We have all been there at one stage of our lives or even more. I remember during high school when I suffered with terrible acne on my face, so much so I didn’t even want to leave my house. Most people either live with it or turn to chemicals and prescriptions that usually have little to no effect. We all love to have a clear, smooth and radiant skin. But, it so happens that our skin tends to be susceptible to various environmental and hormonal conditions that leads to rashes, acne and/or bumps/patches. One of the most common skin conditions is Keratosis Pilaris (KP) or also known as ‘Chicken Skin’. This usually takes the form of small and rough acne-like bumps and patches in different body parts such as on the cheeks, arms, legs, thighs and buttocks. Although they tend to disappear on their own as you get older, it’s least likely that you’ll be patient enough to wait till this happens.
The outer layers of the skin include the pores and the channels that house the hair follicles. This channel also serves as the conduit from which sebum and other lipids are secreted to lubricate the skin and hair. The area of the hair follicle also naturally includes some types of bacteria. A number of different problems in this area can result in acne or the other skin blemishes that lead to acne. The first step is the pore or channel of the hair follicle becomes clogged. This may be caused by an external source (dirt or products applied to the skin) but more commonly is from excess sebum being produced in combination with the naturally occurring dead cells of the epidermis. The lining of the channel housing the hair follicle is a part of the epidermis that continually moves cells from its inner layers to the surface where the dead cells are discarded. These dead cells and the sebum can then plug the pore and entrap bacteria in the channel. Smaller pores that are plugged are first seen as whiteheads and the larger pores form blackheads. If the bacteria cause an infection these may become pimples. If the bacterial infection continues the hair follicle channel can rupture and the infection spread with the resulting inflammatory response of the body forming larger areas of irritation. The reason for excess sebum or other clogging of the hair follicle channels are varied. The types of skin, that is heredity, is definitely a factor. Other factors include:
- Hormonal levels (teenage years) and changes related to menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or stress
- Medications that may affect hormones such as birth control, etc.
- Cosmetics or hair care products
- Excess moisture from perspiration or a high humidity climate may compound the problem
Many now suggest that diet (chocolate, nuts, etc.) are not a cause of acne. [search helps: whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, zits, cystic acne, acne vulgaris]
Acne Foods to Avoid
All these foods contain a number of ingredients such as acrylamide that cause oily skin inflammation which leads to ance.
- Sugar (aka carbohydrates) – Consuming excess amounts of sugar and refined grains will feed yeast (candida) in the body increasing acne at an alarming rate.
- Gluten and wheat – These foods are also loaded with sugar as well as gluten and will cause inflammation in the gut leading to more acne.
- Chocolate – I say this with a heavy heart, but apparently Study shows chocolate increases acne by 169%
- TRANS FATS & Hydrogenated Oils – This is your vegetable oils, (safflower, soy, corn, canola, Crisco, vegetable oil). Trans fats are HIGH in Omega-6 which are inflammatory. Spreads like margarine, cakes mixes, batter, bisquick, ramen noodles, packaged soups, fast foods, frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, breaded fish sticks. Even if the label says it’s low-fat, it still has trans fat.
Baked Goods – Even worse news — more trans fats are used in commercially baked products than any other foods. Doughnuts contain shortening in the dough and are cooked in trans fat.
Chips and Crackers – Shortening provides crispy texture. Even “reduced fat” brands can still have trans fat. Anything fried (like potato chips and corn chips) or buttery crackers have trans fat.
Breakfast food. Breakfast cereal and energy bars are quick-fix, highly processed products that contain trans fats, even those that claim to be “healthy”
Cookies and Candy. Look at the labels; some have higher fat content than others. A chocolate bar with nuts — or chips ahoy cookies.
- Conventional Dairy – Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our modern diet, second only to gluten. It causes inflammation in a large percentage of the population, resulting in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as other symptoms including acne, and a stronger presentation of autistic behaviors.
Top Foods for Acne Diet
Here are the top foods that reduce inflammation and increase good bacteria in the gut which is the main way to heal acne.
1. Probiotic rich foods – Kefir, yogurt and cultured vegetables are foods that help crowd out yeast and bad bacteria which lead to acne.
