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The Holistic Approach to Acne


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As someone who specializes in Hormone Health, it is not surprising that acne is often one of the many symptoms of hormone imbalance that my clients struggle to resolve. We sometimes forget that the skin is an organ of elimination as well as protection. When the other organs of elimination (such as the colon, liver and kidneys) are taxed, excess toxins are excreted through the skin, and it shows! The skin can be viewed as a reflection of what is happening inside the body.

One of the most common skin inflammatory conditions is Simple or Common Acne. According to the National Institute of Health, ‘an estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point, and some people in their forties and fifties still get acne’.  Unfortunately some of the side-effects associated with conventional medical treatments for acne inlcude drying and peeling of the skin from topicals, gut dysbiosis (or overgrowth of poor gut bacteria) caused by antibiotics, and even headaches, nausea, vomiting and depression from oral medications.

Simple acne can be associated with both toxic accumulation and hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty and perimenopause/menopause. Stress; excess iodine or high arachidonic acid levels (typically from a high meat protein diet); as well as low levels of zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Essential Fatty Acids may also contribute to acne.

Is there a natural or holistic way to address acne? Absolutely!  A Holistic Nutritionist can assess the digestive, intestinal, kidney, lymphatic and endocrine systems to help identify the root causes(s) of the inflammation. If a holistic assessment reveals that the liver is overloaded or dysbiosis is likely present, then diet and lifestyle modifications can be suggested to reduce the toxic accumulation in the body and improve the symptoms. If hormone imbalance is the issue, specific foods and lifestyle changes to support the adrenal glands are recommended, as these glands are responsible for smoothing out hormonal fluctuations. Hair mineral analysis can identify deficiencies in mineral levels (such as iodine and zinc) which may be contributing to the skin lesions, and these deficiencies can be easily resolved with nutritional supplementation.

There are some general recommendations that can be followed by those suffering with acne:

  • Optimize your digestion to reduce toxic overload and balance your hormones
  • Consume a whole foods diet, including whole grains, legumes and plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid sugar, processed foods (including dairy for some) and animal fat whenever possible as these are pro-inflammatory foods
  • Ensure sufficient quality protein in the diet, such as eggs and fish and plant-based protein sources
  • Alkalize the diet with dark green leafy vegetables
  • Address chronic stress as it contributes to dysbiosis and hormone imbalance

holistic skin care routine can be used alongside nutrition to achieve optimal results. Aesthetic services such as regular exfoliation, professional extraction, masks and peels, and a good home routine can help deal with acne.  Blue LED light can also be used to help kill the acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

Sharon Pendlington, B.Sc., R.H.N., RYT is a Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Instructor, and founder of Personal Nutrition. Sharon helps women frustrated by their symptoms of hormone imbalance to feel energetic and vital again. Check out her one-on-one and group programs, and book your complimentary Discovery Session today. You can download her FREE ebook ‘5 Must-Have Tools for Hormone Health’ HERE. 604-616-7854

Derma Bright Clinic, refining skin care to bright out your best and brightest skin!

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