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Acne is commonly known for plaguing us in our teen years. However, for some men and women, acne can occur in your 20’s and 30’s. It can be associated with a poor diet, stress, post-pill or hormonal – whatever the cause Naturopathy can help reduce the outbreaks and clear the skin.
Several factors can be responsible for acne, including bacteria, excess oil, stress, poor diet, and over-activity of androgens. Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disease of the skin that affects those areas which contain the largest sebaceous glands, including the nose, forehead, cheeks, chin, back, and trunk.
Generally self-limiting, acne is noted by comedones (blackheads) and inflammatory lesions such as papules, pustules and in more severe cases, cysts and nodules.
Lesions are generally more severe and prevalent in males, but more persistent in females. Acne may appear in neonates and infants, but mostly occurs during adolescence (an estimated 85% of those between 15-24 years of age are affected to some degree), but in most acne typically resolves by age 30.
Major risk factors that can contribute to the incidence of acne include;
Scarring may have several manifestations depending on both the skin type and the type and extent of acne. Scarring may manifest as small pits or “ice-pick” scars on the face and/or body; small or large depressed scars; or hypertrophic (thickening) scarring.
The relationship between diet and acne, for many, remains controversial. However, recently published findings support a link between diet and acne. It suggests a high Glycaemic Load diet (a typical western diet) can lead to an elevation of insulin.
Elevated insulin is known to lead to skin cell proliferation and increased sebum production, both risk factors for acne. These findings explain the modern phenomenon of the high prevalence of adolescent and hormonally stimulated, acne, due to the interaction of insulin with sex hormones such as androgens.
Naturopath treatment takes into account diet, stress, hormones, infections and any external factors (sweating, friction, make up, etc) that can contribute to acne.
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