicking the "Protein" button at the top of this page. There you will also find some ideas about servings of proteins and the effects of not enough protein in your diet.

You may also consider meeting with a dietitian who can help you plan a diet that has sufficient protein based on your age, gender and activity level.

I hope this helps and thank you for visiting our healthy eating website!

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,


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