Question: I have an 18 yr old daughter who has had severe acne for the last 3 yrs. She has been on anti-biotics and prescriptions cream on and off for those 3 yrs. We were if there was something “natural” we could try. We don’t like the idea of all these medications but we need to do something. Thanks so much for your time!
Answer: There are fundamental dietary guidelines and supplements that should be included in any treatment plan for optimal results.
There is controversy over whether or not dietary habits have any influence on the frequency or severity of acne or related skin conditions. So many references say there is no correlation between the two, however in my practice I have found that the removal of dairy products, caffeine, gluten, reducing the intake of chocolate and avoiding sugar as much as possible are all effective. A great starting place would be the detox diet outlined in The Hormone Diet or The Supercharged Hormone Diet.
Eating a healthy ratio of protein and low glycemic carbohydrates with each meal and snack can also balance blood sugar and subsequently stress hormones, both of which may reduce acne. Finally, be sure to include natural anti-inflammatory, healthy fats in your diet such as olive oil and fish oils. Avoid unhealthy oils like peanut, soy, vegetable or hydrogenated oils which will increase inflammation in the skin and worsen the problem.
As far as supplements are concerned, regardless of the cause of your acne one should include zinc 25-50mg per day, vitamin A 10,000-50,000IU per day (not to be taken by women who may be pregnant or attempting to conceive), vitamin C 1000-3000mg per day, and MSM 2000-4000mg per day for healing, collagen formation and tissue repair.
I also strongly recommend a probiotic supplement, taken daily upon rising and before bed. Healthy bacterial balance in our digestive tract is easily affected by poor dietary habits and by the use of medications such as birth control pills, corticosteroids and antibiotics and can contribute to skin conditions.
Wishing you perfect balance,
Response by Natasha Turner ND