Holistic Treatment for Acne in Bend, OR

Nobody likes pimples. However, 80% of people age 11-30 suffer from it. The severity of one’s acne can vary from person to person, as can the way the skin recovers from it. Because of this, no single treatment is right for everyone. 

At Vitality Integrative Skin Clinic in Bend, Oregon, we specialize in taking an individualized approach to the treatment of acne. Integrative and functional medicine techniques utilized in acne treatment often include lifestyle and nutrition changes and a clean skincare routine. Prescription medications are prescribed depending on the needs and goals of the individual.

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What is Acne? 

Acne is caused by an inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit of the skin, which includes the oil glands and hair follicles. It commonly affects the face, but can also present on the chest, back and shoulders. 

Acne has many forms and can appear as blackheads, closed comedones (skin-colored small bumps), pustules, or cysts. 

Why Does Acne Occur? 

The skin consists of pores that contain hair follicles that carry sebum and keratin from dead skin cells to the surface. When sebum and keratin are blocked, a small, clogged hair follicle called microcomedo forms. Later, it turns into closed or open comedones. 

During puberty, sebum production increases, in part due to the effects of androgen on the skin. This lipid-rich environment of the pilosebaceous unit makes it easier for Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) to multiply and thus might explain the rise of acne formation during the adolescent period. This creates an environment for the bacteria to thrive and can influence an inflammatory response. The inflammatory response in the skin causes papules, pustules, and cysts. 

The underlying issues at work in acne are blood sugar issues, hormonal imbalance, microbiome disturbance, and inflammation. When your blood sugar rises from your dietary choices or genetics, insulin production increases, triggering sebum production, and androgen activity. Androgens, such as testosterone, are known to trigger acne. Surging hormones like in puberty, imbalanced hormones or cortisol surges made in times of stress will all contribute to acne. 

How the Gut Can Affect the Skin

The human digestive tract contains a delicate balance of microorganisms called the gut microbiome. “Good” or friendly bacteria keep balance by crowding out “bad” bacteria, parasites, or overgrowth of candida. Toxins, stress, infections, poor dietary choices, and certain medications can negatively affect the gut microbiome leading to inflammation. 

A healthy gut microbiome protects the gut lining, increases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, and protects against harmful microorganisms that affect healthy skin. A well-balanced microbiome will help keep your skin clear and vibrant. 

Your skin also has a microbiome. Maintaining a well-balanced skin microbiome protects your skin from harmful pathogens and promotes the natural lipid barrier and skin immune system. 

Inflammation problems often manifest from digestive issues in what we call the Gut-Skin Connection. Our intestines have a somewhat permeable lining, but when that lining becomes more permeable than it should, food particles can slip through triggering our immune system, which sees this as foreign invaders. This creates an inflammatory response in the body and on the skin, which can take the form of acne along with other skin conditions. This is what is referred to as leaky-gut syndrome. 

My holistic approach to healing acne includes a variety of changes to optimize the health of your skin. This includes:

  • Removing problematic foods
  • Increasing healthy acne-fighting foods
  • Balancing the microbiome
  • Decreasing inflammation in the body
  • Replacing nutrient deficiencies
  • Managing stress levels
  • Developing an individualized clean skincare regime

Ready to learn more about how to treat your acne holistically? Schedule an appointment today!