ask the doctor: clear skin {naturally treat teen/adult acne}

Hi Dr.Corinne,

I have a teenage daughter and she has acne all over her face and some on her back. We would like to know a natural healthy way of getting rid of the acne or at least help it. Maybe there is some kind of healthy diet that my daughter can go on? Thank you so much !
Hello there!

Acne is a very common concern that affects people in varying degrees from teenagehood right into their thirties. And unfortunately, the cause is often not one specific answer: it is usually a multifactorial symptom. It could be a result of hormones, assuming she is going through puberty. It could be a food sensitivity expressing through the skin. It could be poor hygiene, genetics, or any combination of these – and many other – factors!

GET ENOUGH WATER & EXERCISE

As we have chatted about before, the skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination. So whatever the cause of the acne, your body is choosing your skin as its method of elimination. So the first thing I would tell you to do is to support and encourage that elimination through the skin! Drink two litres of filtered water per day, and sweat for thirty minutes per day (if you cannot exercise 7days/week, try a sauna or doing a gentle at-home facial steam). This will help whatever is passing through the skin to move through quicker and not become stagnant in a pimple – the pores will be clean.

PERFECT YOUR CLEANSING ROUTINE

Now that the pores are clean, help keep them clean with impeccable hygiene. Discuss with your daughter the importance of keeping hair clean and off the face, wearing minimal makeup, and changing the pillowcases often. And of course, the importance of washing her face twice per day. A mild face wash (I use Spectro Gel), followed by a natural toner (I use witch hazel, a herbal astringent), and maybe a tiiiny dab of tea tree oil (do a skin patch test first on sensitive skin!) on problem areas.

CLEAN UP YOUR DIET

Now, we have covered lifestyle changes she can make, now let’s talk about diet. If a teenage girl walked into my office tomorrow with a chief concern of acne, the absolute first thing I would do is take her off dairy. There is a high correlation between acne and dairy consumption, but researchers aren’t positive why. Some say maybe milk has too many sex hormones, others say maybe milk has too much growth hormone – both of which contribute to acne. But either way, the clinical success of cutting dairy in acne cases speaks for itself. I would also cut sugar, as the main bacteria that causes acne, Proprionibacterium acnes, feeds on sugar!

DO A CLEANSE

If the acne is more severe, you can do an elimination diet/gentle liver cleanse for a few weeks. This diet would remove wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and all things deep fried from the diet. If nothing else, there would very likely be a significant change in your daughter’s skin following a super clean dairy free elimination diet for three weeks.

KEY SUPPLEMENTS

And finally, I would recommend very basic supplementation: probiotics are a great way to help boost your immune system (to fight off the Proprionibacterium!), and fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have countless health benefits, one of which is maintaining skin health.

Thank you very much for your question! Good luck!

Dr. Corinne

Psst! In case you missed it, here’s how to heal baby/toddler acne.

Have a question for Dr. Corinne? Send her an email at drcorinne@naturalmommie.com and your question will be answered here. These suggestions are not intended to provide diagnosis or substitute a private consultation with your healthcare practitioner.

About Dr. Corinne, Health & Wellness Editor

Naturopathic Doctor, Corinne Brown BSc, ND, established her Naturopathic practice, Brownroots Wellness, in May of 2011. Her practice focuses on women’s health, weight loss, chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. Corinne also focuses her practice on pre-and-post natal health, fertility, and offers Naturopathic Perinatal Classes. She is very passionate about pregnancy and birth, and is also a trained Birth & Labor Doula. Dr. Corinne is the Natural Mommie Health & Wellness Editor who posts a Q&A series of natural health and wellness topics as well as healthy living tips for women, moms and moms to be.

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