Purification of the skin at Hippocrates is a multi faceted approach to treat acne inside out. This approach to prevent acne involves a clear skin diet, a skin care and attention to overall hygiene and lifestyle. Please note that severe acne condition should be consulted and treated by a physician. The main reason is that the treatment must be tailored for the affected individual. It is worth reminding, prevention and paying attention to acne life style modifications in primary stages of acne in an adult or adolescent can prevent scars, which are more difficult to treat.
Clear skin diet and nutrition considerations to rid acne vulgaris more effectively:
Even though a direct relationship between acne and diet was denied by many studies in the past and for long time role of diet was considered one of acne myths, more recent research indicate exacerbation of acne by hyperglycemic diet and high intake of milk products. Importance of diet in prevention and maintenance treatment of acne patients has gained substantial consideration in our guidelines. By large, these studies suggest upregulation of insuling, insulin-like-growth-factor (IGF-1) and over-activation of m-TORC1 by high glycemic index diets, which, in turn increase androgens and sebocytes lipogenesis. Specific foods that cause acne has not been identified, however, certain diet considerations may help body immune system, promote a hormonal balance and as a result alleviate acne and sebum production. Several studies suggest certain diets and plants may influence congestion of intestinal bacteria, impact gut-skin axis and implicate in pathogenesis of acne.
1. Start a diet high in fiber and foods with lower glycemic index such as Salads, whole wheat bread, bran or multi grain to keep your digestive system moving fast and not burdening it with handling wastes and in general eating whole grains and whole food as opposed to highly processed food.
3. Drink 8 glasses of water every day. Water help your skin rid toxins and the transport of nutrients to your skin
4. Unlike what you may think, nuts are good for acne prone skin. Nuts are rich in gamma linolenic acid and certain linoleates which may involve in acne treatment. These essential fatty acids deficiency contributes to sebaceous gland hypertrophy and hyperkeratinization of the ducts
5. Avoid meats high in animal fat, salami, pepperoni, meatballs with a questionable association with hormonal acne
6. Consider moderate use of sweets in your clear skin diet, chocolate bars, candies, different drinks high in sugars as a teenager and lower use of them as you grow up. Honey is an excellent replacement for sugars. Low glycemic diets are warranted in control and management of acne vulgaris.
7. Food allergies may contribute to adult blemishes and delay acne treatment. If you are experiencing aggravation of your acne with certain food, eliminate it from your clear skin diet
8. Overall a diet low in saturated fats (animal fats) and sugar can strengthen your immune system which, in turn, help your skin’s defense mechanisms and aid your treatment of acne. It is worth remembering nuts including pistachio, almonds, peanut, cashews, walnut are not only great for your skin due to their high content of linolenic acid but they help stabilize your blood sugar level, prevent abrupt hormone fluctuations as well as anti bacterial activity of omega-3 fatty acids against propionibacterium acnes
9. Foods high in bioflavanoids and alpha lipoic acid could be helpful because of its contribution to rid free radicals. Liver and Brewer’s yeast are sources of alpha lipoic acid. Drink plenty of Green tea as it is a good antioxidant high in polyphenols
10- More recent studies suggest oral intake of omega 3 fatty acids to ameliorate acne lesions and is associated with improved outcomes as adjunct treatment
Life style modifications to treat and manage acne vulgaris equally implicates hygiene tips and precautions:
1. Wash your face with a gentle pH balanced cleanser twice a day, once before you going to bed and once in the morning. Soaps and many cleansers in the market have alkaloid pH, which is not consistent with acid mantle of the skin. These cleansers tend to stimulate sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. The result is more oily skin. Cleansing is of crucial importance in any acne treatment regimen whose main target is to prevent comedonal acne such as blackheads and whiteheads
2. Do not use any type of soap to wash your face, the alkaline pH of soaps stimulate production of sebum. Increased sebum production is involved in development of adult blemishes
3. Use a treatment at night over cleansed dry skin before going to bed such as acne treatment serum
4. Use a moisturizer for acne prone skin type during the day over cleansed skin. Keeping your skin moist during the day is important to prevent microcomedones and excess production of sebum
5. Do not touch or rub your face and anywhere else you have acne on
6. Daily showers prevent accumulation of excess sebum on the skin and could be a rewarding adjunct to your clear skin diet. Once-a-week a hot bath is of great help in elimination of toxins and excess sebum. Wash your body with a body wash or a pH balanced shampoo rather than a soap. Wash your towels more frequently.
8. Very important point: Do not let your face touch the pillow while you sleep, the mechanical stimulation can cause blemishes, especially if you are experiencing acne on sides of your face for long time. Sufficient sleep does substantiate in health of the skin and maintenance treatment of acne vulgaris.
9. After exercise showers. If you work out make sure you take a shower right after. Do not postpone your shower. The longer you postpone it, the more likely development of comedones, blackheads, whiteheads. Your sweatened skin is a more desirable environment for opportunistic bacteria.
10. Expose yourself to sunlight and fresh air 30 minutes every day. Wear a sunscreen and do not be scared of sun rays. This 30 minutes exposure is stimulating as well as balancing for your endocrine system.