Nutritional Support for Help With Acne
Acne is a combination of oil, dead skin and bacteria buildup inside hair follicles that can linger for days. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, no one knows exactly what causes acne, but that hasn’t stopped people from seeking preventive cures. Changing your diet and taking nutritional supplements can be an alternative to skin medications and surgical procedures.
Acne can strike anywhere, but it most commonly appears on areas of your skin with the largest number of functional oil glands, such as the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pimples appear when hair follicles under the skin clog with oil secretions, dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria. According to the National Institutes of Health, it’s not a serious condition, but it can cause scars and emotional distress.
Theories on What Causes Acne
The medical community continues to debate the causes of acne, but many people agree that hormones may play a role. A shift in hormones, along with bacteria, certain medications and heredity, can create an increase in oil production that clogs hair follicles, according to the Mayo Clinic. People undergoing hormonal changes, such as teenagers, pregnant women and women starting or stopping birth control pills, are likely to experience acne.
Because a radical change in hormones may worsen acne, dietitians and dermatologists recommend avoiding foods that cause hormones such as insulin and testosterone to overreact. Highly processed foods that are easily digested, such as refined bread and cereal, cause the body to produce massive amounts of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, according to a study at Colorado State University. This excess of hormones encourages pores to ooze more oil.
Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables can also improve your chances of having clearer skin. According to the Acne Research Center, pimples flare up when roaming molecules of oxygen called free radicals rob healthy skin cells of their electrons and damage them in the process. Fruits and vegetables abundant in antioxidants, such as blueberries and grapes, can stop this process. Furthermore, Ventura, California-based registered dietitian Carmina McGee recommends six to nine daily servings of multicolored fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and A, which battle inflammation and aid in balancing hormones.
Types of Nutritional Supplements
Medical experts recommend taking nutritional supplements to treat or prevent acne. According to the Mayo Clinic, zinc may be one of the most effective minerals because it aids in healing wounds and reducing inflammation. Zinc is also commonly used in lotions and creams aimed at fighting acne breakouts. Fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids is also favored for reducing pimples. Dermatologist Mark Rubin of Beverly Hills, California, conducted a study in which four subjects showed a reduction of 11 to 41 acne lesions after taking omega-3 fish oil supplements for two months.
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