Vegan - Dry eyes, dry skin, etc - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-13-2011, 10:39 AM
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Hello everyone! I am new to the forum but have a question that I hope you can help with. I have been vegan for about a year but have been struggling the past few months with very dry eyes, dry skin, and now dry lips. I live in Arizona and know that the dry air doesn't help; however, I feel that the change in my diet is causing the new dryness issues. I have tried lotions, eye drops, and chapsticks, but the problem seems to be underlying and perhaps a diet issue.

Have any of you had this problem before and any suggestions on how to help? I should mention that I have tried flaxseeds and peanut and tree nut allergies makes it so that I can't add nuts to my diet.

Any thoughts, similar experiences, or suggestions? *It would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 Old 07-13-2011, 10:50 AM
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If you've been vegan for nearly a year, what makes you think it's your diet if it's a fairly recent problem? Skin issues from dietary changes will usually occur within a few weeks, so unless your diet has changed drastically in the last three months in some other way, I wouldn't think diet is to blame.

A few things to consider; are you staying hydrated? Water is a major factor in skin problems. Have you seen a doctor? Have you tried supplements? I take one with Lutein for my eyes, because they tend to itch a lot without it.

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#3 Old 07-13-2011, 11:03 AM
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Well, I am questioning diet because my eyes have become more and more dry over the past six months, and I have tried so many other things to try to determine the issue. I have been allergy tested and have eliminated allergens. I have been to the eye doctor three times about the issue, and she just gives me restatis to help with the dry eyes. I am also taking a prescription eye drop for allergies to try to help the problem. It seems as if doctors have only been able to treat the symptoms, so I am wondering if it is some type of longer-term deficiency.

I definitely stay hydrated as that is always a concern in Arizona, and I have been in Arizona for several years with no previous issues. It's an area I have questioned, but increasing my water intake hasn't helped. As for supplements, I take flaxseed, a multi vitamin, b12, and zinc.

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#4 Old 07-13-2011, 11:07 AM
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Sounds like the symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome, which is an autoimmune disease, not caused by diet or climate. You might want to see a doctor to rule this out.
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#5 Old 07-13-2011, 11:10 AM
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Have you recently started or stopped any other medications? You could invest in a humidifier, that might help...

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#6 Old 07-13-2011, 11:40 AM
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Before I went vegan, I developed a problem with dry skin and eyes. Until I was 26 yrs old or so, I'd never had a need for skin lotions or eye drops. As I got older, I needed to use these things more and more often. I am fortunate that this (and another more serious health issue) developed BEFORE I went vegan. Otherwise, I might have blamed my veganism.

There are a lot of soaps that I just can't use. I just bought a new soap yesterday, that I used just once, and it felt like it instantly shrank the skin on my hands. I'll be giving that one away.

I know you said you already tried lotions, but there's one lotion in particular that I want you to try. Ever notice how lotions seem to hang out on the surface of your skin, but never really soak in? If you covered yourself in lotion, and then rinsed it all off in the shower, would your skin be moisturized? For most lotions, the answer is "no." BUT... Please please, promise me that you'll try Giovanni lotion.

The Giovanni lotions are vegan, and they quickly soak into your skin, AND they STAY in your skin!!! Here's an example: I hate slimy hands. I can actually rub this lotion into my hands, wait 30 seconds, and rinse the lotion down the drain, and my hands will be totally moisturized.

For your lips... Wash your lips (to remove any chapstick and dry them out as much as possible for absorption). Rub a little bt of Giovanni lotion on them, and wait 10-30 seconds. Wash your lips again, and apply your normal chapstick. Your lips will feel so bizarre and soft!!! Try it!!!

