I’ve talked about this on social media recently, but not yet here on the blog, so this might be the first you’re hearing about it! About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with chronic/late-stage Lyme disease. It took years to finally get a diagnosis, and even more time than that to finally start feeling better (though symptoms still pop up from time to time). Though most of my symptoms were neurological, my skin also reacted with breakouts, rashes, and signs of minor rosacea (even though I was still eating well and doing all the things I know to do to keep myself healthy). IV therapy is one of the therapies that my functional medicine doctor recommended to help strengthen my immune system from the Lyme.
While it was not the only therapy I tried, I absolutely did notice an improvement in my strength and energy levels, and my skin looks incredible for several weeks after I get an infusion. So when guest author, Nicole McCray offered to contribute a blog post about IV therapy for skin health and overall wellbeing, I said a quick yes. Please note that the doctor she interviewed for this article is not my doctor, so this article is not an endorsement or testimonial for her services. Enjoy!
About IV therapy
Radiant, clear, healthy skin is something we all want, and we go to great lengths to achieve it with topical skincare products. While there’s no doubt that many topical treatments are very effective, many of us are looking for natural ways to support our skin and our mental and physical health through good nutrition. And that’s where IV therapy comes in.
IVs have been a staple treatment in hospitals for providing critical hydration and medications for decades. But now, they’re a readily available and effective way to give your overall health, mental wellbeing, and even your skin a quick boost from the inside out. Here’s why you might want to give IV therapy a try!
Why IV therapy works
According to Dr. Miriam Rahav, M.D., founder of the functional medicine clinic Rahav Wellness, “an IV dripping hydration, vitamins, and nutrients directly into the bloodstream helps the body tap into its own unique healing potential. It’s very effective because it bypasses the digestive system and makes the nutrition available for immediate use.”
IV therapy may work better for some people than supplements in pill or capsule form because it ensures that the nutrients are completely absorbed, with very little waste. Since the nutrients are delivered directly to the cells where they’re needed most, they have the potential to improve the function of many body systems, from skin health to mental wellbeing and much more.
IV therapy’s role in mental and physical health
Overall wellness isn’t just about your physical health. It encompasses a wide range of factors that all play a role in your mental and physical wellbeing, including your emotional health and your environment.
An IV drip improves your physical and emotional wellness, including anxiety and depression, by providing your body with the raw materials it needs for optimum function. When your body has a perfect balance of nutrients, you feel better overall, have better cognitive function, and enjoy a stronger immune system.
The body needs a specific intake of nutrients each day for optimum function. That level can vary according to age, stress levels, physical activity, gender, and much more. The demands of our modern lifestyles can also make it difficult to meet our nutritional needs. Not only that, but many people are dealing with digestive issues that interfere with their ability to absorb nutrients and convert them into energy.
IV therapy delivers key, concentrated nutrients your body needs for overall health and mental wellbeing, including:
- Increased energy
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Fewer and less severe migraines
- Improved allergy and asthma symptoms
- Faster wound healing and muscle recovery
- Stronger immune health
- Improved focus and memory
How IV therapy supports skin health
When you visit a functional medicine doctor for IV therapy, they can formulate an IV cocktail to target your individual needs and goals. You can request an IV that contains specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to improve the health of your skin. It’s a natural way to rejuvenate and brighten the skin from the inside out.
IV therapy also helps the body to detoxify which is especially important for healthy skin. Selecting an IV drip that includes antioxidants like vitamin C and CoQ10 fights the free radicals that can cause cellular damage and premature aging. Glutathione and biotin may also improve the appearance of sun damage and fine lines, all while supporting detoxification to keep skin clear and reduce blemishes.
Just like the rest of your body, your skin relies on the raw materials you provide to stay healthy.
Here’s what to look for in IV therapy for healthier skin:
- Saline: Of course, the saline in an IV drip provides hydration, which we know is crucial for achieving that healthy glow we all crave. But saline in an IV drip will also help the body detoxify and eliminate the free radicals that can lead to dull, tired-looking skin. Environmental pollution, heavy metals, and other toxins that build up in the body can also affect your skin health, even leading to premature aging. IV therapy not only helps to remove existing toxins, but regular treatments can also prevent future buildup and damage.
- Glutathione: According to nutrition experts at Medical News Today, glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that removes damaging free radicals from the body. Glutathione also supports your immune system and energy levels to help you look and feel healthier overall.
- Electrolytes: Electrolytes in an IV drip for the skin will help to prevent dryness and dullness. They will keep skin more supple and plump, which makes it look more youthful. And, of course, electrolytes are key for keeping the body hydrated and energized, which means you will look younger and more radiant overall.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is another antioxidant that fights free radical damage, but it has other benefits for the skin as well. Vitamin C supports the production of collagen, which is the building block of healthy skin, hair, and nails. There’s also evidence that Vitamin C can help to prevent sun damage, which is a constant battle for anyone concerned about the health of their skin. (Rachael’s note–topical Vitamin C is not always a great idea since l-ascorbic acid is highly unstable and oxidizes easily, introducing free radicals into the skin. Other forms of topical Vitamin C are less effective, and synthetically derived, and do not really have the ability to reach the dermis, where collagen is actually formed. For these reasons, I prefer internally consumed Vitamin C to assist with collagen production and other benefits.)
- B-Complex: B vitamins are essential for regulating the pigmentation of the skin. When they are included in an IV drip, they help to prevent and repair hyperpigmentation, repair skin damage, and support the health of skin cells. When combined with vitamin C, they also speed up the healing process.
If you’re thinking about trying IV therapy for the first time, be sure to seek out a licensed practitioner at a reputable doctor’s office or clinic. This will ensure that you’re receiving the highest quality nutrients and that they’re administered using the same medical-grade equipment you would expect in a hospital setting. As an added bonus, many clinics offering this service have spa-like IV suites where you can relax during your session. What a great way to rejuvenate your mind, body, and your skin!
Have you tried IV therapy for skin wellness or overall wellbeing?
I’d love to hear your experience with it! Please share with me in the comments below.
About the author:
Nicole McCray is an experienced content writer with a passion for all aspects of wellness. She worked a side gig at a yoga studio for years before becoming a mom, and absolutely fell in love with holistic and alternative therapies during her first pregnancy. She’s been proclaimed the “health nut” amongst family and friends, and when she’s not writing, Nicole can be found studying to become a health coach and reading up on all aspects of healthy living!
*IV therapy is not right for everyone–please discuss whether or not IV therapy is right for your individual needs with your licensed physician or healthcare provider.