2. Zinc rich foods – Researchers have been able to induce acne symptoms in young men by feeding them diets deficient in zinc. Sprouted pumpkin seeds, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds are high in zinc, a trace mineral that plays a role in over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body. People most at risk for a deficiency in zinc include:
- Vegetarians and vegans
- Pregnant women
- Endurance athletes
- People with gastrointestinal diseases
- Those who over-consume iron supplements
- People taking diuretic medications
If you are zinc deficient then animal foods are better sources than plant foods like vegetables. The RDA for zinc is 11 mg/day for men and 8 mg/day for women. The Daily Value is 15 mg.
3. Vitamin A rich foods – Spinach, carrots and beef liver are high in vitamin A which supports healthy skin.
4. Fiber rich foods – The fiber in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds support cleansing the colon and growth of good bacteria in the gut which can help eliminate acne.
5. Grass fed Beef (clean protein) – Very high in Zinc. Organic chicken, grass-fed beef, free-range eggs and wild caught fish. The vitamin A from animal sources easier to assimilate than plant form beta carotene.
Top 7 Natural Acne Remedies
#1 Probiotics (10,000IU to 50,000IU daily) Take 2-3 capsules 2x daily. Probiotics boost immunity and kill off yeast and bad bacteria.
#2 Zinc (25mg – 30mg twice daily) Promotes immune function and reduces buildup of DHT to improve skin healing.
#3 Omega-3 Fatty Acids (1000 mg fish oil / cod liver oil daily) The EPA/DHA in fish oil help reduce inflammation and supports hormone balance.
#4 Essential Oils Treatment:
2. Melaleuca Essential Oil (tea tree oil) – Renowned for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin. Apply tea tree oil to blemishes morning and night. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties.
#5 GX Assist dōTERRA®’s GX Assist® is a proprietary combination of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and caprylic acid that help support a healthy digestive tract by creating an unfriendly environment for potentially harmful pathogens that can disrupt digestive immunities and cause digestive upset.
#6 DigestZen Aids in the digestion of foods, Soothes occasional stomach upset, Maintains a healthy gastrointestinal tract
Coconut oil is one of the best keratosis pilaris natural treatment options available. Despite there being different ways to treat Keratosis Pilaris, the best form of treatment is one that is geared towards implementing the use of natural skin care solutions such as coconut oil, and one whose results are fast and effective.
Coconut oil, which is rich in lauric acid, is very effective when treating Keratosis Pilaris. Lauric acid helps in breaking up the build up of keratin: keratin is the major cause of KP as it clogs the hair follicles hence leading to the formation of these small and rough bumps. In addition, the oil is rich in both anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties. The oil is therefore highly efficient in treating as well as in preventing the occurrence of Keratosis Pilaris in the future. In addition, it plays a major role in soothing any underlying inflammations on the skin, reducing redness, sanitizing the skin and moisturizing it. The reason why it works so well is because it is highly capable of penetrating deep into the skin hence able to treat and heal it from the inside.
KP Treatment Instructions
- First, you’ll need to exfoliate your skin in order to remove any dead cells. Exfoliation also ensures that the affected area is clean and ready for treatment.
- Then, after taking a shower, pour a little amount of oil onto your palms and rub it before applying it on to the skin.
- Next, gently massage the oil onto the affected area for a minute. This will ensure that the oil is well spread and that it gets to penetrate deeper into the skin as required. No matter how bad these bumps may be, never apply too much oil. This is because, irrespective of how much you apply, the effect will be the same. Coconut oil is so good to the skin that you don’t even have to apply another layer of moisture afterwards. However, if it’s during the summer, it’s always advisable to apply some screen before going out.