Anyways, like me, you'll learn what works and what doesn't through trial and error. You'll find soaps you like and don't like, and hopefully you'll give Giovanni lotions a go. They are a bit pricey, but if you suffer from dry skin they are worth every single penny!!! I can find them at Target, Walmart, Online, and at vitamin stores and health food shops. Here's what they look like:

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#7 Old 07-13-2011, 03:47 PM
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At this moment in time i am taking starflower oil (vegicaps) for dry skin that i have around my eyes. I first had this problem in 2009 and again i took starflower oil for eight weeks. It took about six weeks before i visibly saw any difference, then about another four weeks after i had stopped taking it did the dry skin disappear. I'm hoping for the same result this time.
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#8 Old 07-13-2011, 08:54 PM
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yeah my two thoughts were possibly if you weren't getting enough fatty acids, but you're already taking a flaxseed supplement. SomebodyElse mentioned Sjogren's which popped in to my head too, only because i've been tested for it myself before. I believe the most common type of sjogren's is in women around the age of menopause.
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#9 Old 07-14-2011, 09:10 AM
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Make sure you are eating enough healthy oils. Lack of fat in the diet is generally the number one culprit for things like dry skin, brittle hair, dry mucous membranes, etc... Try incorporating some olive oil, flaxseed oil, and coconut oil into your diet (I know coconut is up in the air for many, but after the reading I have done, I am convinced that it is good for you. )

I know that you take a flax supplement, but that isn't enough fat in general. For all I know, you could have a massively fatty diet, but many vegans don't. You also need fat to process the nutrients in your food. 10% of your caloric intake is "supposed" to be the minimum. I shoot for 20-25% b/c that is enough to keep my skin and hair healthy. I was eating less, but my lips were ALWAYS chapped. Since I bumped it up, my lips haven't been chapped once.
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#10 Old 07-14-2011, 12:17 PM
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Thank you all for your responses. I am going to try some of these things and see what works. One suggestion that really makes sense to me is taking in more healthy fats. I eat a lot of raw fruits and veggies because they are easy to grab, but my fat intake is probably around 10-20 grams/day. Before going vegan, I was a really unhealthy eater and took in my fair share of fat (although mostly unhealthy).

One thing I have considered is that I likely consume less fat now than when I first went vegan as I used to eat more in general and had fun trying new items. After about six months of playing around and trying vegan ice creams and other foods, the novelty wore off and I now eat more fruits, veggies, and the same meals each week.

I will start there with adding some healthy fats and then move through other suggestions if that doesn't help. Thank you!
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#11 Old 11-20-2012, 05:53 AM
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Hey Thastin,


Just logged in to say that i've been vegan for a month now and have observed significant increase in skin dryness. Face, scalp, and other body areas prone to dryness like my neck. Other people's suggestions are good, but if you want to check whether it is your diet that's causing it, try some Omega-3 supplements. Not just flax-seeds.. try a supplement with some decent quantities in it. That's what i'm trying at the moment, see it if works.


I found this site quite useful:


All the best.

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#12 Old 11-20-2012, 03:35 PM
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I know it sounds really basic, but make sure you don't eat any spicy food. It's hot and dries you out. Also, don't drink too much coffee (it dehydrates you), try to drink light green teen or (prferably) mint tea. Also, make sure your stress is under control, that can cause a lot many problems, even skin problems.

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#13 Old 02-12-2015, 01:21 PM
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I heard Restasis helps by reducing inflammtion on the eye so therefore increasing tear production and quality... only problem is it costs a bomb, depends if you live in the USA or not... it has one ingredient cyclosporine that helps, or thera tears... Havent tried these personally but some youtube videos i watched online some people benefit from these.
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#14 Old 02-12-2015, 06:17 PM
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Veganism wouldn't cause your eyes to be dry...It is probably the desert air...It sounds like you are trying all available options RE treatments though...
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#15 Old 10-09-2016, 07:03 AM
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I think it's just an L-Lysine deficiency, either eat a lot of beans or take an L-Lysine supplement.

Look at the huge Lysine amount in animal foods and then compare it to plant-based foods, basically only legumes (and to a lesser extent nuts) have much Lysine.
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