There aren’t many people on this planet that can say the have never had a blemish, a pimple or a full blown ready to burst pustule.
Puberty is a time in our life we would commonly experience these eruptions on our face. Which is a cruel time as this is when our need to belong and be accepted is most crucial in our life. But puberty is a stage where huge hormonal changes are happening to our body and this will often be highlighted on our face. The beauty of the commonality of acne is that we all know what it is and can relate to someone experiencing a break out.
The problem arises when puberty is well and truly passed and yet these eruptions are still occurring on a regular basis.
So why would acne still occur once puberty is well and truly over?
The best way to explain this is to understand what actually contributes to an acne flare up. The skin on our face composes of many small pores and these pores can block from the sebum that is released from the sebaceous glands. These blocked pores are called comedomes, better known as black heads or white heads. The comedomes can have bacteria trapped in them and become infected. Besides having a great skin care regimen, where you are cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating/nourishing the skin on your face on a daily basis, it is just as important to control the excessive production of sebum from the sebaceous glands through other means.
What steps can I take to slow down the over production of sebum?
There are several ways you can achieve this, but the 3 main steps are outlined here:
Address any underlying health condition: This is probably the single most important factor to caring for your skin. As you can see in the picture above, our skin is directly link to the health of our body. If we are struggling with digestion, then we get those small lesion on our forehead, if we have leaky gut issues there will be more lesions around our chin and son on.
This can be tricky and seeing a health care practitioner is the most effective way to address this. Often people self diagnose and then go to the health food store and look for a supplement to rectify this perceive 'imbalance or deficiency'. This can lead you on a roller coaster ride and a very expensive one as often it can lead to more google searching and self diagnosis.
Nutrition: There are certain foods that can increase the production of sebum. For example, greasy fatty food, alcohol, refined sugar, little water consumption and excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages. These foods/beverages will upset the balance of oil on the skin and as a result the sebaceous glands react in a way the makes the skin greasier leading to more blocked pores. Eating loads of vegetables, small quantities of low GI carbohydrates and lean meats with copious amounts of water will keep your skin hydrated and revitalised by healthy nutrients feeding your skin.
Healing Psoriasis with Mediterranean Cooking is a great cookbook filled with over 60 recipes that are anti-inflammatory and great for the management of insulin resistance. As the name suggests, it for psoriasis but reading inside you will see in the introduction it mentions other ailments such as acne this book helps with as this approach is applicable to conditions that share similar attributes such as insulin resistance, inflammation and skin lesions.
Emotions: Stress and other negative emotions will increase the sebum production in your skin. This isn’t to say you should live in a bubble or force yourself to be happy all the time, it’s more about incorporating a relaxation technique into your day such as meditation or yoga.
Poorly caring for your skin: Using products or skin care that aren’t suitable for your skin or utilising products incorrectly can lead to dryness of the skin. To combat this, the skin will release sebum to balance the integrity of the skin. Always have your skin assessed and be sure to utilise skin care specifically tailored for your skin health.
I hope this information has been helpful and if you need guidance managing your condition we have a number of resources to assist you.
Schedule your free skin assessment in clinic or online to help you choose skin care products that are going to encourage your skin to naturally heal. We will also discuss additional options you have available to help your skin heal.
Feel free to share this email with your friends and family who you believe can benefit from the information outlined in this post.
About the Author
Dr. Prantalos (chinese medicine) has dedicated her life to skin health after suffering from debilitating psoriasis for most of her childhood and young adult life. She helps hundreds of people to manage their skin issues at her practice and skin clinic in Surrey Hills, Victoria and online at https://salubre.com.au/