Alternative Ways to Deal with Acne
An Introduction to Acne
Ask any teenager in high school what is the worst thing that can happen to their face before the prom and acne will be the number one response. But did you know that acne
only bothers teens, but adults as well.
And acne can get so bad that you have to seek the help of a
dermatologist to try to rid yourself of it.
is a skin problem that starts when oil, dead skin cells and even bacteria
clog up your pores. Some people
call it blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or zits.
When you have just a few red spots, or pimples, you have a mild form
of acne. Severe acne can mean
hundreds of pimples that can cover the face, neck, chest, and back.
Or, it can be bigger, solid, red lumps that are painful.
the trapped oil, skin cells and bacteria stay below the skin surface, a
whitehead is formed. Whiteheads
may show up as tiny white spots, or they may be so small that they are
invisible to the naked eye. A
blackhead occurs when the trapped oil, skin cells and bacteria partially
open to the surface and turn black due to melanin, the skin's pigment.
It is not dirt and cannot be washed away. Blackheads can last for a long time because the contents very
slowly drain to the surface. A
blackhead or whitehead can release its contents to the surface and heal.
Or, the follicle wall can rupture and inflammatory acne can ensue.
This rupture can be caused randomly or by picking or touching the
skin. This is why it is
important to leave acne prone skin relatively untouched.
affects most teenagers to some extent.
However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in
their 20s and even into their 40s can get acne.
While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and
disfiguring. When severe, acne
can lead to serious and permanent scarring.
Even less severe cases can lead to scarring.
to 100% of people between the ages of twelve and seventeen have at least an
occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple (zit), regardless of race or
ethnicity. Many of these young
people are able to manage their acne with over-the-counter
(non-prescription) treatments. For
some, however, acne is more serious. In
fact, by their mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne severe
enough to require some treatment by a physician.
you can see acne affects a wide range of individuals. It does not matter if you are young or old or what your race
is. Also, acne is a problem
that can be very serious. When
one experiences the challenge of severe acne the usual thing to do is to
seek out some sort of medication. The
problem with most of these main stream medications is of course their side
effects. But just like other
medical problems, there are alternative treatments for acne too.
Common Prescriptions Treatments for Acne and Their Side Effects
virtually every case of acne can be resolved.
The key to getting rid of acne lesions and preventing new ones from
forming lies in knowing that a resolution takes time. What works for one person may not work for another.
A dermatologist’s help is usually what is recommended, though may
not be the option of choice for everyone.
Treatments that promise “fast,” miraculous” or “overnight”
results often capture the attention of acne sufferers hoping for a quick
resolution. However, the fact
remains that acne does not clear overnight.
On average, 6 to 8 weeks are needed to see initial results.
acne significantly improves or clears, continued treatment is needed to keep
acne from re-appearing. If acne
does not improve in 6 to 8 weeks, treatments may need to be adjusted as not
every acne treatment clears every case of acne.
Dermatologists have an arsenal of prescription medications to treat
acne. There are also many
over-the-counter drugs that are often recommended by dermatologists.
But few if any of these medications try to treat the cause of the
acne, so once you stop taking the medication the acne often returns.
Of course these medications also have the problem of side affects.
medicines include antibiotics pills and topical antibiotics (applied to the
skin). There are synthetic
vitamin A derivatives called retinoids such as retinoic acid cream or gel (Retin-A)
and isotretinoin pills (Accutane) that are often prescribed as a treatment.
But pregnant women and sexually active females should NOT take Accutane, as
it causes severe birth defects. My
thought is if it will harm your unborn child it may harm you too.
Then there are prescription formulas of benzyl peroxide, sulfur,
resorcinol and salicylic acid.
effects of antibiotics include difficulty breathing, closing of your throat,
swelling of your lips, tongue, or face or hives. A severe headache, vision changes, confusion, liver damage,
yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort can be
other side effects. There is
also the possibility of unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue, blood
problems fever, easy bruising or bleeding, and severe diarrhea or seizures.
like Retin-A can cause hives,
difficulty breathing, and swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Other side effects are burning, warmth, stinging, tingling, itching,
redness, swelling, dryness, peeling and irritation, or discolored skin.
