Fish Oil

Fish Oil refers to the naturally occurring oils in the flesh of fish. Fish Oil is extracted from many types of fish and is among the most popular nutritional supplements on the market. Fish Oil is purported to have many health benefits, such as decreasing inflammation and improving skin tone. Fish Oil supplements are commonly included in holistic Naturopathic acne treatment plans.

There have been several research studies to investigate whether Fish Oil supplements can help improve acne symptoms. Many of these studies found that regular consumption of Fish Oil led to reduction in the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks. However, these effects tend to be fairly small and Fish Oil is not expected to dramatically improve acne symptoms for most individuals. Fish Oil supplements do not appear to have a significant risk of side effects when consumed at recommended levels and they can be combined with most other acne treatments.

Fish Oil contains significant concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA) and DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA).These fatty acids have been reported to provide multiple health benefits and they may be responsible for anti-inflammatory properties of Fish Oil. Fish Oil is approved by the FDA to help lower levels of blood triglycerides (fats).

The powerful anti-acne drug Isotretinoin (Accutane) can cause unsafe increases in blood triglycerides in some individuals. There has been at least one research study which found that Fish Oil supplementation can help limit Isotretinoin-caused increases in blood triglyceride levels. Because of this, some dermatologists prescribe Fish Oil supplements to patients who are undergoing oral Isotretinoin therapy.

Although Fish Oil supplements are an easy way to maintain a steady level of dietary Fish Oil, eating fish itself will accomplish the same thing. Some experts believe that part of the reason why people in certain regions of the world (eg. Mediterranean) have lower frequencies of acne is because their diets are high in fish and other foods that are rich in certain types of fatty acids.


Acne vulgaris, mental health and omega-3 fatty acids: a report of cases. Rubin, et al. 2008.
Omega-3 fatty acids and acne. Logan. 2003.
Effects of fish oil supplementation on inflammatory acne. Khayef, et al. 2012.
Effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid and gamma-linolenic acid on acne vulgaris: a randomised, double-blind, controlled trial. Jung, et al. 2014.
Effect of dietary fish oil on hyperlipidaemia due to isotretinoin and etretinate. Marsden, et al. 1987.