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Blog - Functional Dermatology

Pimple Be Gone

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So often with disease, as I am often apt to point out, we can prevent it. Once again here is a disease process that has its connection to your diet, even though a lot of doctors claim there is no connection to food, the data does not bear this out. Its interesting something so commonplace and insufferable as acne is treatable without meds and is so readily responsive to changes in lifestyle. Puberty does not have to be the "Time of the Pimple".

Testosterone increases the size of sebaceous (sweat) glands and this is why puberty brings about increased incidence of acne. We cannot get rid of the testosterone, although most parents of teenagers would love to, but we can defuse the powder keg this hormone presents to the sebaceous glands by addressing the "fuses".

Acne is a response to inflammation. This inflammation and hormonal changes affect how your sweat glands react. With increased swelling your sebaceous glands get clogged, infected and viola' you have acne. No amount of face washing will rid you of this problem. You have to get to the bottom of it and it starts with your fork-let me explain why.

Pimples are a symptom of disease just like water on the floor is a sign of a broken sink. We need to fix the sink if we are going to get rid of the problem and not just mop up the floor. There are several underlying factors in acne and I will explain how by addressing these we are going to fix the "sink".

Acne is one of the signs of the body having insulin overload. That is why eating lots of sugar and processed food predispose you to this problem. Insulin is responsible for building up tissues and growth. It makes sense that sebaceous glands (sweat glands) also would grow from its stimulation and we get acne. To solve this aspect of acne it becomes simple-stop eating or drinking crap with high sugar content and foods that are highly processed. This is simple in theory but becomes hard when we think about all the things we eat that fit this description, but it is a place to start. With the demise of Hostess this all becomes a little easier.

Milk is another hidden acne contributor. Although the marketing for milk suggests it does a body "good", I have to disagree. This food has insulin growth factor 1 in it, and increases insulin resistance in the long run. Research Link With this molecule the sweat glands are more primed for overgrowth and a "bad" diet, greatly increases our predisposition to acne and eventually, when one looks at its mechanism of action, diabetes. No society that lives without milk as a staple suffers from bad health or weak bones. We will be just fine without it and our skin will thank us. Additional Research Link.::

"Warning: Broken record to commence...." Inflammation is caused by diet. Gluten is a very inflammatory molecule in our diet. Keeping gluten out of our diet, or at least to a minimum, will decrease inflammation. Inflammation causes acne so gluten elimination is another factor to consider as treatment.

Supplements are helpful in acne and zinc is a must. This simple element in one study reduced acne from 100% to 15%. This has to do with anti-inflammatory processes and improvement in insulin receptors. This needs to be elemental zinc and 30 mg a day is very helpful (Zinc Piconilate is my favorite because of increased absorption). Other supplements that should be considered include Chromium at 200 mg a day (improves insulin resistance) as well as Selenium (400 mcg) and a very good omega 3 fatty acid (fish oil-decreases inflammation along with good diet).

Acne is not inevitable for teenagers or adults. We have to change our lifestyle and make better choices in our diets and make sure our deficiencies are addressed. Testosterone increase for young adults is inevitable, but with lifestyle changes this plague on teenage dating is easily treatable and can help those adults who are suffering as well from diseases of increased testosterone such as Polycystic Ovary Disease.




 

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