Case study: Resolving acne
By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Simone is a 22 year old girl who came to see me for help in overcoming acne. She had been suffering on and off with acne ever since she was a teenager. In the last 3 months it had become much worse. Simone thought it was due to the stress caused by a painful breakup.
Simone had taken antibiotics for acne for several years as a teenager. They reduced the acne but she didn’t want to be taking antibiotics long term anymore because she knew it wasn’t healthy. She had a sensitive stomach and antibiotics always aggravate it, and sometimes they triggered a urinary tract infection.
Simone’s doctor had prescribed the oral contraceptive pill to control the acne and Simone had been on it for the past two years. The pill did reduce the acne, but Simone didn’t feel great while taking it. She felt quite depressed and suffered with headaches. She wanted a healthy and permanent solution for acne.
The pimples on Simone’s face were very large and red, and quite painful. This made her feel very self conscious, as it was difficult to cover them adequately with make up. Acne can cause significant depression, particularly for young people.
The only other health problem Simone had was with her digestion. She felt very bloated most days and the bloating got worse as the day progressed. She often experienced gas and abdominal cramps which made her extremely uncomfortable.
- I asked Simone to make some diet changes. The skin on your outside is a good reflection of the health of the skin on your inside (your gastrointestinal tract). In Simone’s case the skin in both places was inflamed. I asked Simone to remove gluten and dairy products from her diet, as both of these foods can irritate the gut and create leaky gut syndrome. An inflamed gut typically creates an inflamed face.
- I gave Simone Gut Health powder because it is wonderful for soothing and healing the lining of the gut. It would offer her good symptom relief but also calm the inflammation in her gut. Using apple cider vinegar as a salad dressing should improve stomach acid production, helping to reduce bloating and gas.
- Magnesium isn’t for acne, but it is a wonderful mineral for helping to relieve the symptoms of stress. I asked Simone to take a teaspoon with dinner.
- Simone ate quite a bit of sugar. She knew that it was unhealthy but she didn’t realise the strong relationship between sugar, carbs and acne. Not everyone who eats a lot of sugar gets acne, but if you do suffer with acne, sugar usually makes it much worse because it causes your body to produce a substance called insulin-like growth factor 1, which can trigger acne. In order to help reduce her carbohydrate cravings, I asked her to eat protein and natural fats at each meal, which helps stabilise blood sugar. Using a whey protein powder to make smoothies also helps.
- The health of your liver has an enormous bearing on the health of your skin. This is because your liver is the cleanser of your bloodstream. In an ideal world your liver would detoxify your body perfectly, but unfortunately we live in a polluted world and we don’t always eat the healthiest foods. That’s why I gave Simone Ultimate Superfood powder.