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Irritated and inflamed skin, a sore tongue, and cracks in the corners of the mouth are possible signs of a vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency. Most people get enough of this vitamin through their diet, but some people are at a higher risk for developing a deficiency, including older adults and those with alcoholism. A deficiency of this vitamin can be treated with vitamin B6 supplements.

Understanding a Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Some people are at a much higher risk for a vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency, compared to others. Although vitamin B6 deficiencies can cause serious problems, they are usually easy to treat.

What Are the Symptoms?

Signs of a vitamin B6 deficiency may include:
  • Irritated and inflamed skin
  • A sore tongue
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Anemia
  • Cracks in the corners of the mouth.

Who's At Risk?

While most people do not have trouble getting enough vitamin B6 through a well-balanced diet, the following groups of people seem to have a higher risk for a vitamin B6 deficiency:
  • People with alcoholism
  • Older adults
  • People taking the following medications:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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