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The #1 Cause of Acne and the Smart Way to Treat It

Jeremy Hendon | April 17
The #1 Cause of Acne and the Smart Way to Treat It

There’s a lot of money being made in treating skin conditions.

From acne to psoriasis to rosacea to dandruff, skin conditions are big business. Your local grocery store quite possibly carries more skin care products than vegetables.

Having a lot of money around an issue like this is both good and bad. Take this recent article, for instance:

Reducing stress may help lead to clearer skin

As the title suggests, this article examines the link between stress and various skin conditions. Published by the American Academy of Dermatology, the article quotes Dr. Granstein (a dermatologist) as saying “it’s been known for a long time that the nervous system, which processes our stress, has an impact on conditions such as psoriasis.”

In studies on various animals, including rats, stress has been shown to be directly correlated with skin problems. In addition, the causality is fairly well understood, as stress can directly result in the release of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters by the skin, which potentially leads to inflammatory skin conditions.

This is the good side of skin conditions being quite lucrative: research is progressing to discover more and stronger connections between stress and inflammatory skin conditions.

Along with such discoveries, one would expect a greater push to limit stress of all types – including not just psychological stress, but also stress induced by eating inflammatory foods and other environmental factors. And perhaps that will be the case.

However, the downside of the influx of money is that the proposed solutions appear to be entirely centered on treatments of the issues, rather than solutions to the core problem.

In the article above, Dr. Granstein suggests that “[i]f we could block specific steps in certain pathways between the nervous system and the skin — without impacting the whole body — we would likely have new ways to prevent or treat some skin disorders.” I have no doubt that he’s correct, but breaking the natural link between our nervous system and our skin seems to me like a treatment that doesn’t address the inflammation or stress at all.

Perhaps there’s a place for this sort of treatment. There are always extreme cases where drastic treatments are both necessary and helpful.

However, for most folks, this is not the smart way to treat acne, psoriasis, or any other skin problem.

The smart way to treat these problems is to attack the root cause (inflammation) at the source (stress, poor diet, over-exercise, etc.). That way, not only can we properly treat these skin conditions, but we can also address the myriad other problems that arise with chronic inflammation.

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