Acne affects up to 50 million Americans every year. This condition typically starts during puberty, so it’s common among adolescents. Young adults may also experience it. However, acne can develop at any age. Those who experience acne early in life may continue to have it well into their 30s or 40s.
Is acne a sign of poor health? This question is going around on the internet, and you may have seen different opinions. Another controversial topic is if home remedies work to treat acne or not.
These two topics are very much connected, so we’ll be covering both in this article.
Is Acne a Sign of Poor Health?
Usually, when we think of someone with poor health, we picture severe illness or the elderly. But could acne also be a sign of poor health even though it isn’t a severe disease?
Instead of viewing acne as a sign of poor health, it’s better to view it as a sign that you can improve your health. Dietary and lifestyle habits can trigger acne outbreaks. So, improving daily habits can have a positive impact on the condition.
In this article, we’ll focus on diet, supplements, and home remedies to manage acne. We’ll also touch on changing habits such as better sleep, regular exercise, and managing stress.
Improving Health and Acne Through Your Diet
Have you heard the saying: what you put on your plate is more important than what you put on your skin? This is absolutely true, as the health of your skin cells depends on the rest of the body’s cells. All of these cells need water, and micro and macronutrients. Eat the right foods, and you will experience healthy, youthful-looking skin. Eat the wrong foods, and you will get the opposite results.
Here are two general rules of a healthy diet: have a variety of foods from all groups and avoid overeating. Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated is also essential for skin health.
The ideal healthy diet consists of:
- Vegetables of all colors
- Low glycemic fruits
- Healthy oils
- Lean meats
Some people, especially older adults and those with digestive problems, may not absorb all of the nutrients from food and can benefit from supplements.
Key Nutrients for Skin Health
There are various nutrients that can optimize skin health and help manage acne. For example, Vitamin A is important for the skin. In fact, synthetic vitamin A by prescription is commonly used to treat skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Vitamin A in the supplement form retinol is a popular ingredient in creams and other skincare products. Dietary sources of vitamin A (retinol) include fish, eggs, and meats. Plant sources contain Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. However, most people have trouble converting this into retinol naturally.
Green leafy vegetables and berries provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. Antioxidants that fight free radicals are involved in the development of acne, skin damage, and inflammation. You can enjoy these foods in smoothies and juices.
Fatty fish are great sources of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids, which may help manage acne. Omega 3 fatty acids are also available in supplement form as well. Cod liver oil contains omega 3, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. Although research is ongoing, scientists believe that its high safety profile, low cost, and wide availability make omega 3 supplements a reasonable supplement for those with acne. Omega 3 may also offer protection from UV phototherapy and isotretinoin (synthetic vitamin A drugs).
Vitamin D is also an essential nutrient for managing acne. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Phototherapy used for the treatment of acne also leads to increased levels of vitamin D in the body. Since doctors recommend avoiding exposure to sunlight, vitamin D supplements are the next best source.
Home Remedies to Manage Acne
There are also home remedies you can use to manage your acne. Tea tree oil and a strain of brewer’s yeast called Hansen CBS show potential to improve acne. Avoid irritants and use hypoallergenic cleansers for sensitive skin.
Clean your skin and shower after exercising, which is an extremely beneficial habit to start. Extra oils and sweat may trigger new outbreaks and aggravate existing ones.
While improving your diet and lifestyle habits, avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking and processed foods. Eliminate or reduce high sugary foods, high omega 6 foods, and dairy to clear up acne. These are mostly found in corn oil, soybean oil, and processed foods. Also, reduce whey protein shakes and chocolate.
You can manage short-term mild outbreaks of acne with home remedies and lifestyle changes. However, moderate and severe cases need treatment and medical attention. Severe cases of acne in older adults may signal an underlying disease. If severe acne shows up suddenly, seek medical treatment.