Do you know YOUR primary acne trigger? Still struggling with an unsure self-diagnosis?
We created a short quiz to help you Discover YOUR Complexion Triggers
Acne. It’s something you’re supposed to grow out of. Like awkward teenage crushes, boy bands and report cards.
But here you are. An adult. Still breaking out like a pizza-crazy 15-year-old off to the school dance.
Only now, the stakes are higher.
You’d give anything to look your best for that job promotion you want. Or to “meet the parents.” Or for a fun night out with friends. Heck, just going anywhere with a clear, smooth complexion would be amazing.
You’ve tried everything on your own to get rid of your acne. But nothing’s worked.
Who do you turn to for help?
A good dermatologist can literally be a lifesaver (just think about the crucial work they do with screening for cancerous moles and other skin growths). But when it comes to acne, there are some drawbacks to consider.
First, dermatologists have limited time to spend with you. Typically, ten or fifteen minutes at most to fully evaluate the rich tapestry of who you are and what might be impacting your life and triggering your acne―including your diet.
Second, because dermatologists don’t have time to address the WHOLE you, they prescribe meds. It’s what they know. And meds mean a “one size fits all” regimen of oral antibiotics, topical prescription creams like Retin-A (which contains pore clogging inactive ingredients), Benzoyl Peroxide and topical antibiotics.
When this approach ends up failing after a few months (which it always does―otherwise you wouldn’t be here), dermatologists usually prescribe a new round of antibiotics. And then another. Until they’ve blown through their chemical options except for one last resort. Accutane.
Also known as isotretinoin, not only does Accutane put patients at huge risk for multiple, severe side effects such as dry skin, dry eyes, constipation, diarrhea, liver damage, depression and much more. It fails to cure the acne, even after patients try several rounds of Accutane.
What about alternative healthcare professionals?
If you prefer a more natural approach, you might be considering alternative health professionals such as naturopaths, endocrinologists, acupuncturists or nutritionists.
For sure, they typically have a wealth of beneficial knowledge and can help you be your healthy best in many regards. And, when it comes to healing acne, they may be able to get you moving in the right direction.
The central tenant of naturopathic medicine is a person’s inherent ability for self-healing. Educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges, naturopathic doctors diagnose, prevent and treat acute and chronic illness in a personalized, holistic manner to restore and maintain best health. They focus on treating the underlying issues of health problems, rather than just the symptoms.
When it comes to treating adult acne, naturopaths would likely focus on your diet and balancing your hormones.
For diet, they’d likely favor a high-protein, low-carb diet that includes fresh-water fish, whole grains, fruit and sprouts. They might advise against sugar, nut butters and fried food (albeit it’s a myth that these three foods cause acne!). They’d also recommend hormone specific treatments, such as herbs for hormone balancing as well as herbs for overall whole body health. And they might suggest hydrotherapy, where you alternate hot and cold compresses to the affected area.
Endocrinologists are medical experts who diagnose and treat problems related to the endocrine system―glands which release hormones to regulate metabolism, respiration, growth, reproduction, sensory perception and movement. Because routine hormonal testing and interpretation is complex, it’s not usually warranted for acne, because most people’s hormone levels are within a normal range.
However, exceptions are typically made for people with severe cystic acne, or acne with additional signs of androgen excess. For example, young children with acne and early-onset body odor and pubic hair. In addition, some women are genetically predisposed to high androgen levels, and low estrogen and progesterone levels. This hormonal imbalance, known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, causes them to skip menstrual periods and, instead of their ovaries releasing eggs, tiny small, fluid-filled sacs cysts are formed. Research indicates that a high percentage of women are unaware they have the syndrome. After hormonal blood tests, treatment would likely include oral medications such as Spironolactone or birth control pills.
Using fine needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points, acupuncturists are trained in a form of traditional Chinese medicine that relieves pain, promotes healing and improves physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. It is based on the idea that almost all diseases arise from blockages and imbalances in the body. So, by unblocking stagnations, the body is brought back into harmony with itself.
Using Chinese face mapping, an acupuncturist would try to get to the underlying root cause of acne, such as diet, emotions or hormones. Then, based on their findings, they might suggest dietary changes, and Chinese herbs and supplements to augment the acupuncture.
When it comes to treating acne, a professional nutritionist can guide you to a healthy, whole-foods diet rich in fruits and vegetables. They may also suggest supplements and ample hydration. And even advise you about the impact of stress or hormonal imbalance on acne. All of these are important contributors to healthy skin.
The tricky thing is, nutritionists might unknowingly also recommend “good for you” foods that trigger acne. Foods like free-range, organic whole eggs, seafood and sea plants, yogurt, kefir, peanuts. Which will keep setting you back in your skin clearing journey no matter how well you stick to their advice.
When it comes to acne, though, here’s what’s missing…
Keep in mind, these experts are not acne specialists. They’ve likely not studied the myriad, interconnected ways stress, diet, gut health, hormone balancing, pore-clogging ingredients, supplements and herbals of every ilk, clean acne care products and regimens must ALL be balanced and optimized to create clear skin.
For example, even if your naturopath recommends a high-protein, low carb diet, herbs for hormonal balance (such as DIM, or diindolylmethane, which is acne triggering) and hydro-therapy, you’re still fighting a losing battle. That’s because they, or any of these other experts, don’t consider the plethora of other acne triggers impacting your skin every single day. Which explains why you often only see fleeting or little improvement.
What can you do instead?
The future of office visits is here—and available everywhere
It’s called telemedicine, and it’s a virtual visit with a healthcare provider
via video conference on your phone, tablet or laptop. Telemedicine has actually been around for over 20 years. But thanks to high speed Internet, it’s now reaching the medical mainstream.
Five reasons why telemedicine is the next big thing in health care:
- Better access to specialists
You can live anywhere—even in a remote location several times zones away—and still receive the access to the specialist you need. There’s no need to drive long distances or invest a lot of time and energy to visit a doctor’s office.
- No time off work
You can schedule your appointment during a lunch break, or before or after work. You just need to find a place that offers sufficient privacy. Even your car can work as a great visiting room when it comes to telemedicine!
- No transportation costs
Since you’re visiting your practitioner via the Internet, you don’t spend a dime on gas, parking or public transportation. Plus, you don’t have to worry about running into traffic jams or parking problems that can make you late.
- No child care issues
Let’s face it: scrounging around for a babysitter to take care of your child so you make your doctor’s appointment is difficult, expensive and impractical. Telemedicine solves this problem by allowing you to see your doctor in the privacy of your home at a time that’s convenient for you and your family
- No more wasting time in the waiting room
A video visit means that your appointment starts at the allotted time. No more showing up at an office and waiting 30 minutes or longer before your practitioner is available to see you.
Telemedicine has helped thousands of patients all over the world receive access to specialized care when they couldn’t get it otherwise. Thanks to video conferencing, it’s easy and convenient for clients to receive evaluation and treatment―as well as support and encouragement every step of the way.