Acne is caused by inflammation of the skin because a sebaceous gland, located at the bottom of each hair follicle, becomes trapped with natural oils, causing bacterial buildup and inflammation. This condition may be worsened at adolescence, premenstrually, or mid-menstrual cycle due to hormonal action, and when under stress, eating a poor diet, or on contraceptives.
Symptoms: Inflamed spots or elevations either on or under the skin. Blackheads form when the oil combines with skin pigments and gets trapped. Blackheads may suggest the need for better hygiene, or magnesium and vitamin A. Chronic, numerous whiteheads may suggest vitamin B1 deficiency or absorption problems. Consistent raised spots on the outside of the arms and sometimes even the thighs, resembling “chicken skin,” may suggest need for magnesium, vitamin A, or essential fatty acids or the need to avoid foods that inhibit the absorption of these nutrients, such as trans-fatty acids found in margarine and hydrogenated oils, (cottonseed oil and palm kernel oil).
Consider: Food allergies, allergies to facial creams, soaps, shampoos, makeup, excess intake of refined sugars. Certain foods may aggravate (chocolate, fruit juices, carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages, milk products). Excessive long-term intake of seafood or other high- iodine foods may also bring on acne bouts in some people.
Special Notes: Vitamin B6 may help for premenstrual or mid-menstrual cycle acne. Coexisting gum problems suggest the need for folic acid. A separate acne condition may occur in women 30-40 years old due to exercising or working all day with face makeup, lowered resistance due to stress, or hyper-response to bacteria or hormone problems. Another acne problem, acne rosacea (reddish spots in a pattern over nose and cheeks), may be a sign of low B vitamins or low hydrochloric acid in the stomach.