Skin and the Benefits of Lysine

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Lysine is an essential amino acid that your body needs but cannot manufacture. It plays an important role in the production of carnetine and the formation of collagen, a substance important for bones and connective tissues including skin. Typically people get enough lysine in their diet. Lysine can also be used as a topical in the treatment of some skin issues.

Cold Sores

Lysine has be proven to be effective in helping treat cold sores. A study conducted by the Southern California University of Health Sciences showed lysine to be effective treatment in 40 percent of participants after three days and in 87 percent by the sixth day. Lysine ointments, balms and creams can be purchased over the counter for cold sore treatment.


Similar as with the treatment of cold sores, Lysine has be shown to accelerate recovery from shingles. The amino acid restricts replication of the virus and may also help maintain remission for some. Dosage may vary from person to person, so consult your physician or dermatologist to determine how this treatment can work for you.


Some topical creams used for the treatment of genital warts include lysine. While this may be successful for some, it is not recommended as the main treatment. Lysine can be used in conjunction with other medications during an outbreak or remission, but use should be doctor-supervised in case of adverse medicine interactions.

Foods High In Lysine

Lysine can be found in a variety of foods, such as dairy products, most fruits and vegetables, eggs, avocados, legumes, meat and fish. Athletes, vegetarians who do not eat beans, and burn patients may benefit from additional supplementation. Lysine deficiency can lead to poor concentration, dizziness, poor appetite, weight loss, emotional agitation, decreased antibody formation, decreased immunity and hair loss.