Acne is an inflammatory skin condition and typically affects teens and young adults. About 20% of young patients with acne continue to struggle with the condition even as they get older.
Hormone-induced production of sebaceous material from the glands of the skin contributes to acne and hence the appearance of acne around the time of puberty and the transition into menopause. These hormonal imbalances may be associated with increased risk of infertility, fibroids and hair loss. Infection of the sebaceous material by bacteria as well as exacerbation of inflammation by dietary factors worsens lesions experienced by acne sufferers.
Symptomatic topical treatment of acne may be insufficient to control acne. Stopping of common medications used for the treatment of acne such as oral contraceptives and Roaccutane can result in rebound acne if underlying factors contributing to the acne are not resolved.
Functional medicine explores possible underlying factors that drive acne persistence or recurrence. Correction of potential dietary and hormonal imbalances improves acne control as well as correct inflammatory factors that may contribute to other chronic disease associated with inflammation such as heart disease and diabetes.