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Eat right to glow

Acne is generally considered as a teenage problem. However, 80% of adults in the age of 20 to 40 also suffer from mild to moderate acne.

fashion and trends Updated: Apr 17, 2011 14:59 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee

Acne is generally considered as a teenage problem. However, 80% of adults in the age of 20 to 40 also suffer from mild to moderate acne. It is the result of the action of hormones (DHT, a derivative of testosterone) on skin oil gland — sebaceous glands causing blocked pores and eruption of lesions-pimples.

No specific cause for acne has been determined yet, however there are certain factors like fluctuation in sex hormones, certain cosmetics, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid hormone deficiency, stress, diet and genetics, which aggravate the problem.

Get rid of acne
Severe inflammatory acne needs medical supervision. Antibiotic tablets and creams soothe the skin. Following dietary and lifestyle changes can help manage skin breakouts in a better way:
Diet: A healthy diet helps to maintain healthy skin. Acne is affected by hard to digest food resulting in a sluggish digestive process which causes skin disorders. People affected by acne should consume plant-based, fibre-rich food to make metabolism easy. Eat protein and carbohydrates in a healthy ratio with each meal and snack to balance blood sugar and stress hormones, both of which help reduce acne.
Cleanse your system: Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. It washes out toxins and aids in transporting nutrients.
Detox: A diet high in refined foods, sugar, fried foods and low in fibre, essential vitamins can result in toxin build up. Most skin disorders are a result of toxins in body. When too many toxins are produced, they get discharged through skin.
Vitamin and mineral support: Vitamin A, B-complex and E are important nutrients to treat acne. Zinc is beneficial for controlling the inflammation that accompanies acne. Tea tree oil removes and stops growth of bacteria on the skin.

Clean up
Do not scrub. Scrubbing aggravates the problem.
Do not wash with harsh soaps. Cleanse gently with mild cleansers.
Do not wash your face frequently as it disturbs your skin’s pH balance, leading to more breakouts and making your skin dry and flaky. Washing it twice a day is sufficient.
Use natural cosmetics on your skin, go for water-based cosmetics.
Keep your scalp clean. Dandruff infested hair aggravates pimples.

By Dr Anjali Mukerjee, nutritionist