We may be accustomed to getting the odd breakout around the time of our period; chin spots and blackheads love to rear their head as our hormones fluctuate. But pimples popping up on the body? Huh, what is *that* all about?

Bacne, boob zits and bum pimples can be just as common as the skin situs we have on our face, but we’re way less likely to have a handy strategy for sorting them. Today, we get some tips from holistic skin doctor Dr Trevor Cates on how to keep the body spots at bay.  

Look inward

“Our skin is the largest organ and it provides an outward manifestation of our inner health. When our digestion, hormones, blood sugar, immune system, or other body systems are out of whack this imbalance shows up on our skin. If your symptoms are only treated superficially by suppressing them, then you’ll miss the opportunity to learn what the body is trying to tell you.”

Don’t always reach for medication

“Most commonly prescribed medications such as antibiotics and steroids do not address underlying factors that go beyond what’s happening with the skin. It’s true that we sometimes need them, however these treatments are overused and often used too quickly before considering more natural options. For example, we know that antibiotics zap harmful bacteria but they also destroy beneficial bacteria in our bodies at the same time which can be more harmful for our skin in the long run.”

Limit the lotions

“We are learning more and more about the benefits of bugs within our digestive system and also on our skin and one key finding is the role of the gut microbiome. The human digestive tract contains a delicate balance of microorganisms, including bacteria. A well-functioning digestive tract has the right amount of good bugs (such as lactobacillus) but not bad bugs. Throughout our lives when we encounter toxins, stress infections, poor dietary choices, antibiotics, and other medications our precious microbiome is compromised; so in turn, so is our skin.

“Our skin has its own microbiome that helps keep skin clear of blemishes and breakouts – and prevents premature ageing. When skin lotions and treatments disturb our skin’s delicate pH balance, our skin microbiome is affected. Sometimes while trying to treat the spots we’re only making it worse when we disrupt the pH and microbiome.”

Sort out your diet

“What we eat can affect skin quality. A study suggests that eating foods with a high glycemic index such as refined carbohydrates, plays a role in the development of acne and other research suggests that skimmed milk can trigger acne. On the other hand, nutrients and food does nourish the skin from the inside out – for example, consuming omega-2 fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acids (GLAs) may help reduce acne breakouts.”