Ranging from minor flare-ups to significant inflammation, acne is a condition that varies in appearance and severity, primarily appearing on the face, chest, and back. Many teenagers struggle with acne and it can linger well into adulthood. Whether acne is mild or severe, the best approach to treatment is individualized, utilizing natural and safe therapies from a qualified holistic health practitioner. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that play a role in the development of acne and holistic “from the inside out” approaches commonly used to heal acne.
What Does Acne Look Like?
The appearance of acne can vary from person to person and where it appears on the body.
Scaly red skin (seborrhea)
Nodules or cysts
Scarring can result from acne that is inflamed, picked-at, or not properly treated. The results can be emotionally crushing for both teens and adults. Consequently, over $100 million dollars annually is spent on non-prescription treatments for acne.
How Acne Develops
Problems can begin at any age and there is no reliable method to estimate how long it takes to clear up. When acne arises, it’s due to changes in the skin structures deep below the surface including hair follicles and sebaceous glands (oil-producing). Development of acne is often multifaceted including factors such as:
Exposure to toxins or irritants
Abrasive cleansing products
Use of cosmetics containing allergens, irritants, and chemicals
Of these factors, nutrition exerts the strongest influence over the prevention and healing of acne. The nourishment we give our bodies fuels many processes that affect the organs of detoxification. Specifically, the liver and the skin (integumentary system) help keep the surface of the skin glowing.
7 Simple Dietary Habits to Support Healthy Skin
Hydrate! Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Healthcare recommendations vary from 6-8 glasses of water a day, to drinking at least one-half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces. Talk with your holistic practitioner about what’s right for you, based on your health and lifestyle, including diet, exercise, occupation, climate, supplements and other therapies.
Avoid sugar-laden drinks and reduce caffeine intake. The theory is that caffeine invokes the stress response (it elevates HR, BP, cortisol, etc.), and circulating stress hormones contribute to acne. Overconsumption of caffeine may trigger and worsen existing acne.
Eat fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds– opt for nutrient-dense foods.
Avoid hydrogenated /partially hydrogenated oils/fats such as those found in processed food.