Skin Care & Acne Creams
Skincare principles for acne are settling inflammation, restoring skin barrier and microbiome, and addressing pimple formation’s underlying cause.
- Topical retinoids (Vitamin A) remain the mainstay of clearing your skin. The action is primarily through addressing the underlying causes. Retinoids decrease cell turnover and clear obstruction, stabilise oil production and assist in healing existing pimples.
- Niacinamide or Vitamin B is a potent anti-inflammatory that repairs the skin barrier and allows the skin microbiome to stabilise. Niacinamide is well tolerated because of its anti-inflammatory actions.
- Salicylic acid and exfoliants assist in clearing pore obstruction.
- Benzoyl peroxide: Topically, the most commonly prescribed acne cream is benzoyl peroxide. This can come as a cleanser, gel or spot treatment cream. However, we do not recommend benzoyl peroxide for acne as it gets rid of good bacteria.
Acne Diet – Anti-inflammatory Mediterranean Diet
Eliminate foods that cause breakouts:
- eliminate refined sugar and sugary products from the diet (soft drinks, cakes, biscuits and sweets)
- eliminate processed foods, high GI carbohydrates.
- eliminate dairy from the diet
- minimise meat protein
Increase foods that promote a healthy gut microbiome and metabolism
- increase fibre in your diet
- increase plant-based proteins
- increase probiotics & fermented foods
Supplements Which Help Settle Pimples:
Fish Oil to settle acne – or other sources of omega 3’s (Algal oil, chia seeds, flax seeds). The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in your diet affects skin health, gut health, sebum, and inflammation. We provide a test that analyses the balance of dietary fat you consume: The Balance Test report shows the fat content in your cells – the good and not so good and providing advice for intervention if you are out of balance.
Other supplements which assist in settling acne by decreasing inflammation and improving your immune function:
- vitamin D
Lifestyle Factors to Settle Pimples
- Reduce stressors or take up stress-relieving activities
- Drink 2L of water daily
- Skin optimising make-up
- Remove makeup before bed
- Do not pick
Naturopath for Acne Treatment
Our naturopath specialises in gut healing to settle acne. Courtney focuses on diet and resolving inflammation to stop the drivers of pimple formation. The role of diet and western diet in causing acne is well understood. In comparison, the role of the gut microbiome and dysbiosis is partially understood. Our Naturopath specialises in settling inflammatory skin conditions.
Dermatologist Acne Treatment
Sometimes acne medication is unavoidable, and we can provide a referral to a dermatologist if necessary. The primary approach of Dermatologists in treating acne is the prescription of Accutane. Accutane or Roaccutane (a systemic retinoid ) should be reserved only for the most resistant cystic acne because of the many known side effects. Because of the many known side effects
Book Online or Call for a Free Assessment with our Therapist 3350 5447
What Causes Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition caused by the western diet and its impact on metabolic pathways and the skin microbiome. It appears at puberty but increasingly is extending into the mid-’30s in men and women. It is a metabolic disease caused by the western diet as it does not occur in populations outside of this dietary habit.
Acne affects the hair follicles and pores in the skin. Under the surface of the skin, these both connect to oil glands that produce sebum. Acne’s primary cause is increased turnover of skin cells and blockage of the pores, increased oil production, and bacteria’s overgrowth.
- Increased cell turnover and accumulation of exfoliated cells lead to obstruction of the hair/oil follicle. In addition, high sebum production builds up in the obstructed follicle to form a plug or comedones (blackheads, whiteheads).
- This obstructed oil-rich follicle is the perfect environment for the Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes)bacteria to overgrow, creating inflamed papules or pustules (pimples).
- As the inflamed contents of the now obstructed hair/oil follicle cannot escape, painful nodules can form deep in the skin: nodular acne.
- Or result in the destruction of the follicle with release or the inflamed contents into the dermis.
- With further destruction, inflamed, tender cysts with slow healing with scarring, the result; cystic acne.
Cutibacterium acnes the bacteria are formally known as Propionibacterium acnes – even bacteria can change their name!
Acne results in dysbiosis in the skin microbiome. However, the driving cause is not the bacteria but changes to the skin, which allow the bacteria to overgrow. The skin environment that allows this to happen is the overstimulation of metabolic pathways (mTORC1). How the skin dysbiosis develops – and results in the destructive elements.
- C. acnes bacteria live abundantly on healthy skin, principally deep within the hair/oil follicles and the surface. Its preferred source of energy is obtained from oil and cell debris. In return, it produces by-products that may maintain the skins acid surface and protect the skin from harmful bacteria. However, when the hair/oil follicle becomes blocked and oil production increases, the C. acnes proliferate, and different strains of the C acnes become more dominant. This imbalance or dysbiosis is believed to drive the formation of pimples, cysts and nodules. In addition, the increased concentration of byproducts produced by the ordinarily helpful skin microbe creates a toxic environment that contributes to cystic acne’s more destructive elements – inflammation, destruction, and scarring.
How does diet affect the skin changes that cultivate C. acnes dysbiosis?
A western diet is high in low GI carbohydrates (sugar, refined and processed grains), dairy and animal protein. The high sugar load promotes insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which stimulates the mTORC1 pathway (mTORC1 determines cell proliferation and growth). Usually, at puberty, the mTORC1 is activated as it is, after all, a time of growth. However, the regular mTORC1 activity is sent into overdrive with an excessively sugar-loaded diet.
MTORC1 increases cell turnover in the hair/ oil follicle (results in blockage) and increases oil production, starting comedo formation. The mTORC1 also causes early inflammation (accumulation of T immune cells and cytokines) even before overgrowth by the C. acnes. That’s right; inflammation occurs even before dysbiosis and overgrowth. (Melnik, 2015; Agamia et al., 2016; Zaenglein et al., 2016). Of course, then the blocked, obstructed hair/oil follicle is the perfect feeding and breeding ground for C. acnes overgrowth and dysbiosis.
C. acne is a normal bacteria of your skin; therefore, acne should not be considered an infection.
The Western diet underlies acne formation and explains why acne increasingly persists for years. Though not physically harmful, it has a severe psychosocial impact, causing low self-esteem, depression and social withdrawal. The resulting stress has a further negative impact back on both the gut and skin. Stress is a well know precipitant of breakouts in its own right (gut-brain-skin axis).
Book Online or Call for a Free Assessment with our Therapist 3350 5447