Beth was 16 years old and for her, it wasn’t a case of “only pimples”. It was a major disaster in her life. She explained how the kids at school made fun of her, she felt excluded and hated her the nickname of “pizza face”.
I listened to Beth’s journey of skin peels, laser treatment and antibiotics, which had given temporary, but no permanent solutions.
Beth listened as I gave her my pimple’s talk. I explained that while pimples were very common in the Western world, they were virtually unknown in indigenous cultures and in our own history. Recently, hormones have got a bad rap as being the cause of pimples and while they do play a part, they are driven by other factors.
Pimples form because there is an overproduction of oil, which combines with dead skin and skin debris, causing a blockage. Behind the blockage, bacteria breed away. Your immune system gets into the act and then there is inflammation, pus and pain. Voila Pimples!
You shouldn’t squeeze or scrub pimples as it can result in scarring and more infection, but when you are 16 and have a date pending; this may be the least of your concerns.
Beth just wanted the pimples gone, but it was really important that she understood what was driving them so that she knew what she had to do to get rid of them
- Testosterone, particularly free testosterone and free DHT, drives the production of excess oil. It is so easy to blame the testosterone and stop there. That is much like identifying which dog is killing your chickens and doing nothing about it. Once you find the dog, you then have choices: getting it tied up, building a fence, and… let us not speak of the most obvious.
- The thing that normally binds up the testosterone, SHBG, is normally reduced. This allows the testosterone to cause mischief. Colour me purple, but would it not make sense to find out what is inhibiting the SHBG and get it operating as it should.
- There is a substance that stimulates the skin cell growth, a sort of growth hormone. This can come from outside your body in some foods or other things can stimulate your body to produce it. Hmmm, do you think it might be an idea to control this substance?
- The major bacteria is something called P Acnes (what does it feed on and how do you get rid of it?).
Everything that happens in the human body happens for a reason. Your body needs to be in balance to perform at its optimum levels. If something goes out of balance, then your body tells you. We have forgotten how to listen, or choose not to. Pimples are your body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance. You have a choice. You can burn, drug, scrape and blast your body or you can listen to it and give it what it needs.
If your car made a funny sound or one of the dials gave a wonky reading, what would you do? Keep driving without doing anything? Turn up the music and put a sticking plaster over the dial? Or take it to a mechanic? Make the connection.
We carried out some tests to see what the answers were in Beth’s case. The answers were clear.
At the second consultation I explained to Beth what was going on in her body leading to the factors driving the acne. We then went through the treatment plan to get her skin back to where she wanted it.
The human body is a complex and wonderful mechanism, however everyone is different. What causes pimples in one person may not be the same things that cause them in others. There are so many causes: genetics, diet, lifestyle, personal habits, medications, age, hormone imbalances, stress, some cosmetics, toxicity and more.
Beth’s treatment plan consisted of diet changes, lifestyle changes, additional nutrients and basic skin care.
She listened intently and then asked the big question “How long?”
She did not like my answer “Several weeks. We need to work with your body. You will get the results, but it will not happen overnight”.
As Beth got closer to her goals, the less I saw of her. This is the way of things. One evening I got a call out of the blue. It was Beth. I cold hardly make out what she was saying. She was so excited, the words came bubbling. I was able to discern that Seth someone had invited her to the school dance and apparently he was something called a spunk. I heard her mother shout something in the background and then she said “Thank you so much”. I wished her a magical night.