Acne can be a very difficult condition to deal with. Some people battle with it for years, impacting their self-esteem and mental health. The pathophysiology of acne is often multi factorial with multiple body systems at play.
Especially during teenage years, hormones are fluctuating and this can cause some imbalances. Hormonal acne can be caused if there is a surge of androgens, particularity in females. Excess estrogen can present as acne around the jawline. Hormone receptor sensitivity can be at play as well, where hormones can read normally on a test, but the body is more sensitive to their effects. Post-pill can also surge androgen levels.
The Liver is Our Master Detoxifier
If the liver is not functioning optimally, it can reduce clearance of hormones, endotoxins and also reduce digestive capacity. Toxins can be dumped back into the bloodstream and present as skin conditions such as acne.
Similarly, if our digestion is not optimal, food won’t be broken down and absorbed properly. Inflammation can develop and impact our microbiome and intestinal barriers. Food particles can be reabsorbed from the bowel into the bloodstream if there is constipation or sluggish gut motility. The health of our gut is reflected in our skin.
High Sugar Intake
This can cause our blood sugar to spike and result in hyperinsulinaemia. This increases free levels of insulin growth factors and androgens, which may trigger acne.
When we are stressed, cortisol is high and it sends our sebaceous oily glands into overdrive. This can make the skin’s pores more susceptible to bacterial infection. Stress can also deplete essential nutrients required for digestion, liver function and ultimately, healthy skin.
Many things can contribute to inflammation, both in our dietary and lifestyle choices. Stress, poor diet, excessive drinking and smoking can all contribute to increased inflammation in the body. The skin is a common organ that systemic inflammation can impact, disrupting detox pathways and increasing inflammatory skin conditions.