In Acne 1 I covered the overall causes of acne. In this blog I will go over sensible courses of action to clear the blighters up.
If the cause is not the male sebum stimulating hormone, a good place to start solving the spots problem lies in sorting out digestion and low levels of stomach acid, called HCl. As the linked blog explains, good digestion is triggered by adequate levels of HCl. When stomach acid levels are low, the pH of the whole digestive tract is too alkaline which encourages the bad bacteria naturally living there to proliferate. This is why prescribing anti-biotics sort of works – it kills all the ‘biotics’. But it kills indiscriminately so the weaker good bacteria get destroyed as well as the bad ones. This leaves the guts open for the bad boys to proliferate which leads to weakening of the gut walls, increased food sensitivities, increased stress on the liver and detoxification systems – and more spots. So to help all but the most infected spot, antibiotics are not a good choice. It would be better to correct HCl levels and take regular doses of probiotics. Then a good building block for skin repair is put in place.
Before leaving partying bad bacteria, it is worth pointing out that sugary foods and drinks – and these include fruit juices – feed these things1. To be serious about getting rid of spots, avoiding these things will really help whilst sorting out what the causes of the outbreaks are. When the skin is calm, by all means try introducing sugary stuff again. It will quickly become evident if they are causing outbreaks.
Sugar is implicated in causing an outbreak in another way. Studies2 have shown that as insulin rises so does IGF1, a male hormone stimulator – and so we are back with that pesky male hormone again3. High sugar intake, in the form of a chocolate fest, pizza, pasta, crisps does no one any good at all. So if a link is found between getting an outbreak coinciding with a weekend away snarfing down cheap food, then this is a bonus since it shows you can’t eat all that rubbish, and neither can anybody else. It is just that their skin handles it – they do pay a price in different ways, though. Trust me. I see it regularly.
Spots in bottles.
Another main cause of acne is dairy intolerance. So you could try the 6 week challenge: no dairy for 6 weeks and see if things clear up. The one form of dairy you should try after the 6 weeks is up is clarified butter since this is very good for the colon and is a good source of natural vitamin A which helps strengthen skin.
Other food sensitivities can also cause acne. As mentioned, a preponderance of bad bacteria put a great stress on the system. Add to that limited foods from fussy eating, inability to handle the more rugged meats or simple lack of awareness and the body becomes sensitive to the foods eaten. This leads to spots. I struggled with them for years and years4. I’d sorted out HCl, took regular probiotics, avoided dairy like the plague and took extra fibre, rotated it and still the spots came. Eventually I tracked it down to fruit, onions and garlic. Finally my skin is clear.
In the blog about fibre, I mention that spots below the lip line are due to things not passing through quickly enough. Adding fibre to the diet may well help. Drinking enough water will help – if inactive this is the body weight in Kgs x 0.033 litres of water a day. There are also a couple of simple supplements that will help speed things along. Contact me to find them out.
Since all these things are causative, sorting them out makes us much healthier. So in some ways having clear skin is a bonus. All I can say is that having the gift of spots concentrates the mind much more than being fat does. After all, fat can be hidden under well cut clothes.
The next blog will cover supplements that help strengthen skin and speed recovery.
- Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, Mäkeläinin H, Varigos GA. ‘A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms of acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial. Am jour of Clinical Nutrition. Vol 86 no.1, 107-115. July 2007. A trial showing a low GI diet helped reduce the severity of acne. It concluded that it did not know why [↩]
- Cuppel M, MD; Mauger D, PhD; Thiboutot D, MD. ‘Correlation between serum levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, and dihydrotestosterone and Acne Lesion Counts in Adult Women. Arch Dermatol. 2005; 141: 333-338. [↩]
- However, from experience, I think that sugar causes bad bacteria proliferation and this is, especially for menstruating females, the bigger cause [↩]
- and yes, I was prescribed antibiotics for 4 years and at that point I ate like everybody else does – bread and I loved my cheese. So my guts were in a dreadful mess and so were my energy levels [↩]