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Charles A. Messa, III, MD, FACS

Food to Help Fight Acne

Posted June 16, 2015 in Acne, Obagi Nu-Derm® System, Skin Treatment

Adult onset acne is a complex condition. It is greatly affected by hormones, hygiene, and your diet. There isn’t very much you can do about the hormonal cause of acne except take a hormone pill (often some form of birth control). What you can control is your hygiene and what you eat. It really is amazing how much our diet affects our skin; any slight imbalances in nutrition can cause dry skin and acne. Eating a balanced diet is a helpful step to take for preventing adult acne.

Cut the Sugar

shutterstock_176121482The first and most important thing to understand about acne is that it can be aggravated by high sugar levels. When you eat simple carbs in the form of refined sugar (e.g., candy, white bread, soda), your insulin levels spike. These insulin spikes cause an inflammation response in your body, which produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. The sugars bind with the broken-down collagen, clogging your pores and causing acne outbreaks. It is best for your skin (and waistline) to avoid sugary foods.

Add the Nutrients

Instead of eating sugary foods, you should choose foods that are packed with nutrients. If you are prone to acne breakouts, you might take a look at what nutrients you are eating. There are five key nutrients that help prevent acne and keep you skin clear: zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Balancing these key nutrients in your diet helps clear your skin in the following ways:

  • Zinc kills acne-causing bacteria. It also reduces the skin’s inflammatory response, which helps soothe red, painful acne. Zinc also reduces keratinocyte activation in the skin. Keratinocytes are protein cells that bind the skin together. Too much of the protein blocks and clogs pores.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids keep the surface of your skin hydrated. This prevents dry skin from flaking off and clogging your pores.
  • Beta-carotene stimulates cellular turnover, helping the skin shed old cells. This prevents old cells from clumping together and blocking pores.
  • Vitamin C reduces inflammation that causes acne to appear red. Acne is often unsightly because of its red, irritated appearance. Vitamin C calms this inflammatory response, soothing angry, red acne.
  • Vitamin E fights bacteria in the pores that causes sebum to become infected. It is considered an antioxidant that helps clean the pores, which prevents bacteria from growing.

Nutrient Rich Foods

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Drink Your Water

It is common knowledge that water should be a key component of a healthy diet. But besides helping you lose weight, water also keeps the skin hydrated and flushes out toxins to help clear your pores of acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, drinking water is a great alternative to drinking sugar-filled beverages that exacerbate acne.

Get a Little Help

The cause of your acne isn’t only dietary factors; hygiene plays an important role in maintaining clear skin. Some patients find that their over-the-counter cleansers and acne treatments just don’t cut it. Dr. Messa offers the Obagi Nu-Derm® System to help his patients achieve beautiful complexions. The Obagi Nu-Derm® System is a medical skin treatment designed to be effective for all skin types and to treat a number of skin ailments. The full system includes creams and washes that are formulated for cleansing, correction, stimulation, and protection. It helps correct skin tone, pigmentation problems, dryness, loss of elasticity, and fine lines.

If you struggle with acne and are ready for clear skin, schedule your consultation with Dr. Messa today. He can help you decide if you are a good candidate for the Obagi Nu-Derm® System. Beautiful skin is just a phone call away. Contact us at 954.659.7760 or 877.250.8117. You can also fill out our online contact form here for more information.  

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