Looking for natural remedies to treat acne, eczema and other skin conditions? The dermatologist and nutritionist share their expert tips.
The experts show us how to optimise your diet for clearer, healthier, brighter skin.
» Dermatologist says: “Look for products that are non-comedogenic, so they do not block pores or cause acne. Key pore-clearing ingredients include salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acids) and many vitamin A products. Also look for anti-inflammatory components such as benzoyl peroxide, zinc and niacinamide. You should look for products that are not too creamy or rich. Even without pore-blocking ingredients, oily or excessively moisturising products will have a detrimental effect on the skin. Go for mineral make-up and combination creams like BB and CC creams.”
» Nutritionist says: “Consume a diet low in added sugars and avoid all highly refined, processed foods. Consume three to five cups of bright-coloured vegetables per day and consider supplements such as zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. There are also natural, DIY methods. Antibacterial tea tree oil and witch hazel are often used on acne-prone skin. Or try combining sea salt and coconut oil and using as a natural exfoliate scrub for congested skin.”
» Dermatologist says: “Corticosteroids or calcineurin antagonists may be used to help reduce inflammation and itch. Antihistamines may also help reduce the itch, while antibiotics may be required if infections are severe. Stick to cotton clothing, avoiding wool and synthetics, and you can also use wet dressings to help soothe the skin and reduce itchiness. Cosmetics are best avoided, but if necessary, look for ones that are hypoallergenic. Generally, food avoidance is not useful, but avoiding dairy products, nuts, eggs, chocolate, citrus fruits and wheat products may help.”
» Nutritionist says: “Implement an elimination diet to determine possible food triggers, consume an anti-inflammatory, plant-based, whole food diet and consider supplements such as fish oil, vitamin E and probiotics. For eczema, coconut oil may also be of benefit as it’s deeply moisturising and improves skin barrier function. Honey is also great, incorporated into a DIY face mask. It’s antibacterial and a humectant, attracting water to help keep dry skin hydrated.”
» Dermatologist says: “Overtopical astringents and topical Zovirax (acyclovir), cold sores are best treated by oral treatments of anti-virals like acyclovir, valalcyclovir and Famciclovir.”
» Nutritionist says: “Address aggravating factors like food, lifestyle and stress. Avoid chocolate, peanuts and almonds and try to manage stress levels. Start incorporating foods that are high in lysine such as fish, chicken, beef, lamb, cheese, beans, brewer’s yeast and mung bean sprouts and take supplements like lysine, zinc and vitamin C.”
» Dermatologist says: “There is no single treatment that will cure psoriasis. However, it is possible to control it and sometimes clear it. Certain medications can slow down the rate at which the skin cells are produced, but it takes several weeks for your condition to improve. Sunlight helps to clear psoriasis, which is why it usually improves over summer. Remember that psoriatic skin is more easily damaged than normal skin, so you may need to consider skin protection if your job involves hard, manual work.”
» Nutritionist says: “Look into possible food sensitivities and avoid potential triggers such as alcohol, gluten and dairy. Consume three to five cups of fresh vegetables per day and include turmeric, garlic and ginger. Supplements to take alongside may include fish oil, digestive enzymes, vitamin E and vitamin A.”
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