We all have that friend. They eat greasy food, drink alcohol until the sun rises, you're not even totally sure they know what a steamed vegetable tastes like. And yet their skin looks perfect, pristine, without a single tiny blemish to show for it. So, what gives?!
The reason why this happens for some of us and not others is that acne is only one of the many ways our body displays inflammation (a.k.a. an impaired immune system). We all display inflammation in the different ways (our genetic predisposition), so just because someone doesn’t have acne but does have an unhealthy lifestyle doesn’t mean they don’t see or feel it somewhere else.
When I became a health practitioner, I started to understand this inflammation connection more. I began asking my unhealthy friends with perfect skin if they had any other ailments they were dealing with. Sure enough, I started to see... they were suffering with inflammation in ways other than acne. Rosacea, dry skin (so dry, the wind hurt), arthritis, ezcema, itchy skin... it just wasn't showing as bumps on their face. Here are just a few of the ways inflammation shows up as in the skin out of the 300+ million Americans alive today:
Acne - 40-50 million Americans per year
Hives - 40 million Americans per year
Eczema - 30 million Americans per year
Rosacea - 16 million Americans per year
Psoriasis - 7.5 million Americans per year
In addition, there are an identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases including alopecia, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, psoriatic/rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, IBS, and more. An estimated 50 million Americans per year suffer from one or more of those conditions. I would venture to guess the actual unreported figures are higher.
The bigger question we should be asking ourselves is why are inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disease so rampant in our country? How do we start to live a life of health in a society that pushes us to work harder, sleep less, and to eat only of pleasure? How do we being to take back control of our health? When we heal ourselves, all of these conditions lighten and lift. Though it may seem challenging in an inflammatory society, the best answer to clear these conditions lies in healing our immune systems.
The next time you talk to your perfect skin friend, inquire about their health and start a dialogue based on wellness. You may both be surprised what you find out. And maybe you’ll even get a new healthy buddy along the way :)
Elise May, CN + LE, is the owner and practitioner behind SKINutritious. She has helped over 1,000 clients clear acne with detoxing treatments, clear skin coaching, and holistic skincare.
Work with Elise. Book online here.