Have you ever felt...
Self-conscious to the point that you don’t want to show your face at a social gathering?
Embarrassed to see someone from your past because of your skin?
Worried that you’ll be perceived as unprofessional, unhealthy, or unkempt because your skin is breaking out?
Doubtful that you’ll ever find the partner of your dreams or the job of your dreams because your skin just makes you want to fade into the background, instead of standing out?
Not too many years ago, I struggled with each and every one of these thoughts.
I had painful, deep, red pimples over my face, chest, and back that were impossible to cover up. All I wished for was to wear a V-neck shirt or a dress without feeling self-conscious about my skin. I thought I would grow out of it, but I had only minimal improvement when I entered my 20s. Despite trying numerous face cleansers and creams, I had no success.
This was part of what led me to naturopathic medicine. On my search for a cure, I discovered that although acne is a skin disorder, the underlying cause is much deeper. In order to heal my skin, I needed to heal inside.
After working on these underlying problems, I'm finally comfortable in my skin. In fact, I've even had compliments on my skin! Not only that, but along the way, my health has improved in ways I didn't expect. I still have room to improve my skin; the difference now, is that I feel empowered because I know what the next steps are. It's a journey, and one that I would love to guide you through.
What causes acne?
Acne involves overproduction of sebum and modification of the sebaceous gland, and can be exacerbated by bacteria (C. acnes). But everyone makes sebum, and everyone has bacteria on their skin. So what makes one person have acne while another has perfect skin? The answer is complex and differs between individuals, however there are numerous underlying physiologic themes that come up again and again, such as hormonal imbalances and systemic inflammation.
When I work with people coming in with acne, I dig into their complete health history to determine what the most likely contributing factor(s) is/are. I also get into the nitty gritty details of their acne. Is it primarily cyclical hormonal acne, or is it always the same? Is it deep, cystic acne, or is it whiteheads, blackheads, a combination? Where is it located? Each of these gives clues to which line of treatment will be most effective. From there, I work with my patients to put together a personalized strategy to resolve the underlying dysfunction and clear up their skin for good.
Given the multitude of causes behind acne, treatment will depend on what's happening in your specific case. Addressing these causes may involve several of the following:
Dietary support for stable blood sugars, reducing inflammation, and supporting hormone balance
Reducing the burden of stress on the body
Supporting hormone balance
Targeting sources of inflammation
Testing reproductive hormones, stress hormones, or digestive markers
Topical options to reduce the number and severity of acne lesions
In addition to addressing the underlying contributing factors, I also work with high-dose nutrient therapies and herbal treatments that can help accelerate the resolution of acne.