Doctors used to believe that sugary and fatty foods were major triggers for acne, but now research is showing that it is not the food itself, but rather the way it interacts with our systems causes problems such as acne. One reason why sugary and fatty foods can cause acne are that they overload our digestive systems, making it difficult for our livers to eliminate toxins in the normal manner, and they can instead build up and cause problems such as spots and blemishes. Another way in which what we eat can affect acne is in the chemicals that are released when our bodies breakdown certain foods. Basically one of the main causes of acne is over production of sebum, which is usually triggered by the male hormone androgen. Scientists now believe that mass produced meat and diary products contain significant levels of hormone-like substances that are being absorbed by our bodies during ingestion, triggering slight changes in our own hormone patterns which can led to raised an
drogen levels, which in turn can trigger acne. Significant improvements in the severity and longevity of acne symptoms have been reported by sufferers who have cut meat and dairy products from their diets.
It is still unclear whether exercise alone has any effect on the physical symptoms of acne, but it can have a significant impact on the sometimes severe psychological symptoms that often affect acne sufferers such as lack of confidence, acute shyness, stress and depression. Exercise stimulates the brain to produce chemicals that make us feel happy and alert, and a healthy body can help to project a healthy self image, which is something that can be badly damaged by the disfiguring affects of acne. Because rigorous exercise can make you sweat it is important that you have a shower and change your clothes after you have finished exercising, especially if you suffer from acne on your torso, just to ensure you don’t exacerbate the acne.
Acne is a common condition, and there are many myths surrounding the causes and treatments of this condition including:
Diet – diet doesn’t affect acne in the way most people think, and sugary, greasy foods will not actually trigger acne flare ups. Instead meat and dairy products have been linked to acne as it is thought the elevated hormone levels in these products can affect our own hormone levels through ingestion, causing higher levels of those hormones that trigger sebum overproduction leading to blocked pores and spots.
Exercise – exercise does not cause acne in itself, but you must make sure you shower and change you clothes after exercising as sweat and dirt can build up on the skin causing blocked pores. A good acne treatment can help reduce the amount of acne you get.
Poor Hygiene – acne is not directly caused by poor hygienic, but this can contribute to some of the physical and psychological symptoms, so it is important to gently cleanse affected areas once or twice a day, and wash your hair and the rest of your body regularly. Over washing can actually exacerbate the symptoms of acne by causing dryness and skin irritation, so it is important to strike a balance in your hygiene regime.
Exfoliation – contrary to popular belief exfoliating skin affected by acne will not help to lessen or prevent more spots. Although exfoliating can help to open blocked pores on regular skin, acne spots are infected with p.acnes bacteria which can actually be spread across the skin by exfoliating methods, and this can also be to harsh a treatment for already sensitive skin and cause irritation, redness and inflammation.
Acne should be left to heal naturally – acne can cause significant scarring, so if you are suffering from a break out it is important to take steps to treat the condition, to lessen the symptoms and severity of the spots and lesions. This is especially important if you are suffering from one of the more serious acne conditions such as acne conglobata, which if left untreated can develop into severe skin infections and deep tissue scarring.