If you thought zits were just a teenage thing, think again.
Cystic acne is a form of acne more common in adults and is usually felt along your jawline. Compared to your typical acne, it just appears as bumps and doesn’t really pop out.
The fact that it’s hidden doesn’t mean it’s easier to conceal or treat. In fact, it’s a severe type of acne that needs to be treated right away to lessen the chances of scarring.
Like any form of skin condition, seeing a doctor seems like a smart idea. But, what if there are ways to prevent it so you won’t have to deal with those expensive medical bills?
Here now are 6 cystic acne diet tips to include in your fight against cystic acne.
1. Try taking vitamin B6 supplements regularly a week before your period
Vitamin B6 supports healthy nerve function and metabolism. It can help with your skin health, too.
Why should you take it days before your menstrual cycle?
This is because vitamin B6 helps treat or prevent PMS symptoms. This vitamin helps reduce cramps, nausea, breast pain and even the pimples that take place before your period starts.
It works like this:
Vitamin B6 helps the body release more neurotransmitters which help with our pain management (yes, cystic acne can cause discomfort). It also helps manage hormones and increase blood flow.
For women aged 19-50 years, 1.3 mg of Vitamin B6 is required. If you’re a woman who’s 51 years and up, you should take 1.5 mg.
If you can’t find Vitamin B6 supplements, natural foods work equally well. Some good sources include chicken breasts, avocado, and tuna.
However, you must remember that not everyone has the same body chemistry. This method may work for some and not for others, so it’s still best to check with your doctor first.
2. Sip hot lemon water the moment you wake up
What does this have to do with a cystic acne diet?
For one, lemon water is full of antioxidants which protect the cells from damage. The amount of flavonoids lemons contain also support metabolic health as well as sensitivity to insulin.
Low insulin levels mean lower oil production.
It also flushes out all the toxins inside the body. Lemon water gets rid of the bacteria that can possibly cause acne, too.
For this tip, simply pour some hot water into a mug and squeeze in a fresh lemon. Alternately, you can add the right amount of water to a mug full of lemon juice, making sure that it still tastes like lemon.
3. Go dairy-free (or at least limit your dairy intake)
Unless you’re lactose intolerant, milk and dairy can have a negative effect both on your body and the skin.
The first reason involves its IGF-1 or the Insulin-like Growth Factor content. It’s needed by young cows to grow, but for our skin, it only stimulates sebum production.
Second is its high levels of hormones, like DHT and possibly, testosterone. These hormones cause more oil and bigger glands since they make the sebaceous glands overly active.
Hyperactive glands mean greater chances for acne to develop.
But, I understand that going completely dairy-free is difficult.
So, to solve this, consider replacing processed milk with a raw and organic one. You can try kefir and/or fermented milk.
You can also try other dairy alternatives, like almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk.
There’s one thing to consider, though.
Soy milk can also cause allergic reactions and hormonal imbalances. So, simply put, it is not a 100% guarantee that you’ll be acne-free.
4. Take birth control pills
For matters of the skin, treat your lady doctor as your BFF. Your gynecologist, in particular.
This is since they have more knowledge about hormonal imbalances. And basically everything about how the female body works.
The first thing they’ll do is to conduct a blood test to check your hormone levels.
They may then recommend spironolactone to balance your hormones.
Or, birth control pills.
Just make sure that they’re the combination type—meaning, they contain both progesterone and estrogen. Birth control pills can actually worsen acne if they only contain progesterone.
Also, you have to take them in conjunction with multivitamins. To be more specific, those that contain zinc.
5. Avoid coffee
This one’s difficult especially if you’re caffeine-dependent like me.
While some experts argue that there’s no link between coffee and acne, advances in science have proved otherwise. Too much coffee increases stress, which makes the body produce cortisol.
High cortisol levels make our oil glands overly active and thus, lead to acne.
But coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine. Chocolate and tea have it, too.
For healthy adults, the allowable amount of caffeine per day is up to 400 mg. That is roughly equivalent to 2 energy drinks, 10 cola cans, or 4 cups of coffee.
Just remember that these values may vary depending on how strong your drink is. Also, never give children caffeine and adolescents should limit their intake as much as possible.
6. Eat foods that support a healthy liver
Aside from cleansing our blood from poisons and alcohol, did you know that a healthy liver benefits the skin as well?
It’s where our hormones are produced so to clear acne, you better care for it.
One way to boost your liver’s health is to add cruciferous vegetables to your diet. Examples of these vegetables are bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower.
You can opt for fruits high in fiber if you aren’t fan of vegetables. Oranges, bananas and apples are great sources.
“Exotic fruits” like guava, persimmon and mango are great choices, too.
Compared to regular acne, cystic acne is far more painful but you don’t have to excessively worry about it.
To get rid of those annoying bumps, you must remember that balance between the products you use and a proper cystic acne diet plays a big role. These two should always come together in order to become more effective.
Now that you have a clearer idea on where to get started, what are you waiting for?
Have you experienced cystic acne before? What other tips can you add to this list?