Acne is a problem of detoxification, not a problem of the skin itself. Here is how I explain it to my patients who have been battling acne since puberty. Your body needs to get rid of waste and excess hormones etc. and these things need an exit route. Primary routes of elimination are the kidney, liver and colon and lesser routes of elimination are skin and lungs. So, let's say that you have a higher fat diet and consume a lot of junk food that needs to be detoxified through the liver and colon and additionally you tend to be constipated because you don't drink enough water or eat enough fiber. So one way of your body trying to get rid of the excess toxins will be through your skin. Now, acne is only one way of doing this and for other people their bodies might tend toward other ways of detoxing but for you, your way is through acne on the face, chest or back.
Acne usually starts at puberty with the increase of hormones which your body may not be able to deal with very well. So here is my fool-proof way of cleaning up your skin and stopping acne from happening and ruining your life. You should expect that this will take about 4-6 weeks to get 80-90% or clear. The last 10% or major cysts might take a few months of a cleaner lifestyle and diet.
Remove all Food Sensitivities and Food Allergens
This is most easily done by identifying the food sensitivities that you have by blood test and then removing those specific foods from your diet. If you have a lot of food sensitivities identified, my suggestion is to find a NAET practitioner to permanently eliminate the food sensitivity from your body's radar screen. Your doctor can test you for food allergies (IgE test) but usually people who have acne do not have many food allergies. They usually have food sensitivities which take longer for the body to react to and usually have more subtle indicators like acne as a symptom. For food sensitivity testing, I only use Immunolabs in Florida. There are many laboratories that test for IgG testing but Immunolabs has the most accurate. Trust me when I say that accurate laboratory results will make a huge difference on your skin's results.
This is key to the plan because if your liver gets rid of fat soluble toxins and your colon just lets those toxins sit there for a long time, there is a chance that the toxins get reabsorbed into your blood. Then your body needs to put these toxins into another place for safe keeping, say....ummm...your skin. Viola, acne.
Balance your hormones
Usually for people with acne, the body is dealing with a hormonal imbalance as well. Excess estrogen's and testosterone are usually the culprit. Specifically, inability to eliminate estrogens and testosterones. To help with this, here are some things to consider taking:
- Calcium d-glucarate-keeps hormones from being reabsorbed once reaching your colon.
- DIM: diindolmethane: derived from cabbage, helps you eliminate excess estrogens from your system
- Saw palmetto: an herb to help eliminate and balance excess testosterone
- Bifodobacter: a probiotic to help with detoxification in the colon
- Milk Thistle: a liver supportive and protective herb to help your liver deal with the excess toxins
Consult your doctor before starting any herbs or supplements for your particular health condition.
Support your liver function
This includes avoiding caffeine, Tylenol, alcohol, artificial colors and preservatives, artificial flavors, fatty or excessively greasy foods, sodas (diet or regular). Increase your intake of dark leafy greens such as kale, collards, swiss chard, beet greens, dandelion greens, arugula, mustard greens and drink green tea (caffeine in this is fine). Also consider eating lots of beets and carrots (fresh or juiced). Not pickled beets. Remember that beets come out the same color they went in. So don't panic if you have pink urine or red stools if you had recently had beets. Reduce your intake of red meats like beef and pork (in this case, pork is not the other white meat). Dark leafy greens should be sauteed or steamed or cooked some way until they are bright green, not cooked until limp and brown.
Increase your fiber intake
If you can't do this by diet, then you should do this by a fiber supplements. Either ground flax seeds (2 tablespoons per day is generally fine for most people) and or psyllium husks (Metamucil like but preferable without the sugar). This helps bind the toxins in the stool so that you can get it out with your next bowel movement and adds bulk to your stool so that constipation is not a factor. You should have 1-3 bowel movements daily with volume proportional to what you have been eating in the past 2-3 days. Along with this you should increase your water intake to about half your weight in ounces of water. For instance if you weigh 120 pounds then 60 ounces of water is your goal. This is just your water intake. Add an additional 8 ounces for every cup of coffee, every serving of alcohol and every hour of exercise.
If you start now on this new regimen you will find that by early next year your skin will have a new healthier glow and the outbreaks of acne and cysts are becoming much fewer and farther between. Additionally you will find that your body system is overall more healthy and more vibrant.