Acne

Acne is a complex condition with varied causes. In extreme cases medication will be necessary but, in general, the skin can be brought back into balance by restoring normal populations of skin microflora. This can be done with some basic lifestyle choices and careful attention to the products that are applied to the skin.

 

 

Here are some tips on how to diagnose acne

Teenage Acne

  • Skin scars easily
  • Thickened skin
  • Congested skin
  • Blackheads
  • Pustules

 

Adult Acne

  • Hormonal acne predominant along chin, jaw-line and neck
  • Few comedones
  • Skin looks shiny and oily, but feels taut

Here are some of the factors that may be contributing to breakouts

  • Elevated androgen levels (in both men and women)
  • Disturbance of normal skin microflora
  • Use of high pH products and “stripping” cleansers, causing skin to over-produce sebum to compensate
  • Stress
  • In many cases acne is hereditary – this does not affect the way that it is treated
  • Certain medication such as steroids and testosterone (in some contraceptive pills)
  • Synthetic red and orange pigments used in make-up are comedogenic
  • Adult acne can be linked to sudden lifestyle changes e.g. divorce, promotion
Here are some suggestions on lifestyle changes that should have a balancing effect on your skin

  • Maintain acid mantle – make sure that all skincare products are pH balanced at between 4 and 5 and supplement with topical prebiotics to maintain normal skin microflora
  • Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi to improve microbial diversity in your gut
  • Take a good quality ingestible probiotic and apply a probiotic skincare treatment that contains live strains of beneficial microbes to outcompete the acne causing species
  • Avoid harsh abrasive exfoliators. Keratinisation is a major cause of pimples but exfoliation is not a long-term solution as the skin will respond with more rapid cell division at basal cell level
  • Avoid drying cleansers and toners with alcohol – both can impact on the health of your skin’s natural microflora
  • Acne skin scars easily and these scars need to be properly managed to make sure that they are not permanent
  • Avoid excessive UV exposure – this worsens scarring and drops the overall numbers of microbes on the skin
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