A diet based on whole, unprocessed foods may benefit people with acne. Try to eat at least five servings of vegetables per day and at least one serving of fruit per day. Avoid eating refined sugar. Fried foods and trans fats such as milk, milk products, margarine, shortening, and other hydrogenated vegetable oils should be eliminated. Foods containing healthy omega-3 oils such as ground flax seeds and sardines should be increased. Some people find that chocolate, caffeine, carbonated beverages, iodized salt, shellfish, wheat and/or milk products aggravate acne.
Regular bowel movements are important. Drink at least eight glasses of day of water. Increase fiber intake. In addition to eating fresh vegetables and fruit, choose whole grains. Some people may benefit from a one- to four-week liver detox diet based on fresh vegetables and fruit.
Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements
Vitamin A may help to reduce sebum production. However, high doses of vitamin A can carry a risk of decreased bone density, birth defects, headache, and muscle and joint pain. Like the modified vitamin A prescription drugs, vitamin A can cause birth defects. Sexually active women of childbearing age should not take more than 5,000 IU per day unless they are under the guidance of a professional and they are using at least two reliable forms of birth control. Vitamin A supplementation may not be necessary if there is adequate intake of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and zinc, all necessary for vitamin A formation. Decreasing unhealthy fats such as margarine, hydrogenated oils, processed foods, and other sources of trans fats can also improve absorption.
Zinc, especially in the form of zinc gluconate or zinc sulfate, can help prevent acne. Zinc helps heal blemishes, reduces inflammation, and reduces androgenic hormonal effects on the skin. Begin by increasing food sources of zinc. Two studies comparing zinc to the antibiotic tetracycline found zinc to be as effective as tetracycline. Another study found a mild yet definite effect of zinc.
Vitamin B6 may help premenstrual or mid-cycle acne. This vitamin is essential for the proper metabolism of steroid hormones and can reduce the sensitivity of skin to the effects of testosterone.
An herbal blend that can help with acne consists of equal parts of the herbal extracts of sarsaparilla, yellow dock, burdock, and cleavers. These herbs are believed to be potent blood and lymph cleansers. Half a teaspoon per day of this blend can be taken three times per day combined with a healthy diet.
Tea tree oil applied to acne lesions may help to eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Massage is often recommended for people with skin problems. It can help to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage and speed the healing of blemishes.
Stress Reduction Techniques:
- Breathing techniques