Acne and Spots

Healthy, Glowing Skin

You’ve heard it before – your skin is the largest organ of your body. It protects everything inside of you. In turn, it needs a little protection itself. Whatever your skin type or genetic makeup, you can take steps to keep your skin healthy. A little care goes a long way.

Stay Hydrated

Water flushes toxins from your body, including your skin. It also keeps your individual skin cells aqueous so they function better, giving your skin an overall healthier appearance. Drinking eight glasses of pure, clean water a day helps your skin stay vibrant. Remember to drink water before you feel thirsty. Once you’ve noticed thirst, you’re already slightly dehydrated, and your skin will show it. Over time, your skin may lose some of its elasticity and luster if you’re not drinking enough water.

Eat Right

Doctors have discovered that you must get an adequate intake of certain nutrients for your skin to be healthy. They include:

  • Vitamin A: Vital for the growth and maintenance of healthy skin. Good sources of vitamin A include many of the orange-colored fruits, such as apricots, mangoes, and nectarines. Other sources include carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, milk, and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Vitamin C: Needed for the development of the protein collagen, an important component of skin. An inadequate production of collagen can lead to excessive wrinkles and stretch marks. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit, as well as strawberries, kiwis, guava juice, bell and chile peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant, this vitamin protects skin cells against damage. You’ll find vitamin E in avocados, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils (such as safflower, sunflower, and corn).
  • Niacin: Also known as vitamin B3, niacin is another nutrient your skin needs to stay healthy. Niacin deficiency can lead to dermatitis. Good food sources include lean meats, salmon, tuna, peanuts, leafy green vegetables, and fortified cereals.
  • Zinc: This important mineral helps to heal skin and prevent scarring. Not enough zinc can result in acne and eczema. You’ll find zinc in seafood, beef, beans, nuts, peanut butter, and milk products.
  • Iron: The mineral iron is necessary, too, since it helps skin tissue get enough oxygen. It also promotes good skin tone. Food sources of iron include red meat, pork, soy products, peas, beans, spinach, dried fruit, and grain products (such as fortified cereals and pastas).
  • Essential fatty acids: Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are necessary nutrients for healthy skin because they help reduce inflammations and promote soft, smooth skin. These healthful fatty acids are found in fish, nuts, plant oils (such as canola), soybeans, and wheat germ.

 


Causes

Although often though of as a teenage blight, acne can affect people of almost any age and is often aggravated by times of hormonal change.Acne is not caused by:

  • being dirty or not washing
  • eating too many greasy foods
  • eating too much chocolate

Acne can be linked to:

  • hormone production in the body (so it can be worse if you have hormonal problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • some types of bacteria often found on the skin
  • some medicines

Treatment

These days there are very effective treatments for acne. Most people who are treated see a dramatic improvement in their spots.

Treatments include:

  • benzoyl peroxide creams (these dry the face and help treat the skin bacteria)
  • antibiotics, given long-term either as tablets or cream
  • hormone treatments in women (the contraceptive pill can help regulate hormone levels and damp down a woman’s own hormone production)
  • vitamin A-type treatments