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Dietary Changes for Acne Treatment?
Dietary Changes for Acne Treatment?
Acne, pimples or “zits” as many sufferers call it, can be a real cause for depression. It is the most common of all skin diseases with around 17 million people in the USA alone afflicted with an acne problem. The official term, Acne Vulgaris describes a condition whereby the sebaceous glands of the skin become inflamed. If proper acne treatment is not sought these may develop into unsightly pustular cysts, and the end result may be permanent acne scars.
The causes of acne are varied and may include hormonal activity, stress, accumulation of dead skin cells and allergy to bacteria which are present in the pores of the skin. Sometimes it is a reaction to anabolic steroids and medication containing halogens, lithium, barbiturates or androgens. Some research suggests a role for food allergy, in the development of acne which implies the elimination of trigger foods could be helpful in the treatment of acne.
There are two types of acne: acne vulgaris and acne rosacea. Acne vulgaris is usually a bacterial infection of cysts deep within the skin. This could cause acne scarring if left untreated. Acne rosacea is a chronic inflammation of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, and eyelids. These show up as red eruptions. The teenage years seem to be the most troublesome for acne sufferers but it can also occur in adulthood and well into middle age.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and a healthy nutrient intake may improve its tone and quality. Although a diet of fried food, chocolates and other junk food does not directly cause acne, there is evidence that changes in diet may be helpful in the treatment of acne.
A study conducted by the US Colorado State University showed a link between refined carbohydrates and processed foods like sugar, white bread, pizza, cake and pastries, and acne. These cause a series of reactions in the body that increase the production of acne-causing bacteria. Refined carbohydrates also cause the body to produce a high level of insulin which increases the production of male hormones that cause acne. A decrease in your intake of refined carbohydrates may be beneficial in the treatment of acne. Instead try to include more whole grains, pulses and complex carbohydrates.
Furthermore it is now thought that obesity and insulin resistance may also play a role in the development of acne so dietary changes to assist in achieving an ideal weight are likely to be beneficial to the treatment of acne.
There is some research linking higher milk consumption intake to acne. If you normally include large amounts of milk in your diet, you could try reducing this and seeing if this is an effective acne solution for you. Ensure you include other calcium rich foods instead such as green vegetables, fish with soft bones, almonds and soymilk.
Omega 3 fish oils and antioxidants vitamins may also be important. Vitamin A (also in the form of beta-carotene which is converted in vitamin A) is thought to reduce acne symptoms. It is involved in strengthening the protective tissue of the skin and reducing sebum production. Additionally it helps in maintaining and repairing skin tissue and increasing toxin excretion which may be an important part of the acne solution.
Chromium supplements may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of acne via the role in clearing infections and preventing further breakouts. Zinc is a good antibacterial agent; it helps control the oil-producing glands of the skin. Eating zinc-rich foods could help in reducing acne, such foods include red meat and offal, pumpkin seeds, and mushrooms.
A role for vitamin E in the treatment of acne has also been suggested due to its anti-oxidant action and regulatory effect on vitamin A levels within the body. Vitamin E requirement can be easily met through natural sources such as almonds, corn, eggs and leafy green vegetables. However you can also try supplementing with synthetic forms and monitor any changes in your acne.
One of the most important aspects of your acne treatment is to drink at least eight glasses of water. This cleans the body of waste and keeps it free of toxins. Water helps in circulation, digestion, absorption and excretion.
Unfortunately changes in diet alone may not provide a total acne solution. There are a variety of drugs available for the treatment of acne, in addition to an array of natural remedies. It may be advisable to visit a dermatologist for a proper consultation in conjunction to any dietary changes you want to introduce.
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