Acne is caused by multiple factors that affect the skin leading to the formation of localised lesions that may or may not contain a pus discharge.
What Causes Acne?
The most common causes of Acne are:
High sugar content in diet (Insulin Resistance)
High saturated fat content in diet
Stress, including heat, sweat, rubbing
Inappropriate use of soaps and cleansing agents
Nutritional deficiencies during growth stages.
Diet is the Easiest Place to Start.
The simplest approach is to improve eating patterns. Reducing junk and fried foods is critical to decreasing sugar and saturated fat content of the diet. A Food Elimination Regime is a good place to start. Consider an Optimal Health Eating Plan, or, depending upon Hormonal balance, an Insulin Resistance Healthy Eating Plan.
Diversify the healthy foods in your diet including whole fruits (but eliminate fruit juice), vegetables, legumes, nuts (not peanuts) and seeds.
Eat deep sea oily fish regularly (Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Herring, Ocean Trout) or choose to take Fish Oil supplements in order to avoid excess toxins, including mercury and PCBs. Remove all visible fat from meats, eat low fat cuts (Heartsmart), remove the skin from chicken.
The raging hormones of youth!
Most Hormonal Imbalances during adolescents are grown out of, however it is important to watch for Oestrogen Dominance particularly in women who have difficulty keeping their weight down during their teenage years. Nutrient/Herbal programmes along with an Insulin Resistance Healthy Eating Plan may be of assistance with Oestrogen Dominance.
How can treating Pimples stop Long term Health Problems?
Acne may be an indicator of Oestrogen Dominance but it is the least important outcome. Identifying Oestrogen Dominance early is important so that interventions to prevent the greater complications such as excess weight gain and the risk of Polycystic Ovarian Disease and Pre-Menstrual Syndrome can be minimised in the future.
Furthermore as PCOs are part of a cluster known as Metabolic Syndrome, the long term middle age consequences such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Cardiac Disease cannot be underestimated. Rather than seeing a simple pimple as a cause for alarm, it is instead a meaningful motivating factor for healthy lifestyle change in a teenager who is probably more concerned with their present appearance than the long term consequences of poor adolescent lifestyle choices.
Deal with the stressors?
Physical and psychological stress can both be significant factors in acne. Indeed, the pimple always appears on the chin before the nervously anticipated date! Obviously these can often be normal lifestyle stresses, so deal with the issues in relation to their importance, rather than the acne.
What about your Soap and Cleaning agents?
These may be the cause of some acne problems. Trial natural/ organic/ chemical-free products and see if they have an impact on you or your child’s acne problems.
Can medication cause acne problems?
Yes, some medications can increase acne. These may include corticosteroids, antibiotics and the Oral Contraceptive Pill in some individuals. In fact, noticeably increased acne after a course of antibiotics is an indication that you may need to take some probiotics to rebalance your gastrointestinal system.
Are there any Nutrients I should try?
Increase your Fish Oil consumption to offset the effects of saturate fat intake (4-6 standard dosages).
Consider practitioner quality Probiotic supplementation if there is the possibility that your gastrointestinal function has been reduced by a poor diet or antibiotic use.
Zinc is a powerful immune system booster and is very important for skin healing.. Take 35-50mg elemental zinc before going to bed.
A high quality multivitamin supplement is also recommended. Various nutrients are required for healthy skin function.