Many people experience some level of acne at some point in their lives, but few people realize how complicated a condition it is. It is not something that can be switched on or off. We have many hormones and bodily chemicals that must be in balance and be produced in proper proportions in order to have clear skin. If those hormones and chemicals are out of balance, acne is the result. A very specific diet will be one of your primary tools in fighting acne.
Cleansing the body and reducing inflammation is one key goal in eating to manage acne. These dietary habits are good for everyone trying to clear their systems of toxins, not just people who struggle with acne. This means consuming cleansing foods containing antioxidants as well as inflammation reducing foods, such as citrus, cinnamon, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, berries, spicy peppers, bell peppers and green tea.
Aiding the metabolism of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and sugars is another primary diet goal in managing acne. This means eating to aid digestion, process nutrients and vitamins, and limit intake of things that are too high in these substances. Good substances to consume are plain yogurt, flax seeds, whole grains, nuts and legumes, fish oils, vitamin B and D supplements, calcium heavy foods such as kale and milk, avocados, olive oil, lean protein such as turkey and fish, and light carbs and sugars that do not include white flour or refined sugar.
Eating for balanced hormones is a complicated matter. One can never guess at what their hormone levels are. One does not innately know which hormones they are deficient in and which they have an abundance of. Having said that, there are some herbs and substances, primarily plant based, that are known to have general hormone balancing qualities, such as green tea, saw palmetto, chasteberry, holy basil, white peony, spearmint tea, licorice root, nettle root and dandelion. In addition to these substances, it is wise to check your levels to know for sure, because you may be deficient in iodine, chromium and other bodily chemicals that affect your hormone production and metabolism.
There is far more inaccurate information available on acne than there is accurate. People with acne are long familiar with anyone and everyone offering them lotions and potions to help with their condition, most of which are total quackery. The most important thing that people should know about acne is that there is more than one root cause of it, the underlying causes are real medical conditions, not topical care problems and it may require a physician, a dermatologist and an endocrinologist to diagnose the problem. Your crazy aunt may think she knows best, but she is not the medical opinion to listen to.
One common cause of acne is hormone problems. Teenagers go through massive hormonal changes, which is why acne first flares up during the teen years. For most people, the natural aging process eases the hormone fluctuations and returns them to clear skin. But for others, a hormone imbalance continues to exist. Depending on which hormones are imbalanced and why, this condition can have several different names, but all of them are extremely complex to diagnose and treat.
A dysfunctional metabolism can also be a primary culprit in the skin condition acne. People with acne often have difficulty metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, proteins and sugars. Their bodies struggle to convert these substances into useful energy and they end up with chemical imbalances.
Simply having stress can cause breakouts. Western medicine is becoming more and more accepting of the fact that our mental health and our physical health affect one another. One way we have collectively acknowledged this is by studying the effects of stress on the body and learning that the body has a negative reaction to stress. For people who struggle with acne in any capacity, stress will aggravate their condition.
And lastly, other skin conditions play a part in acne as well. Conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and shingles can all interact with acne, aggravate it and increase its frequency.
In this blog, we emphasize the importance of watching what you ingest in order to manage acne, which is not to reduce the importance of the other things that affect the condition of your skin; primarily sleep, exercise and your cleansing routine. Acne is a complicated infection because it requires treatment through many different methods, not just one. The best advice that modern medical science has to give about acne is that a person needs to be aware of how their lifestyle affects their skin and be prepared to make adjustments.
Your sleep schedule is an important contributing factor to the health of your skin. We all know that foregoing sleep can create dark circles under the eyes and make skin look older. Less commonly known is that foregoing sleep can lead to break outs. The body does a considerable amount of healing during sleep, and this includes balancing the system’s chemicals. Without the right amount of sleep in regular increments, the body’s chemistry can become unbalanced. Hormone production can become irregular. Oil glands can become over or under productive. Mood swings may occur. All of these things can contribute to acne. For the best skin possible, get eight hours of sleep every night at the same time every night.
Exercise is also a contributing factor to your skin’s health, particularly because it is a kickstart to the metabolism. Exercise cleanses all bodily systems with fresh blood and oxygen. It causes the body to sweat out toxins and to burn fat. A slowed metabolism, toxins and excessive fat storage can contribute to bad skin, so it is important that you maintain a daily exercise schedule, even if it is brief, in order to keep your circulation high and to purge the body of acne causing elements.
And lastly, topical skin care will always play a part in the condition of your skin. Everyone’s perfect cleansing balance is different. Some people require more exfoliation, while others require less. Some people have sensitive skin and need a light cleanser while others need to use products that are deeply penetrating. Some people require a heavy moisturizer while others are naturally very oily and need less. The most important thing to remember for your topical routine is that your skin builds a relationship with it, so be observant and conduct some trial and error.
However, if your skin was permanently altered by acne scars or other traumas, doing all of these things to care for your skin will not restore it. Instead, you may want to consider plastic surgery, laser therapy or a number of other permanent remedies that can restore your skin’s healthy look. Plastic surgery in the Okanagan is available, or in any other region of Canada. Reach out for help with your skin today!
