You have a job interview tomorrow morning and a date in the evening. As part of your preparations, you drop by the supermarket to get a new toothbrush and your favorite soap, shampoo, and mouthwash. You go for a night jog and pick up your dress or suit from the dry cleaners. You head home, have dinner, polish your shoes, and hit the sack early. You wake up before the sun rises so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare.
The first thing you do is to go the bathroom to wash your face. To your horror, you see a new, angry zit staring right back at you!
The excitement is replaced by panic. It’s possible to reschedule the interview but you don’t want to cancel the date. You feel like you’re a teenager again because acne has once again dealt a blow to your confidence and self-esteem, and ruined what could have been a very good day for you.
Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples or zits (blackheads or whiteheads) as well as hard, painful cysts. It can appear not just on your face but also on your back, chest, neck, and shoulders.
The condition tends to be hereditary and can be triggered by hormonal changes, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, stress, the use of certain personal care products, or if you take certain drugs like birth control pills and steroids. Whatever the cause, acne is a burdensome condition and can take a lot out of your social life because it makes you feel embarrassed and more self-conscious.
Beware of the Dangers of Acne Medication
Dermatologists usually recommend either oral or topical treatments for pimples. Antibiotics like doxycycline, erythromycin, and minocycline are used to reduce bacteria and inflammation. However, antibiotics are not effective against acne and often do more harm than good because they also kill the beneficial bacteria in your body and can cause harmful side effects. Doxycycline is associated with decreased appetite, diarrhea, photosensitivity, and vomiting. Erythromycin can cause dizziness, headaches, upset stomach, and vaginal itching. Minocycline may cause hearing problems, lightheadedness, and rectal/vaginal itching.
The oral medication Accutane was developed to help reduce oil secretions in the skin and hasten the skin renewal process. However, Accutane can cause bleeding or swollen gums, hair loss, high cholesterol, psychological symptoms (like depression, psychosis, and suicidal tendencies), severe birth defects, skin discoloration and peeling, and slower wound healing. Accutane users often experience an acne relapse. But even if it were effective, would you risk experiencing any of these symptoms?
Naturally Addressing the Real Cause of Acne
Conventional treatments help alleviate acne symptoms but you will still suffer from future breakouts because they do not deal with the root cause of the disease. A growing body of research suggests that the root cause of acne is not bacteria, heredity, and hormones but environmental factors including your diet and the amount of stress that you experience.
If your diet is rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar, you may be unwittingly providing food for acne-causing bacteria. When you eat processed grains like bread and cereal, your sugar level rises. To compensate for the sugar spike, your body produces insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1, which causes your levels of male hormones to rise significantly. High levels of male hormones cause an increased production of sebum that attracts acne-causing bacteria, and also stimulates the division of skin cells that are associated with acne. Stress is also a major cause of pimples. Recent research found that high stress levels influence the severity of acne flare-ups.
Now that you have learned about the two major causes of acne, it will be easier for you to manage breakouts. A low-grain diet will help greatly clear up acne. Reduce your consumption of processed food, including white bread, soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks, and increase your consumption of vegetable carbohydrates instead. Try avoiding pasteurized milk, which contains iodine and growth hormones that can cause pimples. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
Exercise and get enough sleep in order to reduce stress. You can also try breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. Be an optimist instead of a pessimist to further minimize stress in your life. Consult your doctor if it is safe for you to use non-synthetic vitamin A, which will provide similar results as Accutane but without the adverse side effects.
Editor’s Note: You can read more about the low grain diet in our book recommendation from Amazon (pictured above), please use this link to visit a selection of books on the topic – all available at great prices!
This is a guest post by Francine Luke, who writes for TopBeautySecrets.org, an online resource that provides eye cream reviews and eyelash reviews. Aside from writing about beauty products, Francine is also interested in fitness, health, and sports.Alison Graham on Google+