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Spots during puberty are a pain. Not many of us manage to reach adulthood without getting a few pimples here and their. But when acne persists well into adulthood, it’s a sign that something needs to change. Could food intolerance testing be the key to getting rid of adult acne once and for all? 

What is Acne?

Before we go into how to get rid of acne, it’s helpful to know what acne actually is. Acne is a common skin disease that has many potential triggers and causes. 

Our skin is covered in hair follicles. Some of these hair follicles are visible to the naked eye, while others aren’t. These hair follicles are attached to tiny glands that help to prevent your hair from drying out. To do this, they produce a substance called sebum. Sometimes, these glands produce too much sebum, which then mixes with dead skin cells and otherwise harmless bacteria. This results in the hair follicle getting clogged up. This is what causes acne.

Why does acne develop?

While there is still heavy debate on a single root cause of acne, it’s generally accepted that genetics play a primary role in around 4 out of 5 cases. The thought is that if either of your parents had acne, you’d likely develop the condition as well. It’s all down to your skin and sebaceous glands and how they’re structured. If these glands don’t function how they should, it can create a predisposition to acne.

Hormones also play an important role, which is why acne is so common throughout adolescence. It’s believed that hormones like testosterone can cause a significant increase in the amount of sebum the glands produce, triggering acne. Stress could also be a cause, as our body tends to produce more hormones if we’re stressed or aggravated.

One’s diet has also been shown to have an impact on individual cases of acne. It’s common to develop acne seemingly out of the blue if you have a food intolerance. The food we eat also plays a huge role in having healthy skin. If your diet isn’t well-balanced, or you constantly eat foods that don’t ‘agree’ with you, then it’s not unusual for it to trigger an acne breakout.

How can food intolerance testing help adult acne?

If you suddenly have an unexplainable flare-up of pimples, despite no historical skin problems, it could be due to a food sensitivity. While most consider food intolerances to be a digestive issue, skin conditions such as acne are a common symptom of food intolerance.

There’s no end to the list of foods that could trigger acne, but there are a few known problem foods. These include;

  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Alcohol
  • Wheat
  • Yeast
  • Nuts
  • Sugar

Can your diet improve adult acne?

Some vitamins and minerals are known to contribute to good skin health, such as vitamin A, omega 3’s, and zinc. 

Vitamin A is known for helping your skin exfoliate itself (as well as looking after a bunch of other organs). Foods such as; cod liver, carrots, oil, eggs, broccoli, and even spinach are all rich in vitamin A.

Zinc is especially good for those with naturally dry skin. It helps keep your skin moist and stops your body overcompensating with extra sebum (to combat said dryness). Dry skin is a common cause of acne, so work on staying hydrated and make sure your diet is well-balanced to prevent it from being dryer than necessary.

Omega 3’s are also helpful in combating acne. Not only do these essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, but they help with hormone production too.

Take a two-pronged approach

A combination of avoiding foods you are intolerant to and getting more skin-nourishing nutrients into your diet can help fight back against bouts of acne. If you’re experiencing an unexpected flare-up, try an elimination diet to remove potential problem foods. It’s recommended that you stay on an elimination diet, following a food intolerance test, for at least 4 weeks to allow time for your body to flush out the offending food ingredients.