Dietary Dos and Don’ts when Avoiding Skin Problems

This week we would like to focus on how you can alter your diet to avoid three skin conditions that tend to be recurring and are particularly unpleasant. As always with skin, you should never expect overnight results as it can take six weeks for new skin to emerge to the surface so don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results. Persist with eating the right foods and you will reap the rewards and hopefully see progress with the below skin conditions.

Acne: Inflammation and infection of the sebaceous glands are what gives you spots and acne. These sebaceous glands are stimulated by hormones such as androgens. Our previous posts have focused on other ways to avoid spots and acne, however, there are also dietary adjustments that you can make to help avoid acne. The simple additions to your diet are fresh fruit, raw vegetables, wholegrain foods and fish. Selenium-rich foods are particularly good for keep spots at bay; these include Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, whole grain bread, sunflower seed and tuna fish.

You should avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats found in margarine and processed food. In addition to this, avoid foods that would qualify as ‘junk food’ (fast food, crisps, chocolate) and sugary foods such as soft drinks, cake and biscuits. (For more information on how spots and acne are formed/ treated then read our understanding acne guide)

Psoriasis: Psoriasis-affected skin experiences rapid growth of cells in the outer skin layers. Psoriasis can cause itchiness and soreness while in more severe cases it can crack the skin and cause bleeding.

In December we posted a guide on some of the common causes of psoriasis such as sunburn, obesity, stress, cigarettes and alcohol consumption. Reducing all of the above can help minimise outbreaks, however, diet also plays an enormous part in triggering/ avoid psoriasis outbreaks. Each person has his/her own trigger foods that can aggravate the condition. These can be identified using an ‘exclusion diet’, however always be sure to check with a GP before omitting certain foods from your diet entirely.

Essential fatty acids that can be found in fish oil or nut and seed oils should be added to your diet if you suffer from psoriasis. Make sure that they are low in saturated fats also. Try including anti-inflammatory herbs such as ginger, cumin, fennel, garlic, rosemary and turmeric. 

Eczema: Eczema is a very common condition and can usually be identified as patchy redness on the skin. As with psoriasis, there are many triggers however the food is a major one. The foods to avoid include dairy products such as milk, eggs and cheese. Other foods that tend to trigger reactions are nuts and food additives. Try to add Omega-3 fats, Vitamin E and zinc to your diet to try and minimise symptoms. (Click for more information on how psoriasis/ eczema are formed/ treated)


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