Acne Fighting Diet
There are so many over-the-counter products available to fight acne that it's difficult to know which ones are effective on an individual basis. Contacting a dermatologist may help, but even prescription acne treatments don't have guaranteed results and often come with side effects. Fortunately, consuming a healthy diet high in antioxidants and healthy fats can help naturally fight acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is caused by an over production of sebum, an oil produced by the skin. Too much sebum clogs pores, which results in blackheads and acne breakouts. While the exact cause of sebum production varies individually, the Mayo Clinic notes that there is a link between acne and a healthy diet. In most cases, foods that promote overall health, such as fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, also promote skin health.
Antioxidants attack free radicals in the body that can cause skin damage among other problems. Therefore, eating foods high in antioxidants such as cherries, berries, spinach and green tea may reduce acne breakouts.
The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in salmon and other fatty fish, reduce inflammation. Because acne is an inflammatory condition, consuming omega-3 fats may reduce the severity or appearance of acne breakouts. Aim for two to three servings of fish per week as a means to improve acne. Due to the risk of mercury and other contaminants, pregnant women and small children are typically advised to consume less.
Water is essential for skin care and overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, water carries nutrients to your cells, enabling your body to properly use the antioxidants you consume. It also helps flush toxins from the body. The simplest approach to ensuring you consume enough water is to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily. Drink more on days your activity level is high or the outside temperature is much higher than usual.
In the past, certain foods such as pizza and chocolate were linked to acne breakouts. The American Academy of Dermatologists notes that this is not the case. There is no strong evidence that particular foods cause acne. However, some people may notice that certain foods aggravate their skin. If you notice a trend, it's wise to avoid these foods.
Anyone looking to start a new diet or to try a new supplement such as a multivitamin or fish oil should contact a health care provider before doing so. People with certain medical conditions may be advised to have more or less of certain vitamins and minerals. Only a health care provider can determine that on an individual basis. Furthermore, supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Even basic supplements such as multivitamins may interact with existing medications.
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