I often get this question, what’s the difference between a root cause and a trigger?
When we’re talking about skincare problems there’s almost always a root cause and a trigger or two and then added together you get acne, eczema, rosacea, etcetera.
A root cause is an underlying cause, something that’s going on in your body, some imbalance, some issue that without a trigger likely won’t cause acne, but it’s under there, it’s in your body, it doesn’t ever come out on your skin until it’s paired with a trigger.
A trigger is something by itself can’t cause acne, so that’s why if you break out from say, eating a lot of sugar and your best friend doesn’t, well it’s because you have an underlying cause and your best friend doesn’t. They can have that trigger without it causing acne.
While we’re on the topic, what are some root causes? These are the things you want to absolutely tackle as soon as possible, they’re also the things that take the longest to heal, take the most dedication to balance, but ultimately are what are going to make the most difference.
For acne it’s things like poor gut detoxification, so anytime your digestive track isn’t working right, if there’s a slow down, if it’s reabsorbing waste products like excess hormones that your bodies trying to get rid of, yet things aren’t moving fast enough so they get reabsorbed in the body, things like that. Anything that has to do with your digestive track almost always ends up being a root cause. We’re talking the bowels, the liver, anything, anything down there. If you’re constipated, if you have diarrhea, if you have bloat, if you have no symptoms that also doesn’t mean you can rule out gut problems. The reason is because some of them could be an imbalance in your gut flora, something like probiotics would help that, but doesn’t necessarily give you any sort of discomfort otherwise, that’s why sometimes it’s hard for people to believe that there’s problems underlying that are causing acne because they feel fine. Doesn’t mean that on the inside everything is working exactly as it should and effectively as it should.
Back to root causes. That’s digestive issues, things with your gut, detoxification, etcetera. There’s also insulin resistance, anytime your blood sugar spikes that can affect your hormones, so we have to watch our insulin levels.
Chronic inflammation, so for myself that is especially an issue because I have chronic diseases that cause inflammation, so of course, my root causes of acne are very hard to tackle. That’s why I have to be especially careful with my triggers. Chronic inflammation, so that doesn’t necessarily need to be something as big as mine like fibromyalgia or ankylosing spondylitis. It can be just your body is overworked, you’re stressed out, any reason for your body to have inflammation, that is a root cause.
A naturopath can go over all of the many many ways that inflammation could happen in your body. It might take them a long time to go over all of them, but there’s certainly a lot of different reasons for your body to create chronic inflammation.
Then another root cause is nutritional deficiencies. So you’re not getting enough of a certain vitamin, a certain mineral, etc. For me, I need a lot of antioxidants, zinc, vitamin D, and I need a really good probiotic.
Anyways, that’s underlying causes / root causes.
Triggers can be things like your diet, so although nutritional deficiencies can be a cause, a trigger would be things you put in your body. A cause is it’s already there so the deficiency is already there. A trigger is things like too much sugar in your diet, a high GI diet, stress, topical products, skincare products that aren’t right for you, hormonal imbalances. That’s a trigger because we often do things that trigger a hormonal imbalance, so it wasn’t already there but we’ve done something to trigger that. Foods that we’re allergic to, any number of things that we do to ourself is often a trigger.
Add your cause and your trigger together and you get acne.
Now like I said, this is a bit longer of a Batty’s Brief than usual, but I get that question a lot and all you need to know is if a trigger causes acne, you have an underlying cause. You just have to figure out which cause that is and we’ll help you with that so don’t worry. Go head over to the Skincare 101 page for more info on how to pinpoint your causes and triggers.
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