Acne - Causes and Natural Treatment
Acne is basically a skin disorder characterized by blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. It affects about 80% of all Americans between the ages of 12 and 45. The American Academy of Dermatology has classified acne as the most commonly treated skin abnormality. Acne is not simply a cosmetic problem but can lead to strong emotional stress that can have an impact on a person's self esteem.
Acne affects more than 20 million teenagers but it is also affecting an increasing amount of adults. Many women suffer from premenstrual acne that's brought on by the release of progesterone after ovulation. Candidiasis can also bring on hormonal changes that encourage the liver to produce the wrong substances for healthy sebum.Â
Some contributing factors are hereditary, oily skin, menstrual cycles, allergies, stress, steroids, oral contraceptives and epileptic drugs. Other factors include a diet high in saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and animal products. The environment can have an effect also like exposure to industrial machine oils. Then there is the body pH to be concerned about since too much alkaline can lead to a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Some doctors refer to the skin as the "third kidney" since it processes the body's toxins that the kidney and liver can't handle. As these toxins escape through the skin, the integrity is compromised and this can lead to acne. The skin also needs to breathe and if pores become clogged, this enables microbes that cause acne to flourish. Dirt, oils and dust from pollution can clog pores so proper cleansing is important to eliminate this problem.
Some nutrients that are very important to use are colloidal silver which acts as a natural antibiotic. Flaxseed oil and primrose oil are good sources to supply essential fatty acids to help keep the skin smooth and soft and dissolve fatty deposits that block skin pores. Vitamin A helps strengthen the protective skin layer. Vitamin C with bioflavonoid promotes the immune function and reduces inflammation. Zinc aids in the healing of tissue and helps prevent scarring. A couple of capsules of garlic with meals helps destroy bacteria and fortifies the immune system. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Herbs that are helpful in fighting acne are burdock root, dandelion leaves, milk thistle and red clover. A poultice with dandelion, chaparral and yellow dock root applied directly to the affected area. For premenstrual flare ups, chaste tree berry extract can be taken each morning. Lavender, red clover and strawberry leaves can be boiled and used as a steam bath for the face. (A word of caution: if acne is really inflamed, do not use steam treatments. This could worsen the condition). Lavender essential oil is a good antiseptic that can be applied directly on blemishes. Tea tree oil, alfalfa, cayenne and Echinacea are other beneficial herbs in the natural treatment of acne.
Eating a high fiber diet is very important for ridding the body of toxins. Increase the intake of raw foods that contain oxalic acid like almonds, beets, cashews and Swiss chard. Eating a lot of raw fruits will help the skin exfoliate, removing dead skin cells clogging the oil glands. Include in the diet foods rich in zinc like shellfish, soybeans, whole grains and small nuts. Zinc is a necessary element in the oil producing glands of the skin. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Avoid alcohol, butter, caffeine, cheese, chocolate, cocoa, cream, eggs, fat, fish and fried foods. Acne may develop from an allergy to dairy products. Try eliminating all dairy products from the diet and see if there is an improvement. Avoid all forms of sugar. This promotes the growth of Candida and may be a contributing factor to acne.
Acne is sending a message that something is going wrong with your body chemistry. This could be related to diet or skin care routines. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise program, nutritional supplements and finding skin care products that is right for you may be all that is needed to rid yourself of acne for good. In cases of severe acne, the drug isotretinolin, which is in a class of medications called retinoids, has been very effective in treating severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking isotretinoin.Â
I hope this was helpful in explaining the causes of acne and some natural treatments and tips available for the prevention of acne.