As mentioned in my last post on treating skin conditions, allergens must be identified and eliminated, to ensure reduction of inflammation, and acne is no exception. Foods often associated with acne include dairy and gluten, chocolate, sugar, and refined carbohydrates (in general). Flour and sugar are best eliminated, as their intake has been linked to increased sebum production, or in another words, increased oily secretions from the sebaceous glands, aggravating acne, as are foods high in saturated fat, including peanut butter and fatty meats. Favoring foods that cool inflammation like non-starchy vegetables (think cucumbers, green leafy vegetables), fruit (cantaloupe, berries), wild seafood, and turmeric laden food or supplements is helpful. Plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) to hydrate tissues helps, as do select antioxidant beverages such as green tea or matcha tea(1 cup matcha equivalent to 10 cups green tea). The catechins in these types of teas quench free radicals and lower inflammation on a whole.
The presence of acne, itself, tells you that you have a level of inflammation that is present, revealing itself on your skin. I struggled with acne when I was a teenager, (as many do) and again in my 20’s. I even resorted to taking antibiotics for acne in my undergrad schooling era. Before I did my training and education in naturopathy, I did a lot of things that compromise the microbiome, one of which is taking antibiotics. As more evidence links a compromised microbiota or negligent gut flora population with various skin disorders including acne, eczema and psoriasis, one must treat the gut to lower system wide inflammation. Treating the gut and restoring your gut flora to its optimum level can indirectly treat the skin. Testing to help determine what bacteria are colonizing your gut and what non-optimal pathogens are colonizing your gut, including yeast can also be quite helpful and point you to dietary recommendations or adjustments that should be undertaken.
According to principles of bio-therapeutic drainage, your skin will express acne, when your other primary pathways of elimination including your gut via your stool, liver, and kidney via your urine are not eliminating efficiently enough or are over-taxed, it is paramount to take a good look at these organs and give support where needed. Please book a consult to talk about these concepts in more detail. Interestingly enough, barberries were recently found to be successful in treating acne at a dose of 1 tsp, three times daily. They can be found on Amazon.com. One of my favorite herbs to treat acne, that includes fluid filled lesions, is Ulmus campestris, a gemmotherapy which dries up the inflamed lesions. Homeopathy can be very helpful also for supportive care of skin conditions, including Unda combination remedies or single remedies, well formulated,to fit the case. To take a comprehensive look at addressing your acne, please book a consult with me at Parallel Wellness.