Acne is one of the most common chronic skin disorders. As a sufferer myself, I know first-hand how it can diminish your confidence and take you on a roundabout of emotions – frustration, upset and pain.
The skin is an amazing thing. Firstly, it is our largest organ. It acts as a protection barrier to the outside world, manufactures vitamin D when exposed to the sun, whilst also protecting us from UV rays. The skin also regulates our temperature and allows us to feel sensation, such as touching a hot plate. On the other hand, the skin can also be our ultimate enemy, especially when it allows acne to rear its ugly head (quite literally).
Acne can present itself as inflamed pus-filled spots or in the form of non-inflammatory black heads and whiteheads, which are little bumps under the surface of the skin caused by blocked pores. You will usually find that acne forms predominantly on the face, back, chest and shoulders. This is because these are the areas of the skin which have a higher density of sebaceous glands which produce sebum. Sebum is a group of complex oils that trap substances in the pores (or pilosebaceous unit if we are being scientific) and trigger an inflammatory response which causes the redness you see and the consequent raised spots. The hormone testosterone can encourage the production of this sebum, which is why acne is so predominant amongst teenagers and during menstruation in women, as hormones at these times are running wild.
So, what can we do to stop it?!
Well rest assured acne can be grown out of.
Frustratingly though in my case and many others, it can continue to appear through adulthood, normally at the exact time you’d rather it didn’t i.e. your wedding day! (True story for me)
So, we need to accept that although we cannot completely cure acne, we do have the power to control it and minimise its impact. Using the most expensive, luxurious skincare and treatments are highly unlikely to help combat acne single-handedly, despite what the advertising gurus lead you to believe. By all means try what you can but without a doubt, eating wholesome, unprocessed foods and a wide varied diet can do wonders to promote good skin health.
The ideal diet to help combat acne is one low in sugar and starchy carbs, high in Omega 3, Zinc, selenium, vitamin E and contain lots of colourful fruit and veg. Key foods to include are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Low GL carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes
- Oily fish such as Salmon & Mackerel
If you too suffer from acne, please contact me to discuss how we can review your eating habits to help promote healthy skin. Acne was one of the key drivers why I originally turned my eating habits around. All the medications, creams and lotions I tried (years’ worth of them) achieved nothing in comparison to what a healthy diet did.