ACNE is one of the most common skin problems, affecting about 90 per cent of all people at some time during their life.
It’s often a result of pores and hair follicles becoming blocked, which occurs due to hormonal changes, genetics and bacteria build up.
There is different type of acne, which can be grade from one to four.
Types one to three can benefit skin care treatments and diet modifications, however if you have severe cystic acne also known as Type Four, a visit to GP is best.
Risk factors: There are many risk factors that may exacerbate acne.
- Medications - specifically steroids, iodine containing medications and the oral contraceptive pill.
- Greasy/oily cosmetics or hair products, especially those that contain vegetable or animal fats.
- Chronic stress and worry.
- Excessive cleaning of skin (cleansing more that three times a day).
- A diet high in sugary foods, certain nutrients and dairy.
- Slower skin cell renewal, which means you may have to exfoliate more frequent and use AHA product which are need to help clear pores.
Here is a little more information on how diet may affect acne.
Don’t skip meals: Souel University found that skipping more than three meals a week was enough to exacerbate acne.
Having regular meals helps to stabilise your blood glucose levels, which can impact your hormones, which maybe why irregular meals can worsen a flare up.
Does dairy contribute? A study of over 47,000 participant showed that a high dairy intake could increase a person’s risk of acne by 20 per cent.
The author contributed this increase risk to the hormones present in cow’s milk but it’s important to remember that this research occurred in America where their dairy manufacturing standards are significantly different to that in Australia.
Zinc: It’s becoming increasingly recognised that zinc can be useful as an effective treatment for inflammatory acne.
Zinc is commonly found in most skin, nail and hair vitamin products due to its ability to reduce redness and irritation. It assists in the transport of Vitamin E and helps with sebum secretion.
Vitamin A and E: A study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology showed that those suffering from acne had significantly low vitamin E and A levels. Vitamin A & E are important antioxidants, however that doesn’t necessary mean that high dose of Vitamin A and E supplements will improve your symptoms.
A study at the University of Michigan found that oral vitamin A supplements don’t have the same effect as Vitamin A directly applied to the skin and can result in serious side effects if taken in excess.
- Jessica is an accredited practicing dietitian and nutritionist.