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How to Treat Acne, Holistically

Acne, the bane of many individuals' existence, transcends age, gender, and background, causing frustration and even physical discomfort. Despite our best efforts with an arsenal of skincare products and treatments, acne often persists, leaving us to wonder: why? In this exploration, we journey beyond the surface of the skin to uncover the multifaceted factors contributing to acne and unveil holistic approaches to achieving clear, radiant skin.

Identifying the Acne Culprits

At its core, acne stems from systemic inflammation, challenging the conventional narrative that solely blames bacteria or excess sebum production. While these factors play a role, recent research emphasizes inflammation as the primary instigator, triggering abnormal shedding of skin cells (hyperkeratinization). This sheds light on why antibacterial cleansers alone may fall short in addressing acne. Systemic inflammation may arise from various sources, including:

  • Pro-inflammatory Diet: Consumption of refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, excessive omega-6 fatty acids, and alcohol fuels inflammation.

  • Metabolic Dysregulation: Conditions like diabetes and blood sugar dysfunction exacerbate inflammatory responses.

  • Environmental Factors: Chronic stress, exposure to toxins, pollution, and genetic predispositions contribute to systemic inflammation.

Hormone Imbalances

The intricate dance of hormones, particularly estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, significantly influences acne development. Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those experienced during the menstrual cycle or after discontinuing hormonal birth control, often correlate with increased sebum production and acne flare-ups. Recognizing patterns like premenstrual breakouts or chin and jawline blemishes hints at underlying hormonal imbalances demanding attention.

The Gut-Skin Connection

Beyond digestive discomfort, food sensitivities and poor gut health may manifest as skin conditions, including acne. Dysfunctional digestion, coupled with leaky gut syndrome, where toxins breach the intestinal barrier, sparks systemic inflammation and acne. Identifying food triggers and nurturing gut health prove pivotal in addressing acne from within.

Skin Barrier Integrity

A compromised skin barrier, akin to a leaky gut, lays the groundwork for acne and other dermatological woes. External aggressors infiltrate the vulnerable skin barrier, exacerbating inflammation and hindering moisture retention. Overuse of harsh skincare products, nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins, and pharmaceuticals further compromise skin integrity, underscoring the importance of preserving the skin barrier.

Navigating Pharmaceuticals and Supplements

While pharmaceuticals and supplements offer relief for various ailments, they may inadvertently exacerbate acne. Hormonal contraceptives, steroids, antibiotics, and certain supplements like biotin or B vitamins may disrupt hormone levels, alter the microbiome, or trigger inflammatory responses, contributing to acne. Heightened awareness of medication-induced acne aids in crafting holistic treatment plans.

Unveiling your Acne Triggers

Partnering with a holistic practitioner specializing in root-cause medicine unveils the unique web of factors fueling your acne. Comprehensive testing probes inflammation levels, hormonal imbalances, gut health, skin integrity, and lifestyle factors, empowering tailored interventions. Functional lab kits, including GI-MAP, DUTCH Test, and food sensitivity tests, illuminate individual acne triggers, guiding personalized treatment strategies.

Prevention and Management

Beyond personalized interventions, embracing a holistic approach to skincare and wellness cultivates a foundation for clear, radiant skin. Prioritizing non-toxic skincare, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, managing stress, optimizing sleep, and mindful sun exposure form pillars of acne prevention and management. These holistic strategies harmonize internal and external environments, fostering lasting skin health and vitality.


As we transcend conventional skincare paradigms, embracing a holistic perspective illuminates the path to clear, radiant skin. Unveiling the intricate interplay of internal and external factors influencing acne empowers us to navigate personalized treatment strategies. Through mindful interventions, nourishing rituals, and holistic lifestyle choices, we embark on a transformative journey towards lasting skin health and vitality. Embrace the holistic approach, unlock the secrets of radiant skin, and illuminate your path to acne-free living.

Questions? Call PIH at 609.512.1468 for more information.