What is Teenage Acne?The sebaceous glands produce the sex hormone androgen. Rising androgen levels in adolescence are thought to increase the number of these glands and the sebum they produce, which causes blockage of hair follicles. Small cysts result that often become inflamed from bacterial invasion. Levels of omega-3 in the wall of the hair follicle are depleted because of the increase in sebum production, contributing to the inflammation.
What factors affect Teenage Acne?
- Fluctuating hormones
- Psychological stress
- Greasy/oily cosmetic & hair products
- Genetic predisposition
- Certain medications: corticosteroids, oral contraceptives
- Environmental irritants
- Friction and sweating (headbands, bike helmets, backpacks, etc.)
- High levels of humidity
- Dietary factors
Support teenage Acne-prone SkinDietary patterns -some people report that certain foods worsen their acne; the most common foods are nuts, sugar and increased dairy consumption. There is evidence supporting the hormonal changes from high blood sugar and an increase in androgen production. Zinc-required for skin repair and wound healing; zinc is part of important antioxidant compounds and also reduces infection. Adolescents are commonly low in zinc, particularly males. Dosages: 25-60mg twice daily. Ask a naturopath in store for more specific guidelines. Vitamin A, C & E-these antioxidants may prevent oxidation of sebum which can trigger cysts in acne. Researchers have found people with acne to have much lower levels of vitamins A, C & E. Interestingly, lower blood levels of vitamin A show an increase in acne severity. Omega-3 fatty acids- provide anti-inflammatory effects. Dosage: 3g/day (540mg EPA, 360mg DHA).
Herbal medicine for Acne and Problem Skin
- Burdock- clinically useful for a variety of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis due to its blood purifying properties. Combines well with Yellow dock, a gentle detoxifier that helps eliminate waste.
- Echinacea-has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit acne sufferers. It proved effective against a standard strain of bacterium and reversed the resulting inflammation. It also supports the lymphatic system to eliminate waste.
- Calendula-useful in a wide variety of skin conditions, calendula is soothing and promotes wound healing. It also happens to be anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, invaluable for supporting healthy skin.