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Simple Steps to Calm Acne Inflammation in Your Skin
Having a breakout in itself can be inconvenient and embarrassing, but the whole ordeal becomes even worse when your acne becomes inflamed and painful to the touch.
This inflammation is actually caused by an infection in the breakout, triggered by the spread of p. acnes bacteria in the skin. Depending upon the severity of your acne, your acne inflammation could range from mild to moderate to highly painful. No matter how serious the inflammation and swelling in your skin may be, there are a few simple steps that you can take to calm and soothe your skin to treat your acne for good.
What Causes Acne Inflammation in the Skin?
In the basic chain of events that leads to acne inflammation, the oil glands will begin to produce excess oil, normally stimulated by stress or hormones, which will mix with dead skin on the surface of the complexion to clog the pores. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the p. acnes bacteria will enter the scene by triggering infection, leading to irritation and inflammation around the acne lesion.
This acne inflammation is exhibited in symptoms of swelling, redness, discomfort, and warmth, and it is actually the result of your immune system naturally fighting against a foreign invader. In essence, inflammation is necessary to keep your skin protected from outside damage, but you can stop these painful problems before they start by attacking your inflammatory acne at its source.
Acne Inflammation Dietary Triggers
If you have tried product after product, cream after cream, and treatment after treatment, it may be time to look to a simpler solution to alleviate your acne: your diet. Many common acne products and treatments can provide temporary relief, yet the acne returns again in a few weeks or months later. What gives? The truth is that severely inflamed acne is linked to inflammation caused by the diet, which is often triggered by a food allergy, according to research from the Center for Food Allergies.  In a recent study they conducted on a 25-year-old male suffering from acne inflammation, the patient had been struggling with facial and back acne since he was a teenager. He also had a series of digestive issues, as well as itchy skin and chronic fatigue. After discovering his food allergies to dairy and gluten, the young man then altered his diet and experienced immediate relief from acne inflammation and his other digestive issues.
To further illustrate my point, check out what several sufferers of acne inflammation had to say about how their diet affected their skin at the acne.org forums:
I’ve been lowering my meat intake altogether, and despite being a 6’5″ guy, I’m only eating about 1200 calories per day. Nonetheless, I’ve always found when I’m eating the most red meat to be when I break out the most, by far.
I’ve been vegetarian for the past three years. Before becoming vegetarian at age 15, I had acne all over my face, red scarring everywhere, and I had awful combination skin. Every acne product would dry out my skin. Nothing worked. I became vegetarian for ethical reasons, and was shocked to find that my diet not only made me feel healthier, but also cleared up my skin a lot. My skin isn’t totally clear, and I’ve had some help from a dermatologist, but the diet I’m on has made a noticeable difference.
I am a big believer in treating things the natural way, including acne. I think that we would all be healthier if we started incorporating the things that you mentioned into our lives. I notice that when I’m eating well and working out my skin generally looks much better than when I’m eating junk.
I’m 28 and my acne has just gotten worse over the years which of course takes a big toll on my self-image, confidence, etc.. I have recently gone back to school and am in holistic nutrition and can I tell you how right on you!?!? Seriously- for the past 2 months I have tripled the amount of green vegetables (kale, spinach, dandelion, chard, etc..) I have eaten. Truth be told, 3 months ago I didn’t even know what half that stuff was! Well, so far, my skin has really improved. I’m shocked.
So what can you do today to reduce your acne inflammation? Here are a few steps to get you moving in the right direction:
- Use a daily skin care regimen with products that are appropriate to your skin type, containing only natural or organic ingredients. Remember that the chemical ingredients that you put on your skin can easily be absorbed into your bloodstream to affect your circulatory system for the worse!
- Cleanse only with lukewarm water. If you cleanse with water that is too hot, it will dry out your skin and trigger even more oil production to result in acne breakouts and inflammation.
- Examine your diet! As soon as you start to balance your diet and eliminate any trigger foods causing inflammation, you will see a noticeable difference in the quality and health of your skin. Happy eating!
There’s more you should know. . .
We’ve really only touched the surface of what you should know about this debilitating disease that we’ve all grown to hate. Here at Focus:Acne, we have started an information revolution – where we put all misconceptions aside, and inform the “motivated-to-cure” on the true nature of this disease. Stop buying acne medications, stop visiting the dermatologist, and simply enter your name and e-mail below – it’s time to be inspired and officially put acne in the past…
- “Acne: How Food Can Cause It.” Center for Food Allergies. Web. 03 Jan. 2011. <http://www.centerforfoodallergies.com/acne.htm>.
- “What Causes Acne?” EHealthMD.com. Web. 03 Jan. 2011. <http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/acne/acn_causes.html>.
About the Author: Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician and makeup artist with a special interest in using nutrition to heal and alleviate a number of conditions in the skin. You can find out more skin care and makeup tips by visiting her blog at FacebyBethany.
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