How Food Affects Our Skin: Diseases and Treatment
When it comes to flawless skin, the food choices you make may significantly influence how you treat or prevent a variety of skin problems that have been impacting an ever-increasing number of individuals across the world in recent years.
From common skin problems discoloration, acne, dry skin, and more complicated prolonged issues like eczema and psoriasis or even inevitable conditions like aging signs. Outgrowing several confirmed studies and personal experiments demonstrated how healthy dietary choices could effectively slow down the progression and severity of skin diseases in several cases it can even be the key to fast recovery and prevention of recurrence.
1 Food helps prevent skin disease
Over the last two decades, research has shown that certain foods can worsen or trigger the onset of certain skin symptoms, proving the close relationship between skin health and food choices that we make. This is especially evident in the case of food allergies, where skin reactions like rash, redness, and itchiness can manifest after ingesting an allergen.
The same goes for eczema patients who reported a direct relationship between eating substances like high-sugar food, dairy, or simple carbohydrates and the viciousness of their symptoms.
Other skin conditions that can flare up due to eating specific foods include acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. And while there could be other factors in your daily life that can aggravate your skin issues further, it is thought that good skin can always be attained from the inside out.
2 Acne, pimples, blackheads, oily-skin
Acne breakouts are probably the most established skin condition that’s proven to be triggered by the wrong dietary choices, recent research suggests that foods high in simple carbohydrates such as high-glycemic-index foods contribute to the over-production of sebum (the oily substance that moisturizes and nourishes the skin), this kind of foods also increase inflammatory markers in the meanwhile.
The excess production of oil when accompanied by dead skin cells, dirt, and make-up residue end up clogging the pores causing it to get infected and inflamed hence the onset of acne breakouts.
One study conducted on 43 acne-prone patients aged 15 to 25 who were kept on a strictly low-glycemic-index diet over the observation period which lasted for 12 weeks, found a dramatic decrease in lesions as a result of the dietary changes with no other lifestyle changes, this study was published in the journal of clinical nutrition 2007.
Foods you should avoid are those that spike blood sugar levels shortly after consumed, that includes anything made with refined flour like cakes, white pasta, bread, cookies, crackers, pizza crust, pretzels, as well as sugary beverages and foods sweetened with refined sugar, maple syrup, agave or honey.
This kind of food gets turned into sugar in the bloodstream over a short time after consumption, this mechanism, in turn, increases levels of insulin which stabilizes blood sugar levels and saves the excess into fat cells.
Indulging in high-sugar foods frequently causes levels of insulin to stay high which is not good for people suffering from oily skin and acne breakouts since insulin activates androgen hormones responsible for the production of sebum hence the increase of numbers and severity of lesions.
3 Eczema, dry skin, dark patches
The itchy patches of eczema can be very irritating especially in cold dry environments, it is a chronic condition that can’t be cured but can be well-kept under control with the right anti-inflammatory diet and a skincare routine designed for patients with eczema.
Since eczema and dry patches of the skin that later turn into discolored areas are associated with inflammation levels, avoiding inflammatory foods and increasing the intake of healthy substitutes rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can provide a significant role in controlling eczema flare-ups.
Some foods like refined wheat, dairy products, saturated and trans fats, as well as some types of nuts can trigger the overproduction of inflammatory markers T cells and immunoglobulin-E or IgE which contribute to the severity and frequency of flare-ups in eczema patients.
Other anti-inflammatory foods that neutralize inflammation levels in the body include the following:-
- Omega- 3: fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel.
- Flavonoids: found in abundance in fruits and vegetables with a strong color tint like cherries, kale, strawberries, apples spinach, broccoli.
- Probiotics: found in fermented foods with active strains of gut-healthy bacteria like yogurt, kombucha, tempeh, kefir.
4 Best foods for skin repair
Even if you are genetically susceptible to premature aging of the skin and other dermatological conditions, you can still attain the perfect skin you’ve ever dreamed of by making some tweaks to your diet, basically, we need to feed your skin from the inside out the nutrients it needs and in the meanwhile neutralize the skin-damaging effect from the surrounding environment.
To reach that balance you simply need to add more skin-beautifying foods to your diet in place of skin-damaging foods, the following dietary items are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that will help you achieve the glow and even skin tone you are looking for.
5 Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
Carotenoids are essential nutrients for the health of your skin, they can help you slow down the aging process and prevent signs like wrinkles, fine lines, inelastic skin, discoloration, and sagging.
This mechanism is due to the content of the powerful antioxidant of carotenoids-rich foods that works on eliminating free radicals in your bloodstream, levels of free radicals increase as a result of exposure to UV rays, smoking, being subjected to pollution, and eating unhealthy diets.
When you don’t consume enough antioxidants in your diet you end up being at a higher risk of skin cells damage, death of cells, poor repairing process, slow healing, overall dull appearance of the skin even wrinkles and fine lines. You can find beta-carotene in food items like sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, orange, pumpkin, and peaches.
6 Avocados and Fatty Fish
As we noted above unhealthy fats can be hazardous to your skin by triggering inflammation, on the other hand, healthy fats like those found in avocadoes and fatty fish are great internal moisturizers for your skin.
Consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and vitamin E found in avocadoes will help keep your skin youthful supple skin. Vitamin E also functions as a powerful antioxidant that improves your overall health in many angles as well as the health of your skin. It protects against oxidative damage from sun exposure and the usage of chemical topical products.
7 Broccoli and Tomatoes
Both options are rich in vitamins and minerals that are great for your skin, especially vitamin C which is likewise a potent antioxidant agent as well as vitamin A, Zinc, anti-inflammatory properties, and beta-carotene.
Additionally, the florets of broccoli especially those with deep pigmentation are a great source of a special compound called sulforaphane which is another powerful antioxidant and can even protect against unhealthy cell mutations that lead to cancer.