Although acne certainly isn’t a life-threatening condition, it nevertheless causes sufferers a lot of distress. Struggling to face the day with yet another outbreak of pimples can prove to be upsetting and self-confidence destroying, so it’s no wonder that so many people who have acne prone skin are looking for a solution to their issues.
Acne is a chronic medical condition which has a number of root causes. While covering up problem skin with makeup is a temporary solution, it isn’t going to address those root causes. This is why the only true solution to eradicating acne and enjoying better skin is to identify what is causing your breakouts and then to take action to eliminate those causes.
Whether you have compromised gut bacteria, micronutrient deficiencies, poor digestion or hormonal issues that are causing your skin to breakout, it’s essential to pinpoint the source of your problem skin and then to follow the right steps to treat that specific cause.
What are The Root Causes Of Acne?
There are several key issues at play when it comes to finding the root cause of acne.
Firstly, hormone imbalances are one of the top factors to consider. During adolescence, testosterone and estrogen are flooding through the body for the very first time, so it’s no wonder that teenage breakouts are such a common feature.
Also, when women are menstruating, their cycle results in fluctuating levels of estrogen which contribute to breakouts on a cyclical basis.
However, there are more hormones than simply testosterone and estrogen to consider when it comes to problem skin.
Insulin is a major hormone in the body which aggravates acne breakouts. High insulin levels stimulate the oil glands in the skin, causing spots to appear. Each time we eat food, the pancreas produces insulin, however when we eat foods which contain a lot of sugar or refined carbohydrates, the body produces even more insulin.
This stimulates even more oil to be produced. IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor) not only stimulates the oil glands, it also causes androstenedione and testosterone levels to increase which only serves to stimulate even more oil production and aggravate breakouts even further.
Another key cause of acne lies in gut health. Food sensitivities, an imbalance in the gut flora, exposure to foods which are inflammatory and insufficient digestive enzyme production can all lead to poor absorption of nutrients, inflammation within the body, leaky gut syndrome and high levels of harmful intestinal microbes.
If your detoxification pathways are also compromised, skin problems are certain to develop, including acne.
Tackling Acne From the Inside
Experts know that the very best way of tackling acne is to treat it from the inside. While topical treatments are effective in calming breakouts for a short period of time, the internal ecosystem must be healed in order for the problem to be fully resolved. Since most medications usually make our gut microbiome even worse, this can be a problem.
Lots of women find that their doctor prescribes them hormonal birth control pills to reduce their acne however again, this isn’t a long-term solution to the problem since it cannot address the root cause. Even worse, these medications can cause more problems than they resolve due to the side effects they can produce.
When coming off birth control pills, many women also suffer from rebound acne which is even worse than the breakouts that they had before starting the medication. This means that different strategies must be considered to address acne’s root causes. Here are some of the best.
Begin With Food
The best place to begin combating acne is to focus on food. No matter how many supplements you take, if your diet is poor in the first place you will never be able to eradicate breakouts.
Anti-acne meals should be low glycemic and anti-inflammatory. Vegetables which are high in phytonutrients but low in GI content are the best options. Arugula, broccoli, dark leafy green vegetables and kale are all ideal additions to your diet.
Also, you should try to include healthy proteins such as wild-caught fish, eggs, avocados, olive oil and lean meat as well as berries and other low glygemic fruits in your everyday diet while cutting out sugary and processed foods.
You may also consider avoiding eating dairy products since they are known to be very inflammatory as well as one of the most common food triggers to aggravate the gut lining and thus aggravate acne. Not only that, but dairy may increase the body’s IGF-1 and insulin levels and so may be better avoided by those with problem skin.
Some people also have sensitivities to gluten. It can result in aches and pains, brain fog and fatigue. Gluten may also increase zonulin levels which affect the gut lining’s permeability. Therefore, avoiding foods which contain gluten can prove helpful when trying to eliminate acne.
Adding certain supplements to your diet can also have skin-clearing benefits. Adding flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed into your diet can be helpful as well as berberine – a herbal supplement with antimicrobial actions and which stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Optimize Your Micronutrient Levels
Trying to optimize your micronutrient levels is an effective solution to improving your skin. Carotenoids, E, C and B vitamins, essential fatty acids, zinc, probiotics and selenium can all help to improve acne.
Improve Your Body’s Detoxification Pathways
The body’s primary detoxification organ is the liver. Toxins which include used hormones are sent to the liver so they can be broken down and excreted. Therefore, supporting your body’s liver function is important.
This can be achieved by eating more cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, by taking more exercise, by trying sweat therapies such as saunas, by adopting a high fiber diet and by staying well hydrated.
When you change your lifestyle, you can help to address acne’s root causes and improve your appearance and skin health quickly. This should, therefore, be your first course of action before resorting to taking medications.