Note: A lot of people have great success by treating keratosis pilaris with coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. After exfoliation, wash the effected area with apple cider vinegar and moisturize with coconut oil afterwards. Alternatively, you may opt to take the oil internally. The effects of eating virgin coconut oil are very much the same as applying it on to the skin. This therefore gives you the right to choose the method that you’re most comfortable with. The coconut oil’s positive results can be seen as soon as after three days. The first thing you should notice is a reduction in the size of the bumps as well as the redness. Then, after two to three weeks, you might be once again the proud owner of a beautiful, smooth and radiant skin.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has abundant benefits some of which include:
- It’s 100% natural hence poses no danger to your skin or overall health
- It’s very affordable
- One is presented with the option of either applying it topically or eating it
- The oil is very mild hence can be used by people of all skin types
- There’s a guarantee that the oil really works
In a nutshell, it’s evident that coconut oil can be a very effective treatment for Keratosis Pilaris. And other than it treating this condition, it also sanitizes the skin, moisturizes it and leaves it looking and feeling revitalized.
Which Coconut Oil Should I Use?
I use Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and I heard from many people that they are very satisfied with this brand. Personally, I don’t mind spending the few extra bucks on a high quality product Have A Tough Case Of Keratosis Pilaris? If you are one of the unlucky people who just seem to be stuck with KP, you might want to give a complete natural treatment plan a try. Sometimes a combination of natural remedies is key to an effective treatment where single treatments fail. You might want to consider to take a look at this e-book.
Natural Acne Scar Treatment
To naturally heal acne scars make a paste of raw honey, lavender essential oil, tea tree oil and frankincense oil.
- 2 tsp raw honey
- 3 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 3 drops frankincense oil
Wash your face, dry then apply the paste an hour before bed. Then right before bed rinse off. By following these steps you can see great results in getting rid of any sign of acne forever!
What Science & Research are saying
A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne.
15 October 1990. Bassett IB, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS. Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW.
Abstract Tea-tree oil (an essential oil of the Australian native tree Melaleuca alternifolia) has long been regarded as a useful topical antiseptic agent in Australia and has been shown to have a variety of antimicrobial activities; however, only anecdotal evidence exists for its efficacy in the treatment of various skin conditions. We have performed a single-blind, randomised clinical trial on 124 patients to evaluate the efficacy and skin tolerance of 5% tea-tree oil gel in the treatment of mild to moderate acne when compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion.
The results of this study showed that both 5% tea-tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients’ acne by reducing the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions (open and closed comedones), although the onset of action in the case of tea-tree oil was slower. Encouragingly, fewer side effects were experienced by patients treated with tea-tree oil. Biological activities of Korean Citrus obovoides and Citrus natsudaidai essential oils against acne-inducing bacteria.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Oct;72(10):2507-13. Epub 2008 Oct 7; Kim SS, Baik JS, Oh TH, Yoon WJ, Lee NH, Hyun CG. Department of Chemistry, Cheju National University, Jeju, Republic of Korea.
Abstract This study was designed to analyze the chemical composition of Citrus obovoides (Geumgamja) and Citrus natsudaidai (Cheonyahagyul) oils and to test their biological activities. These citrus essential oils were obtained by steam distillation of fruits collected from Jeju Island, Korea, and were analyzed using gas chromatograph (GC)-flame ionization detectors (FID) and GC-MS. Limonene and gamma-terpinene were the major components of the two citrus species. To evaluate in vitro anti-acne activity, they were tested against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are involved in acne. The Geumgamja and Cheonyahagyul oils exhibited antibacterial activity against both P. acnes and S. epidermidis. Their effects on DPPH radical scavenging, superoxide anion radical scavenging, and nitric oxide radical were also assessed. Cheonyahagyul and Geumgamja exhibited only superoxide anion radical-scavenging activity. To assess their potential usefulness in future cosmetic product applications, the cytotoxic effects of the two oils were determined by colorimetric MTT assays using two animal cell lines: normal human fibroblasts and HaCaT cells. They exhibited low cytotoxicity at 0.1 microl/ml in both cell lines. In addition, they reduced P. acnes-induced secretion of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in THP-1 cells, an indication of anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, based on these results, we suggest that Geumgamja and Cheonyahagyul essential oils are attractive acne-mitigating candidates for topical application.
Sources: http://everythingessential.me/acne/ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8646/the-dangers-of-dairy.html http://www.healthygutbugs.com/probiotics-best-anti-aging-elixir-for-your-skin/ http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=115 http://top9moments.com/keratosis-pilaris-coconut-oil-natural-treatment/ http://draxe.com/natural-acne-treatment/