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Condition - Acne FAQ

By Debbie Paddington Dip ION

My daughter is suffering very badly from teenage acne and it is making her very self-conscious about going out. Our GP wants to put her on the contraceptive pill, but I am reluctant for this to happen, as she is only 15 years old. Please can you help?

The most likely suspect in the development of acne is a hormonal imbalance, making the condition most common in teenagers. According to the New Zealand dermatological society, approximately 50% of females with acne have an imbalance of hormones. Typically, hormonal-related acne flares up around the time of a period. Eating foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, may help to balance hormones. Phytoestrogen-rich foods, such as soya, tempeh and tofu, may also be beneficial. Zinc is also an important nutrient for acne sufferers, as it may help with wound healing and helps manage the body’s natural inflammatory response. Studies have shown that acne sufferers tend to have low levels of zinc and the more severe the acne, the lower the zinc levels. Foods rich in zinc include poultry, fish, cheese, lima beans, soybeans and whole grains. Omega 3 essential fatty acids may support inflammation, so your daughter should try to include oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, and nuts and seeds in her diet. Alternatively, she could take a fish oil supplement. Poor digestion often plays a role in skin conditions, so if your daughter suffers from digestive symptoms, such as wind and bloating, she may find a probiotic supplement useful to take. 


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