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Understanding Hormonal Acne
 
 
Hormonal acne is recognized as an unwanted right of passage into puberty. It is associated with this particular age group because of the substantial hormonal shifts that young men and women experience. However, hormonal acne can affect both sexes long after they have matured from puberty to adulthood. As estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, the body responds by increasing sebum production, which causes skin inflammation, blocks skin cells and
hair follicles and causes an increase in a skin bacterium known as "Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), leading to acne. Besides the hormonal changes that influence acne, certain medications may also affect sebum (oil production). Stress can also make the situation worse by increasing your stress receptors, which increases the inflammatory response. This, in turn, causes skin breakouts to worsen. New research shows people who have a low amount of Vitamin A in their diets are more suspectable to skin infections. Genetics play a role in the likelihood of you being more prone to acne, and you may be surprised to know friction caused by tight collars, cellphones and even the straps of helmets, may inflame skin that is already at risk. Greasy foods have often been accused of being a risk factor for acne but eating greasy foods themselves has little impact on acne. The greasy association has to do with working in a greasy environment, touching your face after consuming greasy foods or standing over a greasy frying pan, because the oil can stick to your skin and block hair follicles. Another interesting take away is that treating hormonal acne in men is more complicated, likely due to the naturally higher levels of androgens.
 
 
Supporting The Skin Can Reduce Hormonal Flareups
 
 
Keep in mind that everyone has bacteria living on the skin, some of which are identified as good and others bad. For instance, “Propionibacterium acnes" lives in the oily region of the skin's pores and when activated, can aggravate an immune response, which causes acne. To help reduce the increase of harmful bacteria on the skin, support the skin by supporting a healthy gut. It may seem far fetched, but the skin is an organ and if harmful substances can leave the gut and make their way to the bloodstream, your body looks for the quickest way to get rid of them and skin provides the most convenient option. Keep your gut
healthy with a daily probiotic such as Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Daily. Hormonal acne is influenced by hormonal fluctuations, therefore balancing the hormones can provide a more stable environment to help reduce unstable body reactions. WOMENSENSE EstroSense is a good option for women, and unfortunately, there is presently no men's formula that we can recommend as most men's supplements increase the production of testosterone, which can increase acne symptoms. However, both men and women can benefit from a curcumin supplement such as Natural Factors CurcuminRich to help reduce the body's inflammatory response. Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Zinc and Vitamin A can also be helpful. There are many options for Omega 3 that help ensure daily compliance. Sea Licious Omega 3 is a liquid omega supplement that can be added to shakes, yogurt and taken right from the spoon (it does taste good). Whole Earth & Sea Herring Gold Omega 3 is a better choice for Omega in a capsule for the added antioxidants. Supporting your skin from within, where it all begins, is just as important as helping your skin from the outside. Review the ingredients on your washes and facial creams to ensure there are no harsh chemicals. Consider a more natural approach to skin hygiene with a topical wash that contains Tea Tree Oil, which works on neutralizing the bad skin bacteria. Rose Hip Seed Oil (dry oil) can heal damaged skin and blemishes, and natural astringents such as Witch Hazel can balance the oil production rather than strip the natural oils of your skin.
 
 
Resources
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/173144%2042
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83685/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048199/
 
 
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