Although most people associate acne with the troublesome teenage years, it can erupt at any age. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to control outbreaks- no matter how old are you when they occur.
- hard red bumps or pus-filled lesions on the skin
- red, inflamed skin with fluid filled lumps or cyst
What it is
Spots and other skin eruptions are the hallmarks of acne, a sometimes chronic condition of the face, back, chest, neck, shoulders and other area of the body. The most common form ( acne vulgaris) encompasses blackheads, whiteheads and raised red blemishes with semisolid centre. In severe cases ( cystic acne), cluster of painful, fluid filled cyst or firm, painless lumps appear beneath the skin surface; both can lead to unsightly permanent pitting and scarring. For teenagers especially, acne can be embarrassing and emotionally condition.
What causes it
Acne occurs when sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicles of the skin secrete too much sebum, this thick, oily substance is normally released from the pores to keep the skin lubricated and healthy. If the sebum backs up, it can form hard plugs, or comedos, that block the pores and cause spots. Should one of these oil plugs rupture beneath the skin’s surface, a localised bacterial infection can develop.
Hormonal imbalances can lead to an overproduction of sebum- a common problem during adolescence, especially in boys. In women, menstrual periods or pregnancy can also create acne-producing hormonal disturbance. Other acne triggers include emotional stress; the friction or rubbing of clothing against the skin; and certain medication, particularly steroids, contraceptive or drugs that affect hormone levels. Heredity may play a role as well.
How supplements can help
Most people will benefit from trying the supplements. It often takes three to four weeks, or longer, to notice results.
Vitamin B6 may be useful for acne aggravated by menstrual cycles or the menopause. Vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium promote a healthy immune system, helping to keep acne-causing bacteria in check. Taken with any or all of these vitamins, Zinc enhances immune function, reduce inflammation, and promotes healthy hormone levels. Long term use of zinc, inhibits copper absorption, so it should be taken with that mineral.
The herbal approach
The dietary factor is related to the state of the body’s ability to metabolise fats and carbohydrates
The herbal approach aims at supporting the metabolism of these food and at helping lymphatic drainage and body elimination. Dietarily, the intake of fats, sugars and carbohydrates must be reduces, while more fruit and vegetables be eaten.
Chasteberry is traditionally used to help with the treatment of menstruation-related acne. Other herbal remedies that are traditionally used for the treatment of acne include burdock, yellow dock, red clover are especially useful, lymphatic like Echinacea and Pokeweed Root and hepatics alike Blue Flag and Dandelion should also be considered
What else you can do
- wash daily, using a natural soap and water
- eat a balanced diet; avoid foods you may feel may act as acne triggers
- choose natural cosmetic based on Aloe Vera, Neem oil, Lavander and Tea Tree essential oil, avoid coconut oil (can clog the pores)
- avoid squeezing spots, rub the face; it increases inflammation and can cause scarring