Just like the pills, the topical medicines prescribed by doctors
often have the same side effects such as itching, redness, swelling etc. And do not forget that over the counter acne medicines can
have the same side effects as prescribed ones.
Nutritional Approaches and Remedies for Acne
are certain recommendations of things that you should eat and drink to treat
acne. Some of these are
watermelons, cucumber, squash, carrots, cabbage, celery, winter melon, beet
tops, mulberry leaves, dandelions, aloe vera and lots of fresh fruits.
Eat mostly fresh organic fruits and
vegetables if possible. And
with fruits and vegetables, the rawer you eat them the better.
Drink dandelion and beet top tea.
Drink lukewarm water with two tablespoons of honey, on an empty
stomach every morning; it improves your metabolism.
Drink watermelon juice.
Soda needs to be eliminated from your
diet forever. It has high amounts of acid, syrups and colored corn starches
will only serve to make your face a battleground for pimples.
Water needs to be the last thing you drink at night and the first
thing you drink in the morning. Both
your face and kidneys will thank you for it.
All other kinds of 100% fruit juice with no dye can also be drunk,
though water is always better. Do
not drink whole milk at all; this milk causes more problems than you can
with these dietary recommendations, there are also 4 topical remedies which
use foods and ingredients. Apply
low fat, plain organic yogurt on the affected area and wash after 20
minutes. Apply pure aloe
vera. Blend a cucumber, apply
for 20 minutes then wash off. Rub
watermelon rind on the affected area.
following vitamin and supplement recommendations may help acne.
Important vitamins are vitamin A,
vitamin C, vitamin B, extra vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
Zinc gluconate supplements with a dose of 30-80 mg daily aid in
tissue healing and helps to prevent scarring.
Vitamin A & E emulsion with
50,000 IU of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin E strengthens the protective
epithelial (skin) tissue. This
emulsion is better than taking the two vitamins alone since in this form it
is easier for your body to assimilate.
GTF when used as directed on the package aids in reducing infection of the
skin. Taking 1 lecithin capsule
before meals helps making sure there is better absorption of the essential
fatty acids. Primrose oil when
used as directed on label supplies the essential gamma linoleic acids needed
for healing. The unsaturated
fatty acids found in 1 tablespoon cold pressed sesame oil, flaxseed oil, or
linseed oil, or taken in capsule form are needed to keep the skin smooth and
soft, and to repair damaged cells. Chlorophyll
(liquid or tablet) aids in cleansing the blood and preventing infections.
Cod liver oil is a good source of vitamins A and D, which are needed
for healing of skin tissue. Hydrochloric
acid ( HCl ) with digestive enzymes when taken with meals helps food to be
better digested, and therefore makes nutrients more available to be properly
absorbed and used to heal acne. But
those with ulcers should not take digestive enzymes containing HCl.
body organs need to be cleaned out on a regular basis, like your bowels,
your liver and your kidneys. We
really should be doing this naturally with lots of fruits, veggies, and
water. But in our modern day
times of fast foods, we often neglect proper diet. As a result, our bodies
don’t get enough vitamins, minerals, or enzymes to allow it to maximize
its functioning. Therefore, the
most effective natural cures for acne will involve your whole body, and
possibly even lifestyle. They
may involve taking several supplements and products together with a change
in lifestyle habits.
is just an example of what could work for you. But you must remember two things.
One is that acne is a very individual condition.
What this means is that what works for others may not work for you.
So you may have to try many different things until you find what
works for you. The other thing
to remember is that acne will not go away overnight.
Exercise and Lifestyle Changes to Treat Acne
easy way to prevent acne is in taking good care of your skin.
