Anti-aging medicine will never go out of style.
When I was younger, I used to wonder why anti-aging medicine was such a hot topic of conversation among the beautiful, older women in my life. I now understand that anti-aging is not JUST about looking younger but FEELING youthful as well.
Skin – it’s the largest organ we have and it can tell us so much about what’s going on with the rest of our body. Did you know that your digestive system is actually not considered part of your internal body? The long tube structure of the digestive organs serves as a barrier from the outside world to protect us from harmful substances ingested – it allows only the smallest broken down particles to be absorbed.
Depending on what we put into our body will determine what our skin will try to eliminate.
The more substances and chemicals we ingest the harder our liver has to work at metabolizing and detoxifying to maintain optimal well-being. Once the liver reaches its “toxic” threshold, and we can no longer successfully keep up the rate of elimination, other organs become affected and symptoms begin to appear. Our skin is one of the elimination organs that tries to give us clues like acne when the internal environment is “off.”
What is Acne?
Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones on the skin’s oil glands, which leads to plugged pores and outbreaks on the skin.
What causes Acne?
- Lesions (pimples/zits) – these can be triggered by various chemicals, drugs, hormones, cosmetics, over washing, diet, stress, repeated trauma and rubbing from clothing i.e. bras, helmets, sports gear.
- Hormone-dependent conditions – here we are talking
about things like puberty and PCOS. These conditions can exacerbate the
development of acne due to their control over the oil glands in the skin. When
the oil is produced in excess, our skin becomes the perfect environment for
bacterial growth, which can then lead to one of three results:
- Whiteheads in which the bacteria in the pore is sealed by the skin;
- Blackheads develop when the bacterial plug is no longer covered by skin and is exposed for oxidation; and
- The formation of inflammatory lesions.
- Diet – Do you ever feel like your stomach and skin flare up at the same time? Pay attention to the foods you are consuming. If you find yourself with a constant stomach-ache, perhaps it is time to speak with your Naturopathic Doctor about food sensitivity testing. Are you always going for the sugary packaged foods that make you feel good for 20 minutes before you hit that 3pm crash? Food sensitivities, processed carbohydrates, and dairy have all been associated with an increase in acne. So pay attention to your everyday diet, it may be trying to tell you something.
So…what can you do about your acne?
There are many treatment options available depending on the root cause of your skin concerns. As always, it’s important to consult your qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the right fit for your individual needs. Conventional treatments can include topical creams and medications for your skin. These work to break down existing acne lesions and prevents the formation of new ones. Results can be noticed quite quickly,
The most common treatment for young women, is the use of oral contraceptive pills, which work by “artificially” regulating the bodies hormones. This option may seem like the best choice for you and your skin, however, there is also a myriad of nutrient depletion from chronic use of these medications. This may include the depletion of your B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Over the counter medication, such as the contraceptive pill, has also been known to disrupt the healthy bacteria in your gut, therefore causing unhealthy digestive disturbances.
In the end, these medications may work for you, but you have to ask yourself if the risks outweigh the benefits. For those looking for alternative solutions, the good news is, there are plenty available.
Both food sensitivity and hormone testing are good starting points since these can give us quick and reliable results as to the root cause of the acne. These results can then direct the course of appropriate treatment. Zinc, B vitamins, topical tea tree oil, probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, and fish oils are known to be natural remedies for numerous skin issues. And let’s not forget about hydration. If hydrated, the body is able to adequately eliminate and detoxify. This means less toxic overload and symptom presentation on the skin.
Fun fact – did you know that botox treatments have actually been shown to decrease oil production in the skin? So, not only are you getting anti-aging medicine with these injections, you are also treating one of the underlying causes for acne at the same time.
This was just
— Dr. Kaylee Dreidger, ND
To book a visit with Dr. Kaylee Dreidger please visit our website at theiv.ca or call us at 604-974-8999