Article is contributed by Dr. Grace Lam, MSc. In Dermatology.
Being a doctor, it is quite usual that your friends would seek your advice when they have health concerns. I met my old schoolmate, Isabella, in an alumni reunion not long ago. She was troubled by severe skin problem and would like me to give her some advices.
“I met couple of dermatologists, and tried to take all kinds of medicine like antibiotics.” Isabella could not wait to pour out what she has suffered. Her forehead was covered with acnes and pustules, not to mention the scars and blemishes on her chins. It was so obvious that she had been tortured by her skin disorder for many years. “I supposed those oil-control skincare products can ease the problem, but that is not the case,” she choked back her tears and murmured, “I watched my diet, avoided eating common allergic food like beef and shrimp.”
Then, I kept asking about her eating habit, hoping to find out the root cause of her skin problem.. “I used to have milk and bread for breakfast; and sandwiches or noodles for lunch.” I continued asking, “Do you eat bread very often?”. “Yup!I have avoided eating potato chips for the sake of my skin, so bread is now my only favorite.” She answered.
Acnes is caused by Food Sensitivity?
I recommended Isabella to take an Aller-Food Check. “Is there any correlation between acnes and food sensitivity? ” She asked suspiciously. It is widely believed that excessive oil secretion is the major cause of acnes, but indeed excessive oil secretion could be attributed to inflammation caused by food sensitivity.
Nowadays, more and more medical practitioners from western countries employ ELISA, the technology gives highly accurate testing results, on clinical diagnosis for food sensitivity. Isabella, for example, likes to have foods containing milk, egg and gluten, which are common allergic foods for Asian. All the efforts she spared were in vain, that is exactly the reason why I analyze her case from a perspective on food and diet.
Finally, Isabella has taken the test. She was found highly allergic to gluten and diary product as expected, so I drafted a custom-made diet plan for her and recommended her to take some anti-inflammatory health supplement. A month later, her skin condition was improved significantly. Microneedle therapy and laser treatments were applied to her afterwards to deal with scars and pigmentations. At last, we solved the obstinate acnes problem successfully.
What is Food Allergy / Sensitivity?
Allergy / Sensitivity is so common among us, with its impact to our health being overlooked. It can be divided into 4 types, type I and type III are usually related to food.
Type I (or immediate allergy) is triggered by IgE. When allergens go into our body, our immune system would response immediately. Severe symptoms like dyspnea, urticaria and swollen face emerge in a short period of time.
Type III (or delayed allergy) is triggered by IgG. It is usually much less obvious and thus more difficult to discover. Reaction may occur up to several hours or days after contact with allergens. Common lifestyle disease like chronic fatigue, arthritis, eczema, headaches, water retention and many other chronic symptoms are often the legacy of unrealized and untreated IgG mediated sensitivity reactions.
Do you have Food Sensitivities?
Below are the common skin problems which are usually related to food sensitivity:
- Dark circle, baggy eyes
- Skin redness and sensitive skin
- Chapped lips