There are some pros and cons to acne medications. Acne medications largely consist of antibiotics and hormone medications. These options work well long term for some people and not as well for others. Many people find they have to spend time in a trial and error phase with acne medications to find the one that works right for them. Acne medication does not negate the need for a responsible diet, exercise regimen and sleep schedule for your skin’s health, but particularly in severe cases of acne, it can play a very important role.
Antibiotics for acne can be useful, but complicated. Antibiotics for acne are actually not meant to treat the infection itself, but rather are meant to alter the oil glands of the skin in order to produce less oil. The only problem with this is that skin will develop a tolerance to the antibiotic and will no longer be effective. The recommended method for taking acne antibiotics is to be on them for approximately two weeks, then off them for approximately two more weeks. Continuing this cycle will keep the skin from developing a tolerance. Antibiotics can have some negative side effects, such as photosensitivity.
Hormone medications, such as birth control for women, are also frequently used to treat acne. This is because acne is largely attributed to hormonal irregularities. Teenagers are the age group most prone to acne because of puberty and the influx of hormones in their bodies. One of the leading causes of adult acne is ongoing hormonal irregularity. Hormone medications work to balance these irregularities and clear the skin of acne. These medications can have drawbacks as well. Many people complain of drastic mood swings due to their hormone levels changing suddenly. Other people experience nausea or headaches. Again, experimentation is critical when it comes to choosing a medication that can work for you long term.
If your skin is scarred by acne, you may want to consider laser therapy or cosmetic surgery. Kelowna cosmetic surgeons can improve the appearance of your skin and restore it to its original smoothness and texture. Do not hide behind make up any longer. Instead, reach out for a permanent solution to acne scars.
Diet is a huge piece of the healthy skin puzzle. Anyone with acne issues cannot afford to forego nutrition. The reason for this is that the skin, like every other organ, is affected by the toxicity and the medicinal qualities of the things we eat. We do not know the exact cause of acne, but we do know that in part it has to do with the skin reacting to food in an abnormal way. It could be that acne prone people lack a certain enzyme to break down ingested substances. It could be a metabolism problem. Medical science is still looking into these questions, but in the mean time, we can make correlations between ingested substances and the general health of skin.
Here is a list of foods that are known to help fight acne:
Vegetables of all varieties: these natural foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, acidity and antioxidants to fight infection.
Fruits of all varieties: these natural foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, acidity and antioxidants to fight infection.
Natural spices: foods such as jalapenos, habaneros, cayenne pepper, ginger and wasabi are excellent for the skin as they boost metabolism and circulation.
Yogurt and other probiotic supplements: probiotics are essential to intestinal health, where much of the immune system lives. The body fights infection with a strong immune system.
Wheat and grain carbs: these natural sources of carbs are easier on the digestive system than white flours.
Olive oil: good for softening the skin and arteries.
The right kinds of proteins: proteins that contain monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, omega 3’s and fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and avocados act as healthy moisturizers to the skin and replenish it with lipids that give it a young vibrancy.
Water and other hydration: as critical to the skin as it is to every other bodily system.
Obviously, the causes of acne are complicated. If they were not, no one would have it. Particularly for severe cases of acne, we have moved away from the idea that this skin condition is mostly a topical problem, and have begun to focus on the disease’s metabolic and hormonal causes, which are much more difficult to control than a basic skin cleansing regimen. Studies into the metabolic causes of acne are revealing that, for people who are acne prone, food, drink and other substances can act as a medicine or as a toxin, giving those who struggle with pimples a good reason to watch what they ingest, and to consider detoxing for the skin.
I say “ingest” instead of “eat” because it is not just food and drink that affect the skin. As we know, smoking and injecting substances into the body can have permanent affects on the skin as well. Anything toxic that the body absorbs has an affect on the skin, and for those who are acne prone, the affects will be much more noticeable than for others. Here are some common things that are known to cause break outs in acne prone skin:
alcohol: causes skin inflammation and irritation, increases swelling in the skin and inhibits good circulation, leading to breakouts
cigarettes: bad for overall skin health as blood vessels tighten when you smoke and allow less circulation to the outer layer of skin.
drugs: both prescription and non-prescription drugs of different varieties can have negative effects on the skin, so be sure to discuss your medication’s effects on your skin with your doctor.
greasy, processed foods or foods containing excessive sugar and fat: as a general rule, if it is bad for your heart and your waistline, it is bad for your skin as well.
The moral for acne prone people is, when it comes to what you put in your body, keep it as natural, healthy and balanced as possible. Acne is largely a metabolic problem, meaning you cannot process the toxins in your body like other people can and you have to take extra care in caring for your skin. If you are a Canadian who is struggling with skin problems due to substance abuse, consider the services of Canada alcohol rehab or Canada drug addiction treatment. These services will monitor your intake and see that you ingest only substances that are good for your body and skin.