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5 Holistic Ways to Deal With Hormonal Acne

By Eleanor Stephen

You've tried every product known to man and you're still battling your acne. If you are battling with hormonal acne, certain conventional products and treatments may not work for you--in fact, they often make it worse. If you've grown tired of these treatments, you may want to explore some natural, alternative, or holistic options.

Hormonal acne is characterized by cystic, or puss-filled, lesions. Hormonal acne may occur during puberty or flare up during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause, or menopause. Many women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome suffer from hormonal acne.

Products don't often work for cystic acne as the lesions actually rupture beneath the surface of the skin, forcing the blockage beyond the reach of topical acne treatments.

Cystic acne is difficult if not impossible to completely avoid if you are prone to it. However, there are ways you can address the symptoms more holistically.

1Healthy eating: Many say that diet doesn't affect acne. However, it is more accurate to say that diet doesn't directly affect acne. Having a poor diet consisting heavily of processed foods and animal products including meat, dairy, and eggs can affect one's overall health and thus negatively affect the skin as it does other parts of the body. Eating more whole foods including more fruits and vegetables than anything else is essential in reducing acidity levels in the body. Avoiding processed foods, which being nutritionally void, raise cortisol--or stress hormone--levels will also increase your overall health and well-being as well as benefit your skin.

2Be alert: Take preventative measures as soon as you notice a cystic acne lesion forming. Thankfully, you are often able to feel the zit coming up before it breeches the surface. At that time, apply salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatment to the area. For natural remedy that is less drying, try applying a drop of tea tree oil diluted with water on a cotton ball to the area where you feel a zit erupting.

3. Know your nutrients: Zinc is a nutrient that has been known to help control oil production. Wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and mushrooms are high in zinc content and, unlike animal sources of zinc, are free of saturated fats and cholesterol. Chocolate and cacao is a great source of zinc. Visit your local health food store to find a chocolate that is free of refined sugars with a high percentage of cacao. Adding pure cacao powder to smoothies with some soaked dates or stevia in place of a sugar sweetener is a great way to increase your zinc intake in a delicious, guilt-free way. Making sure you get enough zinc in your diet in healthy sources is more effective than supplementing. However, if you find it difficult to incorporate enough zinc into your diet, taking a supplement is a good option.

4Stay clean: Always wash your hands before you touch your face. Avoid touching your face during the day. If you have a habit of letting your chin rest on your hand, you must break it. Additionally, always use clean towels to dry your face and replace your pillowcase frequently. Some find it beneficial to sleep with a clean towel on the pillowcase each night to avoid having to change pillowcases so frequently.

5. Trust your gut: People suffering from hormonal acne often have low stomach acid, which increases the risk of bacteria imbalance. Studies show that people who eat a high fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains have a higher variety of microflora. Incorporating foods containing probiotics or prebiotics (fiber found in plant foods) can be beneficial to a healthy gut. A healthy assortment of microflora is essential for good health. Stress has also been shown to reduce gut microflora as well as acne, another example of why a holistic approach to health and skin care is beneficial.

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Note: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases.