What you need to know about a hormonal acne diet
Hormonal acne is a condition that can cause both physical and emotional discomfort. Here’s how you can help your clients eat a hormonal acne diet to improve their symptoms and boost confidence levels.
Acne is a prevalent skin condition and can affect men and women of all ages. Even though it’s common, many people can get frustrated in their journey towards clear skin, as it can be a complicated matter to uncover the root cause, manage the effects of acne, and reduce scarring.
While there are many powerful dermatology products that are targeted toward fighting acne, what your client puts on their fork can also make a difference.
Studies continue to show that nutrition plays an important role when it comes to treating hormonal acne naturally, so here’s how you, as a dietitian, can create a hormonal acne plan to help your clients achieve clear skin.
What causes acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This can cause whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, or cystic lesions.
Acne can be caused by excess oil (sebum) production, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, and/or inflammation. Hormonal changes, certain medications, diet, and stress are just a few things that can trigger or worsen acne.
While acne isn’t a serious chronic illness, it can have a negative impact on someone’s confidence levels, as research has found that people with acne say their skin makes them feel unattractive, embarrassed, or self-conscious.
While diet and lifestyle changes can help clear acne, your client may require more intervention from a dermatologist to get prescribed medication.
What is hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is one of the most common skin conditions around the world and is characterized by seborrhea and the formation of comedones, pustules, and papules in areas rich in sebaceous glands.
While hormonal acne is often associated with puberty, it has the potential to continue into adulthood and can affect both men and women.
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How to treat hormonal acne naturally
There are many treatment options for acne including the use of oral contraceptives, antibiotics, topical treatments, hormone therapy, and chemical peels.
TIP: Help your clients get better sleep with these 5 tactics.
How to balance hormones for acne
Studies have found that hormonal acne and elevated insulin levels are closely related. High insulin levels can increase the levels of androgen hormones, which can cause an increase in sebum production.
Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, and sleep problems can all contribute to insulin resistance. Furthermore, it’s found that a high intake of carbohydrates, insulinotropic milk and dairy products can increase insulin levels and aggravate acne.
Eating foods rich in soluble fiber like legumes, oatmeal, flaxseeds, brussels sprouts, and oranges are good for acne because they help increase insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels.
You can work with your clients to balance hormones for acne by helping them make positive lifestyle changes. You can also encourage your clients to talk with a dermatologist better to understand the root cause of their hormonal acne and to get proper acne treatment.
Hormonal acne diet: The best foods that help hormonal acne
Hormonal acne can be triggered by inflammation, high glycemic foods, and bacterial infection. As such, it’s important to create a hormonal acne diet that’s rich in nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some of the best foods that help hormonal acne.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds
- High-fiber foods, such as legumes and whole grains
- Foods rich in zinc, like beef and oysters
- Probiotic-rich foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and pickles
While these foods can help with hormonal acne, they may not be the solution for everyone. Encourage your client to keep a food diary and note any changes in symptoms so you can evaluate what’s working or not working in their meal plan.
Foods to avoid for hormonal acne
Knowing what kinds of food to avoid for hormonal acne can be helpful for your clients. Here are some foods that contribute to acne.
- High Glycemic Index (GI) foods. These are carbohydrate-rich foods that are rapidly broken down by your body and cause a spike in blood glucose. Studies have found that people who consume diets with a low glycemic load have reduced acne lesions compared with those on high glycemic load diets. Some examples of high GI foods include sugary foods, soft drinks, white bread, potatoes, and white rice.
- Processed food. Research shows that the consumption of processed foods is correlated to acne. Some processed food examples include sweetened breakfast cereals, sugary beverages, sweet or savory snacks, frozen meals, packaged bread, ice cream, candy, and processed spreads.
Can supplements help treat acne?
Supplementation may be necessary to help treat acne if you feel your client’s nutrition needs aren’t being met. Some science-backed supplements for acne include vitamin A, vitamin E, tea tree oil, and zinc.
How Nutrium can help
Creating realistic and effective meal plans is one of the most valuable things you can do for your nutrition clients. When you create a customized meal plan, your clients feel supported and guided to make the right decisions for their health goals, especially when it comes to dealing with acne.
Don’t know where to start when creating a meal plan for your clients? With Nutrium’s meal plans and templates, you can easily create a week’s worth of a variety of individualized meal plans to help your client overcome hormonal acne. Check out Nutrium’s meal plans and templates here to get started on meal planning!
Acne is a normal skin condition caused by an excess buildup of oil that clogs pores. While this condition isn’t a serious chronic illness, it can damage your client’s confidence and lead to psychological distress.
You can help your clients clear acne by working with them on certain lifestyle changes like reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and stopping smoking. Furthermore, you can create an anti-inflammatory diet filled with fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and foods rich in fiber, probiotics, and zinc.
Because acne can be aggravated by certain foods like dairy, alcohol, and processed food, it’s recommended to have your clients avoid those as much as possible.
You can also encourage your client to visit a dermatologist to better understand their acne causes and determine if prescription medication is necessary.
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