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Some StrongLifts.com Forum members reported break outs since getting into strength training. They asked if increased testosterone can cause acne. Worth a post. Here's how to get rid of acne, forever.
Why Do You Get Acne? When skin oil clogs your hair follicles, bacterias multiply. You then get white or blackheads. Plugs can rupture, inflaming the surrounding tissues. Several things can cause excess skin oil:
- Change in Hormones. Puberty, stress, menstrual periods, birth control pills, and yes weight lifting can increase the production of skin oil.
- Drugs. Corticosteroids and androgens. But also anabolic steroids. Check the back of someone using steroids: you'll always find acne.
- Cosmetics. Hypoallergenic means nothing. Products claiming to get you clear skin often aggravate your problems.
- Diet. Milk, cheese, whey, starches, shellfish, chocolate, sugars, sweets, soda, spicy & fried foods, ...
- Digestion. If your digestive system can't clear toxins, your skin will be forced to do the job. Constipation or loose stool are symptoms.
Strength Training & Acne. If you have acne break outs since starting strength training, they're usually caused by 2 things:
- Change in Hormones. Weight lifting increases your testosterone levels. This can increase the production of skin oil, causing acne.
- Change in Diet. Whey, cheese, milk, oats, breads, ... are staples of lifters' diet. Eating more of these foods can also cause acne.
How to Get Rid of Acne. There's clearly a link between weight lifting and acne. You can't do much about it. However you can control acne by improving your diet, digestion and much more. Some ideas:
- Eat Healthier. Anything that you didn't prepare yourself or that comes out of a box: stop eating it. Buy whole foods and prepare them yourself.
- Drink Water. 1 US gallon/4 liter per day. That's 2 cups with every meal, assuming you eat 6 meals per day. This will help your digestion.
- Get Fiber. Green veggies, fruits, oats, brown rice, whole grain pasta, flax seeds, ... You need 25g fiber/daily for a healthy digestive system.
- De-stress. You get enough stress from weight lifting. De-stress in other areas. Fix problems instead of caring and worrying.
- Take Zinc. Zinc is the most important skin nutrients. But most people have zinc deficiency. Take a zinc supplement, at least 30mg per day.
- Eat Fish. Reduces inflammation, including skin inflammation. Eat fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, ... Or take a fish oil supplement.
- Quit Using Cosmetics. Most aren't helping anyway. Look into natural skin treatment. Natural jojoba oil with tea tree extract could help.
- Get a Better Shave. Move to wet shaving using quality products like Musgo Real. Or trim for a while. Or grow a beard.
- Tan. Tanning gets rid of many skin conditions. Sun is life, check plants. Get some sun exposure. No burning, tanning.
Medication. Accutane, benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin, ... They can get rid of acne, but they also have side-effects. Heavy medication will stress your liver. For the majority of people, simply fixing your diet will get rid of acne.
Think of it: 100 years ago, there weren't the kind of acne's you see to day. The increased consumption of junk food is to blame. Treat causes, not symptoms. Get your diet in check before looking into drugs.
Cleansing Diet. Remove anything that causes food sensitiveness: dairy, oats, breads, shellfish, nuts, soy, ... Reintroduce foods 1 by 1 after 2 weeks. This cleansing diet is adapted from "Healing Skin Disorders"
- Breakfast: rice porridge
- Snack: sweet potato, rice cakes
- Lunch: fish, steamed vegetables rice
- Snack: yam, rice cakes
- Dinner: chicken breast, spinach, quinoa
- Lots of water, flax seeds, fish oil