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Dr. Perricone Discusses

The Causes of Adult Acne


Although it can appear at just about any age, acne usually makes its first appearance when we reach puberty; the reason for this is hormones. When we enter puberty, our body begins to produce testosterone. Testosterone breaks down into a substance called dihydrotestosterone, which stimulates the sebaceous gland to start producing more sebum. It is subclinical inflammation that is the initiating factor in clogging the pores which results in the formation of an acne lesion.

Lifestyle & Acne
When our blood sugar and insulin levels rise, whether from a poor diet or from stress, we experience a serious increase in inflammatory chemicals at a cellular level. This causes inflammatory diseases such as acne to worsen dramatically.

Stress and hormonal changes also contribute to acne. Cortisol and other adrenal steroids can act as androgens (male hormones) and stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands resulting in a flare-up of acne.

Excess Oil Production
We know that acne forms when oily secretions from the sebaceous glands beneath the skin plug up the pores. But what causes the oil to form in the first place? High levels of the neuropeptide Substance P plays a role in increasing the size and activity of the oil producing gland. In addition, another hormone, the stress hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is released in the sebaceous gland - also contributing to the production of excess oil, which sets the stage for acne. The wrong foods also start this chain of events resulting in acne.

Diet & Acne
When we follow the anti-inflammatory diet, we will see acne dramatically decrease in a matter of days. It is also vital that we find ways to eliminate physical, mental and psychic stress—a huge cause of acne. If you have ever had an acne flare-up before an important event, it is not a coincidence. The stress you were experiencing is directly correlated to the breakouts.

Important tips to keep skin clear:

  • Make sure that you get enough sleep.
  • Don't drink coffee.
  • Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day for meditation or prayer. It is a well- established fact that people who do this have significantly lower cortisol (a major stress hormone) levels.
  • Consider learning some simple yoga exercises. Yoga is an outstanding stress reducer.
  • Take Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which reduce levels of stress chemicals.
  • Take targeted nutritional supplements, like Skin Clear, including alpha lipoic acid, zinc, DMAE, pantothenic acid.
  • Add essential fatty acid supplements -including the Omega 6, which are rich in linoleic acid. Acne patients have a low concentration of linoleic acid in their sebum, and the levels decrease as the acne increases.
  • Stay well hydrated with pure spring water.
  • Detox with a watercress salad every day.
  • Add fiber to your diet to keep your colon cleansed. Apples are a great choice.
  • Eat plenty of probiotics in the form of plain, unsweetened organic yogurt and kefir.
  • Add walnuts and almonds (raw, unsalted) great source of fiber and essential fats including linoleic acid.
  • Add chia seeds to your yogurt and fruit (fiber, omega 3's).
  • Enjoy a six ounce can of wild salmon for lunch. A great way to increase protein for cellular repair, decrease inflammation (acne is an inflammatory disease), burn body fat and reduce stress.


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Related Links:

The Pore Treatment that Works
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The Perfect Routine for Oily Skin