There are no statistics to measure the countless date nights and school photographs that have been ruined by a nasty scar or a tiny boil on the cheek, the forehead or worse, the nose. The victims are invariably aged between 11 and 25. Medical dictionaries describe acne aka Acne Vulgaris as a skin disease that stems from the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. According to the Mayo clinic description, it’s “not dangerous” but can leave scars. Acne is a common occurrence during puberty. This is due to the sebaceous (oil) glands that come to life due to the high activity of hormones during adolescence.
However, acne post puberty could be a sign for concern. Here’s our guide to what your pimple is trying to tell you:
You aren’t eating right
According to India-based nutritionist Dr. Sheela Tanna, it’s essential to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. “If you stay without food till you are famished and then look for a quick fix like a cookie, granola bar or a sweetened beverage, you’re pushing your blood sugar up high and fast. This means that your insulin levels will be high till they crash rapidly,” she explains. When your sugar levels crash, you are likely to experience sudden fatigue.
Dr. Tanna’s advice is to focus on foods with low Glycaemic Index (GI) that cause gradual increases in blood sugar level, as opposed to a sudden jump. Such foods include dried beans and legumes (like kidney beans and lentils), all non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, most fruits, and many whole grain breads and cereals (barley, whole wheat bread, rye bread, and all-bran cereal etc.).
As a cheat sheet, look for foods that keep you feeling satiated for longer. The trick is that if it takes longer to digest, you are less likely to quickly feel hungry.
Your skin needs supplements
If you have either oily or completely dry skin, you are more likely to suffer from acne-related problems. The type of skin you have is dependent on genetics, but ensuring your diet doesn’t accelerate the condition of your skin helps.
It’s essential that you remember that your skin is used to throwing out waste in the body. So, the next time you reach for fried chicken think about how your skin will react.
Supplements that are advertised to better complexion are created by simply using natural extracts. Instead, consume foods rich in these supplements, suggests Dr. Tanna. For example, instead of popping an omega-3 supplement, add natural sources of omega-3 like walnuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and salmon to your diet.
Upping your water intake also helps flush out internal toxins and keep skin hydrated.
Citrus fruits, packed with Vitamin C will make your skin glow.
Your medicines are reacting
The reason behind an acne breakout could be in your medicine box. Check the contents of your medicines for steroids. You’d be surprised to see a few ingredients in your medicine listed as prednisone, which is a tablet form of a steroid.
Prednisone is used in a number of medications that are used to treat everything from allergies to arthritis.
Consult a doctor
Adult women who show prolonged signs of acne need to consult a doctor. According to specialists, acne could be a red flag for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a lifestyle-related hormonal disease. Patients suffering from PSOS have fluctuating hormones, which can cause pimples.
Gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Harwin, in her book Conquer Your PCOS Naturally, suggests adding calcium and Vitamin D to your diet to deal with a sluggish thyroid, a classic symptom of the disease.
Cod liver oil, eggs, salmon, mackerel, tuna and whole fat yogurt or other dairy products are good sources of Vitamin D. Calcium can be found in kale, turnip, collard, and mustard greens and kelp. Hiziki, a type of seaweed, can provide your body 10 times more calcium than a glass of milk.