Good nutrition plays an important role in calming acne-prone skin and reducing eruptions.
- A HEALTHFUL DIET rich in natural whole foods is the first recommendation. The Western refined diet is associated with an increased incidence of acne while there is less acne seen in communities eating a traditional diet.
- EAT PLENTY OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, whole grains and beans. Avoid highly refined foods, especially those with high sugar content.
- AVOID FRIED FOODS and foods containing trans-fatty acids such as margarine and shortening.
- AVOID IODINE and foods containing iodised salt, as iodine is known to aggravate the condition.
- DRINK WATER – at least 2 litres of water daily, more in summer.
- If acne appears in your late twenties onwards, FOOD INTOLERANCE is a likely causative factor. Seek professional help to identify the factors.
- CONSTIPATION OR BOWEL IRREGULARITY can contribute to acne. Gastrointestinal problems must be treated appropriately.
Increase the intake of VITAMIN A OR BETACAROTENE RICH FOODS
(Eg dark green leafy vegetables, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, rockmelon, mango, apricot, eggs, liver)
If you have taken antibiotics (like tetracylines) over a period of time you must commence a program to reduce the effects of Candida albicans. The resultant intestinal dysbiosis from the use of antibiotics may be a signicant problem. (refer to follow up article on Overcoming Candida)
MEDICATIONS WHICH CAN AGGRAVATE ACNE
Corticosteroids, progesterone, testosterone, drugs containing bromides or iodines, dilantin, lithium, isoniazid. If you are taking these medications do not stop taking them. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of alternative drugs. Acne induced by the use of anabolic steroid is very resistant to treatment.
NUTRIENTS WITH A PROVEN ROLE IN ACNE TREATMENT AND CONTROL
One of Zinc’s important roles is to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to its more active form dihydrotestosterone. ZINC is well known for its function in the IMMUNE STIMULATION, INFLAMMATORY CONTROL and WOUND HEALING. Thus its contribution to healthy skin is most significant. Clinical studies have confirmed that it has a direct role in the treatment of acne. Zinc gluconate and zinc citrate have been particularly beneficial yielding results comparable, if not superior to that seen in trials using tetracylines (an antibiotic and the common ‘drug of choice’ for acne). At least 12 weeks of supplementation may be required before good results are obtained.
Be patient! Good skin is worth the effort.
Antioxidants such as VITAMIN C, VITAMIN E, BETACAROTENE, SELENIUM have a role in regulating VITAMIN A. As well as this, its other important role is to normalize the enzyme glutathione peroxidase that inhibits the formation of toxic fatty acid derivatives in the sebum. Increasing dietary sources will do much to improve acne, if this is not possible take a supplement.
The relationship between acne and insulin and sugar metabolism is an interesting one. Patients with the condition known as ‘skin diabetes’ should avoid concentrated carbohydrates and supplement with chromium to improve glucose tolerance.
VITAMINS B5, B6
PANTOTHENIC ACID (B5) is beneficial to decrease sebum production. PYRIDOXINE (B6) is particularly important for those with premenstrual acne through its effect on normalizing the metabolism of steroid hormones.
To reduce bacterial population, nutritionally SUPPORT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM with VITAMIN C, ZINC, B VITAMINS, GARLIC, ECHINACEA, GARLIC.
DAILY SKIN CARE IS IMPORTANT. Use an antibacterial face wash. Avoid oily cosmetics and hair greases. Keep hair off the face. Topically applied, tea tree oil (sparingly on affected area only) may be effective in reducing bacterial activity. B5 applied to the skin is also of significant benefit.
What is Acne?What causes acne? click here to read more
This information is not presented as a substitute for professional treatment. Please consult your health practitioner for specific individual health needs.
Source: Peggy Lim (B Sc(Hons) MComm Nutrition, The Brisbane Clinic of Nutritional Medicine, Queensland, Australia (07) 336912144