Acne: Clearing acne the natural way!
Acne is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the pilo-sebaceous follicles and is most common in adolescents of both sexes. It is caused by an excessive secretion of an oily substance called sebum by the sebaceous glands. it can be a source of frequent embarrassment and discomfort bringing a fear that “everyone is looking at you”. If you’re tired of suffering we can help you combat acne the holistic way.
In a condition like acne a number of internal factors can be present, such as hormonal imbalances, digestive problem, chronic infections and suppressed immunity, which is why a naturopathic or homeopathic approach to getting to the root problem gives the best results for skin health and a smooth, acne free skin.
The characteristic lesions of acne are the comedones, which are dark, horny, follicular plugs. These plugs may be open to the air (called blackheads) or closed, in which case they are known as whiteheads. The result for the majority of client is scarring of different sizes and shapes on their faces.
Acne is believed to be caused by several factors, but hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies are a significant contributor. Acne usually stops by the age of 25. Causes include:
- Puberty; increased testosterone levels
- Excessive use of cosmetics
- Hormonal disturbances and PMS
- Use of oral contraceptive pills
- Food intolerances
- Constipation and lack of fibre
- Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Inadequate probiotic levels in the gut
A visit to your GP will result in a treatment that usually includes topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotics, and topical retinoids; or oral medications, such as oral retinoids, systemic antibiotics, or hormonal therapy. Note that the medication Roaccutane is associated with later development of Crohn's Disease and other illnesses, so it should be avoided if possible.
Cosmetic skin treatments such as dermabrasion and laser treatment can also be used to treat acne and its scars.
The Naturopathic Approach
A naturopathic doctor will support and guide you with recommended treatments, remedies and supplements as well as any relevant diagnostic testing to heal the cause of your acne. We look to treat the underlying cause of acne, such as dietary factors, allergies, problems with digestion, nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances (e.g. excess testosterone, menstrual irregularities, or PMS).
Many supplements and food recommendations are available to treat dietary or nutritional deficiencies that can contribute to acne, including probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, sulphur, beta carotene, and selenium. Vitamin supplements include Vitamins B5 and B6, and Vitamins A, C, and E.
Some acne arises from an unclean colon. The detoxification process used to treat this condition is usually successful in clearing the skin within three months.
Other alternative treatments for acne include herbal medicine, especially to cleanse the colon and lymph systems, or to balance hormones (for PMS-related acne). Tea tree oil is used to manage the problem topically.
The Homeopathic Approach
Homeopathy is another popular holistic systems of medicine for treating acne. Remedies are selected based upon the individual and the presenting symptoms and types of acne. The aim of homeopathy is to not only treat the symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. The only way complete health can be regained is by removing all the signs and symptoms from which the client is suffering.
As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several proven medicines are available for acne treatment that can be selected based on cause, location, sensation, methods and extension of the acne.
Our practitioners will also review a client’s cleansing routines and will make recommendations to supplement or change existing behaviour. It is important to clean the skin properly, although over-washing (more than twice daily) is not advised and can add to the problem. Some washes include mild tea tree preparations, which can be useful as a light and natural antiseptic.
Clients will be advised to stop using hair oil as well as any greasy make-up on the face, as it can aggravate the condition.