Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Clear face and skin with natural remedies for Acne

Acne is not a fun condition to have. Not only does it have the obvious effect of lesions on the skin, but it can also be detrimental to the self of steam of the individuals that it wreaks havoc on. The western allopathic treatments for acne include awful drugs that are so dangerous to the user that mandatory birth control is issued with the drug because of the birth defects that are associated with taking the drug while pregnant. The topical applications aren’t much better. They are often harsh chemicals and pharmaceuticals that a lot of times don’t make much of an impact. But there is hope with alternative treatments for acne. First, for a little info on the condition.

The Science of Acne

Acne vulgaris occurs when there is an inflammation of sebaceous gland. The canals of these glands become blocked causing blackheads (open comedones), whiteheads (closed comedones) and pustule clusters that are located on the face, neck, back and chest. Blackheads turn black because the contents of the comedo, or the hard plug blocking the pore, is exposed to the air, thus turning it black. Closed comedones are not exposed to the air and therefore do not oxidize.

Demographics

Acne is the most common skin disorder affecting nearly 17 million Americans, most of which are between the ages of 12-25. Severity of the acne depends on the extent of the hormone imbalances, keratinisation, sebum production and bacterial colonization. Androgen imbalances, because of its control over sebacious glands, is said to be linked, in some cases, to the severity of acne.

Natural Alternatives for Acne Treatment

I know that when you have acne it may seem like there are no options and this is something that you are stuck with. But have hope! There are many alternatives including herbs, essential oils, nutrition and supplements, along with a few random tips to help you and your face become free from the mask of acne. But figuring out what works best for you may take some time. Many of the herbs take several months to see a difference and when you don’t find it is helping, keep trying different things until you find what works best for you.

Nutrition

Nutrition is, perhaps, the most important battle to tackle when addressing acne. Here is information regarding nutritional links with acne: 
  • High glycemic loads seem to make acne worse so try a diet high in protein, fruits and veggies and low in carbs.
  • There has been some links made between food allergies and acne. The most prominent culprits are dairy and wheat but corn and soy may cause problems as well. You may wish to do an elimination diet to determine if you have any food allergies.
  • Menstrual related acne has been shown to improve with a high intake of vitamin B6. Some foods high in vitamin B6 include bell peppers, turnip greens, summer squash, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, tuna, beef, chicken and turkey.
  • Improving overall digestion and elimination helps to insure that toxins and excess hormones are being removed in via the appropriate pathways and not through our skin. Eat plenty veggies to keep things moving.
  • Drink plenty of water!!! Flush the system as much as possible, removing toxins and keeping the body and skin well hydrated.
Essential Oils
Essential oils can be very beneficial to topically helping with acne. The oils can be helpful in decreasing infection, decreasing sebum production, promote skin healing and decreasing scaring, decreasing inflammation and helping soothe the emotional stress and anxiety associated with acne. Helpful oils include geranium, lavender, lemon, lime, neroli, rosemary, rose otto and tea tree. These essential oils can be used in a facial steam or a warm compress.

Supplements
Supplements that you may wish to take include:
  • Probiotics: everyone should take them. With the amount of antibiotics our doctors over prescribe, our bodies can use some more defenses.
  • Vitamins A and E and other antioxidants: In studies, patients with acne were tested and shown to have lower levels of vitamins A and E.
  • Supplementation of zinc has been shown to reduce the number of pustules, papules and closed comedones.
HAA (Herbs Against Acne)
When it comes to herbs, there are many approaches you can take and I feel that hitting on all areas can insure that you are treating the whole picture.
  • Stimulate the lymphatic system with cleavers, echinacea and calendula
  • Purify and clean the blood with burdock, yellow dock, holy basil and chickweed
  • Detoxify the help to stimulate the liver, improving digestion and excretion. It is so important to make sure that you are having more than one bowel movement a day so that toxins and hormones are not sitting in the colon and reabsorbing into the blood stream. Dandelion root, burdock root and nettles are a few that can help
  • Antibacterial herbs, including echinacea, goldenseal and garlic, can help to get rid of bacteria that is colonizing on the skin
  • Nervines to calm the nerves and address the stress and anxiety associated with this condition especially during adolescence. Lemon balm, scullcap and valerian can all be helpful.
  • Topical applications of calendula can help to promote healing
Etc.
Other random tips:
  • Keep your face clean. Use a all natural, genital cleanser to make sure the skin is being kept clean
  • Use facial cosmetics sparingly. Makeup and lotions can add to the already congested pores making the condition worse
  • Do not pick or squeeze black heads. Doing so can further lodge bacteria in the skin making things worse.
  • Do not touch the afflicted area unless your hands are very clean. Failure to do so can make the condition worse.
  • Keep your stress to a minimal. Stress can exasperate the issue.
  • Get at least 15 minutes of direct sunshine a day (without sunscreen). Studies have shown that this can help clear up acne.
  • Exercise can be used to relieve stress and to help with a better body image.
Overall, keep the faith that there is a solution out there for your acne. Meeting with a trained herbalist can help you to better pinpoint the cause and better find a solution.
Sources:


Battaglia, S. (2003). The complete guide to aromatherapy (2nd ed.). Brisbane: International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy.

Green, J. (1991). The male herbal: health care for men & boys. Freedom, Calif.: Crossing Press.

Levy, J. d. (1997). Common herbs for natural health (Rev., expanded ed.). Woodstock, N.Y.: Ash Tree Pub..

Wildwood, C. (1996). The encyclopedia of aromatherapy. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press.

1 comment:

  1. Conventional acne treatments can be expensive and often have undesirable side effects like dryness, redness and irritation. Visit http://bit.ly/OilSkin for Natural Remedies for Acne.

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