After yesterday's acne etiology lesson, I offer today some preventative advice:
- Consume lots of omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods, such as sardines, anchovies, hemp seeds (and oil), flax seeds (and oil), fish oil, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.
- Identify if you have any food allergies. If you have food allergies (even mild ones), avoid them as best as you can. Triggering the immune system with food allergens stresses it out more, making it more difficult to fight the acne infections.
- Eat lots of vitamin-A rich foods, like carrots, pumpkin, mango, sweet potatoes, and squash (think orange!). Vitamin-A is crucial in the development and maintenance of healthy skin.
- Manage your stress. While stress is inevitable, there are ways to manage it, through deep breathing, bubble baths, exercise, video games, creative writing/journaling, listening to music, and/or talking to loved ones, friends, naturopathic doctor, therapist, or counselor. When we are stressed, we make more androgens, which increase sebum production (note: sebum is what the acne bacteria like to eat!).
- Reduce the amount of hormones in your diet. Animal products, when not organic, may contain excess hormones. Limit meat and dairy as much as possible.