Acne is a chronic disease that has been suffered almost by all of the world's population and has a higher incidence in individuals whose age is between 12 and 25 years. It has always been associated with the development of puberty and therefore the onset of hormonal changes, but the truth is that there are many types of acne and not all of them can be explained by the normal growth of the individual. There are individuals that never have nor hint of acne while for others it is a ' faithful ' companion throughout its life .
Acne affects the sebaceous gland. The skin pores are connected to the sebaceous gland to produce an oily substance called sebum . The channel through which glands bind with pores is called follicle . When a follicle is plugged a pimple or a blackhead is created.
There is no single cause that motivates the appearance of acne. It is known that there is a significant genetic load : if our parents had acne is more than likely we will also suffer from acne . Hormonal changes may explain many of the problems of adolescents and pregnant women or of those who start taking birth control pills. Some drugs can also cause acne or to use makeup with a fat base.
For years direct link between acne and hygiene of the individual was established. Now it is known that repeated washing of the face in fact worsen the disease. It was also said that sunlight ' dried ' glands , favoring the disappearance of pimples and blackheads. Nothing is more far from reality. Today we know that is important not to be exposed to ultraviolet rays. Another therapy that was applied years ago was to provide anthibiotics to the patient by oral or dermal while that therapy today is dismissed as the only solution route. It is known the action of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes causes injury at the skin due to blockage of the follicle by the sebum , but by it itself does not cause an increase in the generation of said blocking substance.
But if something happened when acne appeared was the prohibition of eating certain foods. Certain food, usually chocolate and fatty foods were quickly banned . Although there have been many studies about those foods, today is known that none of them significantly worsen the disease, and less to generate the problem. What is known is that there is a sophisticated connection between diet and acne.
For example it has been clearly demostrated that acne prone skin is resistant to insulin.
The high-glycemic carbohydrates , such as sugar , flour , refined cereals , white potatoes etc that are absorbed quickly by the body are the main suspects in the aggravation of acne . These carbohydrates are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, causing an immediate increase in insulin levels . High insulin levels increase the risk of acne. Since insulin is a growth hormone , it is stimulating the creation of excessive skin cells . Furthermore insulin raises androgen levels , ie , the male hormones such as DHEA and testosterone. Androgens are known to increase the production of sebum so many fast carbs consumed leads to greater sebum production with the consequent danger that the follicles are blocked .
Dairy products can also aggravate acne . Such products contain two main types of proteins , casein and whey . Whey proteins also trigger insulin spikes as with the high-glycemic carbohydrates . They also contain a growth factor called betacellulin that binds to a special receiver skin cells called EGFR . When betacellulin EGFR binds a follicle starts to produce more sebum than usual.
It is also known that an imbalance between omega -3 and omega-6 we get through food can aggravate skin problems. If we receive an excess of omega- 6 via eg vegetable oils ( corn , soybean etc. ) compared with omega -3 that we receive through fish , acne worsens.
From all this we deduce the following :
More than likely that most acne sufferers have a hormonal teenagers origin and in certain cases due to genetic load heritage . Food does not cause the disease but some measures should be taken in order some foods do not worsen the disease.
It is important to change the intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates for low index one , in order do not trigger the production of high levels of insulin. We will replace the refined bread with whole wheat , sugar intake will diminish and we will remove all kinds of pastries from our diet. But never, under any circumstances , we will stop to consume carbohydrates , but such carbohydrates will be always integral type. Bread, pasta, toast, always whole . In fact, this change should be permanent , the health of the person would appreciate it.
We will reduce the consumption of milk and dairy products ( cheese, yogurt , butter ... ) . To compensate for the loss of protein, minerals and vitamins that such change will cause we will begin to consume more vegetable protein and leafy green vegetables , a rich source of calcium.
Ideally we will enrich our diet with lots of vegetables and fruits.
We will increase the consumption of omega -3 to compensate for the excessive consumption of omega-6. It is best to consume oily fish at least three times a week.
AND MOST IMPORTANT ! Visiting a dermatologist is a must. We say dermatologist, no beauty salon or similar since acne is a disease that should be diagnosed by a specialist doctor who will prescribe treatments as needed, and recommend the most appropriate diet. An acne caught early can be a mild chronic disease that will soon disappear or become a problem that can generate ugly scars that will be with us for life and even be a source of psychological problems.