Acne is associated with genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, a junk food diet, and emotional problems. It is associated with excess secretion of the sebaceous glands, which secrete an oil (sebum) to prevent aging. Testosterone, a major male hormone also present in women, stimulates secretion of this oil during puberty. In acne prone individuals, excess sebum accumulates in skin follicles and feeds the always-present bacteria. As the oil breaks down into fatty acids, the cells lining the follicles stick together causing clogged pores impacted with dead cells. This leads to whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and cysts. First, let’s summarize causes. I will skip the genes. Everyone has them. If you have acne genes, then you are predisposed to acne but that doesn’t mean you have to get it.
Hormonal Imbalances Related to Acne
Low thyroid function is a primary causal factor in acne. Why? Because when thyroid hormone is deficient, the body cannot convert cholesterol to the anti-aging steroids, including pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA. Of these, progesterone is the most important hormone in the prevention and cure of acne. It inhibits both estrogen and testosterone. Although progesterone is the major female hormone, it is also helpful for males with acne. Dr Raymond Peat has a cream containing 3% progesterone, which is useful in this purpose. Peat reports his studies using dissolved progesterone on both females and males. Both experienced a regression of their acne. Peat says that his clients consistently reported that the use of progesterone at the first sign of a pimple stopped the development and prevented the outbreak, and within a few days resulted in a relatively clear skin. In males, this progesterone support is important because it inhibits the excessive testosterone present in male (and some female) acne sufferers. However, I must caution males to not inhibit their testosterone to the extent that they lose their whiskers and libido!
Why is the thyroid hormone so important in acne? Because the thyroid hormone along with adequate vitamin A works by ensuring progesterone formation, providing you have adequate LDL cholesterol.
Please read the dietary rules list and avoid a junk food diet. This includes all processed, refined, junk foods and non-foods such as all commercial dairy, meat, poultry and eggs. Sometimes, just avoiding junk and processed foods is enough. But, if you have hormonal problems, changing your diet will not be sufficient.
There are many nutrients important in preventing skin conditions. Instead of taking megadoses of synthetic vitamins and minerals, why not eat an organic, whole foods diet? This will supply you with adequate amounts of B-vitamins, minerals, including zinc, folic acid and the entire B complex including biotin, and the fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and E, both of which are very important in skin health.
Friendly bowel bacteria are called probiotics and have many beneficial functions in the intestinal tract. Among them are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidus, and Streptococcus faecium. These are not enzymes but they help the body produce enzymes such as protease, lipase, and lactase, B vitamins, and natural antibiotics, which inhibit at least 27 types of pathogenic bacteria. They thus aid healing of skin diseases including acne.
Severe emotional problems suppress the immune system, reduce thyroid function, and contribute to all problems, including acne. I am listing these problems here so as not to negate the importance of emotional health and realizing when there are emotional problems that need to be resolved.
Below is a general program for acne sufferers.
Nutritional Program for Acne Sufferers
- Eat a whole, organic food diet. Avoid processed, synthetic foods. This includes all refined sugars, grains, processed foods and junk foods.
- Use a multiple digestive formula to facilitate digestion of your foods. Find out what you have trouble digesting and minimize it.
- Check your thyroid function. If you have a sluggish thyroid gland, you are a candidate for acne (and a lot of other health problems).
- Women should use Peat’s 10% progesterone oil. Men should use the 3% progesterone cream. Refer to the chapter on anti-aging steroids for more details.
- Use topical creams. These include: natural progesterone in vitamin E, retinyl palmitate and creams containing salicylic acid (active ingredient in aspirin) and alpha-hydroxy acid (glycolic acid).
- Premier Research Labs supplements are an option for malnutrition and balancing the body.