Wash your face, cleaning your skin gently with a mild, non-drying
soap (like Dove, Neutrogena, or Basics) to remove all dirt or make-up once
or twice a day, including after exercising. However,
avoid excessive or repeated skin washing.
Shampoo your hair daily, especially if it is oily. Comb
or pull your hair back to keep the hair out of your face. Avoid tight headbands. Try
not to squeeze, scratch, pick, or rub the pimples. Although it might be tempting to do this, it can lead to
scarring and skin infections. Avoid
touching your face with your hands or fingers.
Avoid greasy cosmetics or creams.
Look for water-based or "non-comedogenic" formulas.
Always take make-up off at night.
has been recommended that washing and exfoliating your face with baking soda
can help acne. Specifically,
soap up your face (with your favorite soap) to loosen surface dirt, and
while soap is still on your face, rub in some Noxzema to deep clean. Then while both the Noxzema and soap are still on your face
sprinkle a small handful of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in your hand and
add a couple of drops of warm water with your wet fingertips to it, in order
to form a granular paste. Now,
take this baking soda paste, spread it out within your two palms and rub it
into your face & pores for an exalting exfoliation facial treatment. Then hop into either the shower or bathtub to wash this all
off or wash it off with a wash cloth, if showering has already occurred.
Your face will feel incredible and take on a noticeable glow of
cleanliness, because for the first time in a longtime, it will truly be
Another thing you might consider is light
non-stressful exercises daily. For
example 30 minutes of walking outside in the fresh air and sunshine could
work wonders towards healing your acne.
Herbal Approaches and Remedies for Acne
there are herbal remedies that are effective against acne.
Many people prefer these remedies because there are fewer if any side
effects than drugs. Some of the herbal remedies for acne are burdock root,
chaparral, yellow dock root, red clover, dandelion, lavender, strawberry
leaves, turmeric, horsetail, angelica, and gota-kola.
seeds have been crushed to make a popular tincture used to purify the blood,
to treat gout and ulcers, arthritis, rheumatism, and help with skin
conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
Chaparral in standardized extracts or tinctures is useful as a
topical agent for skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
Yellow dock root is recognized primarily for its powerful laxative
effect, but it has multiple uses. Acting
on the liver, this bitter herb stimulates bile production which strengthens
digestion. It is commonly
prescribed to treat the liver condition known as jaundice.
Due to the root's hepatoprotective activity (ability to protect the
liver), yellow dock is used to cleanse the blood and to treat chronic skin
conditions such as psoriasis. Do
not use it in large quantities though.
clover used externally is considered a treatment for chronic skin conditions
such as eczema and psoriasis. Dandelion
is known as a blood purifier or an excellent tonic that cleanses poisons
from the body. Through its
action both on the liver and kidneys (as its French name, pis en lit,
translated as "wet the bed" indicates), it gently eliminates toxic
wastes from the body. The
natural nutritive salts work to purify the blood and also help to neutralize
the acids in the blood. Dandelion leaf's powerful blood purifying and liver
cleansing properties help to clear skin problems, especially acne.
A liver that is not performing at its best can worsen acne, because
it cannot break down and clear excess hormones from the body.
used externally, can treat acne. Applied
topically, the essential oils in lavender act as an antiseptic and
painkiller, helping to relieve insect bites and stings, skin diseases, such
as eczema and psoriasis, and minor burns. Turmeric
is a potent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory since the compound curcumin
found in turmeric apparently deactivates immune cells that may cause
inflammation, without harming other parts of the immune system that are
essential in fighting infection. It
is important to reduce inflammation since excess inflammation can aggravate
acne. Tumeric can also be used
as an astringent for the face that is great for acne.
There are many more herbs that can help in the cure of acne. For more information you may go to AcneTreatmentInfo.org, where you can learn more about how to use herbal remedies to cure your acne. Always keep in mind that you should talk to your physician or herbal professional before taking any herbs, especially if you are already taking medication since they may interact.
Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.