Acne

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition characterised by spots or pimples on the face, chest, neck and back. It occurs when the small glands (sebaceous glands) along the hair follicles responsible for secreting a naturally occurring oil (sebum) on these areas become clogged with dead skin cells, excess sebum or bacteria.

Acne usually begins around puberty and peaks at age 18 years. However, in some instances, it can occur for the first time between the ages of 20 and 40.

Acne can be mild, moderate or severe in nature. In severe cases, it can persist for years and result in scarring and disfigurement. It can also have profound psychosocial effects. Many sufferers are embarrassed by the condition and find it difficult to socialise.

What are the Symptoms of Acne?

Obvious signs of acne include:

  • Whiteheads (open comedomes).
  • Blackheads (closed comedones).
  • Papules (raised pink lesions).
  • Pustules.
  • Cysts.
  • Scarring.
  • Hyperpigmentation (heightened colour). This is more prominent in those with dark skin. Skin may have an oily appearance.

What are the Causes of Acne?

Several factors contribute to the development of acne: excess sebum production; bacterial infection (propionibacterium acnes) and inflammation and hormonal changes.

Traditional Medical Treatments for Acne

Treatment is aimed at reducing the production of excess amounts of sebum, preventing the development of comedones and killing the bacteria responsible for the infection.Basic treatment may involve the use of washes or cleansers which may dry the skin reducing the oily layer on the surface.

Treatment can be taken orally or applied topically. The choice of treatment depends on the extent, severity and duration of disease.

Topical treatments are available in gel, lotion or cream form and are normally only used for mild to moderate acne. Gels are ideal for oily skins as they are non-greasy and have a drying effect. In many cases acombination of topical treatments is used.

Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Acne

Nutritional and Herbal Therapy for Acne

Egg oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera. The wonderful antioxidant and healing properties of other herbs like Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) and Bulbine frutescence can provide relief and can also help prevent skin infection and. In addition, Lavender Essential Oil functions as a circulatory stimulant and antiseptic; to preven scarring, it is also used to treat burns and wounds. Evening primrose oil or Black currant seed oil, three 500-milligram capsules a day daily usually for three months is recommended or until your acne is gone.

Chinese herbs cnidium seed and honeysuckle flower, echinacea, tea tree oil, calendula, and goldenseal are also recommended by herbalists. Tea made with nettles and cleavers tincture may also be effective. For acne brought about by stress, a tea with lavender or chamomile has a relaxing effect. Tea combined with 0.5 teaspoons of cumin, coriander, and fennel in a tea ball, letting it there for 10 mins and taken 3 times a day may also improve acne flares.

HOMEOPATHY TREATMENTS:

If the acne causes you to itch, try taking Kali bromatum 6X three times daily until it is relieved. If you have rough, hard skin (and frequently suffer from constipation), sweat profusely, 6X Sulfur 3 times daily is recommended. If the pimples are pus filled, take a 6X dose of Antimonium tartaricum, 3 times a day until it improves.

AYURVEDIC TREATMENTS:

Treatment includes a diet that has plenty of bland foods such as oatmeal, basmati rice, citrus fruits, apple sauce, eliminating fried foods, and spicy foods.

OTHER APPROACHES FOR ACNE:

Juice Therapy: To stimulate the liver and to cleanse the system, combine one part beet juice, three parts carrot juice and two parts water.

Aromatherapy: Apply a drop of tea tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic, directly on to the blemish after cleansing the skin. It speeds the healing of blemish and is gentle to the skin.

Acupressure: Acupressure, when practiced properly, on the stomach meridian can improve the appearance of your skin as it has several energy pathways that govern the skin functions.

Yoga: A series of five yoga poses can help increase blood flow to your face, flushing away toxins and providing nutrients to your skin. A daily routine of the following yoga poses are recommended:

Yoga: Knee squeeze, standing sun, seated sun, baby and cobra are poses that can help flush away toxins and provide nutrients to your skin increasing the blood flow to your face.

Reflexology: Reflex points on your hands or feet that works the liver, kidney, thyroid gland, diaphragm, adrenal gland, and intestine help eliminate toxins.

Egg oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera. The wonderful antioxidant and healing properties of other herbs like Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) and Bulbine frutescence can provide relief and can also help prevent skin infection and in addition, Lavender Essential Oil functions as a circulatory stimulant and antiseptic; to preven scarring, it is also used to treat burns and wounds.

Evening primrose oil or Black currant seed oil, three 500-milligram capsules a day daily usually for three months is recommended or until your acne is gone.

Chinese herbs cnidium seed and honeysuckle flower, echinacea, tea tree oil, calendula, and goldenseal are also recommended by herbalists.

Tea made with nettles and cleavers tincture may also be effective. For acne brought about by stress, a tea with lavender or chamomile has a relaxing effect. Tea combined with 0.5 teaspoons of cumin, coriander, and fennel in a tea ball, letting it there for 10 mins and taken 3 times a day may also improve acne flares.

HOMEOPATHY TREATMENTS:If the acne causes you to itch, try taking Kali bromatum 6X three times daily until it is relieved. If you have rough, hard skin (and frequently suffer from constipation), sweat profusely, 6X Sulfur 3 times daily is recommended. If the pimples are pus filled, take a 6X dose of Antimonium tartaricum, 3 times a day until it improves.

AYURVEDIC TREATMENTS:Treatment includes a diet that has plenty of bland foods such as oatmeal, basmati rice, citrus fruits, apple sauce, eliminating fried foods, and spicy foods.