Dealing With Acne

Any teenager will tell you one of the worse things that can happen in high school is to develop a face full of acne. Clear, unblemished skin is reported by cultural anthropologists as the universal number one, most important aspect of a person’s appearance with regard to attracting others.

Is it any wonder tens of millions of dollars are spent every year on blemish creams and cover-ups? Skin appearance is important to overall sex appeal. Our skin tells a story about our internal health and about our hormone function, both of which are tied into our sex appeal.

In my integrative nutrition practice, one of the conditions I enjoy working with is assisting adolescents in clearing up their skin problems. When you can understand where acne and pimples come from, you can choose to do the things that can change the outbreak.

Androgens are reproductive hormones that are secreted into the blood stream by the reproductive organs and our adrenal glands. You might remember these from our discussion on stress adaptation.

Androgens are also potent chemicals our liver must deal with by reducing their potency. The liver is the detoxifier of the blood and in the case of androgens, the liver produces blood plasma proteins which bind up and inactivate the majority of androgens, so that only a small percent of androgens are free to enter our cells.

In adolescence, the body needs time to adjust to and regulate hormone secretions and a young body can become physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the effect of androgens on the cells and on the brain.

Once androgens get inside the cell, a specific enzyme converts the androgens into a more highly active form. The active androgens then enter into the nucleus of the cell, where it interacts with genetic material. This can lead to highly stimulated oil glands, which creates acne.

The manifestation of acne depends on:

a) the amount of androgens available to enter the cells

b) how well the liver is controlling the active androgens

c) the nutrition of the person and its effect on liver metabolism

d) the amount of waste and/or toxins being re-absorbed into the liver from the bowel fluids and – THIS IS THE KEY –

e) the amount of exercise the adolescent is doing that will utilize the androgens to build and create muscle tissue (rather than acne), thus reducing the amount of androgen that might be absorbed into the cells.

The fastest and easiest way to clear up adolescent acne, especially in males as they lay down muscle very quickly, is have the person exercise vigorously. In just a short period of time, the androgens are utilized to build lovely muscle and the skins clears up so well, the parents (and the adolescent) think it’s a miracle!

Of course healthy eating, which includes vegetables and fruits to keep the bowel clean, drinking plenty of water, skin hygiene and proper amounts of sleep all help the liver, bowel and adrenals to function properly, thus supporting the proper functioning of the androgens and the resultant healthy, attractive skin.

The expression “it’s more than skin deep” truly applies to acne and blemishes. If you have, are or know an adolescent (or someone who is even a bit older) experiencing acne issues, pass this information on to them. If they use it, they’ll see a difference and they will thank you!

With all good wishes,