Alternative medicine cures for acne

Curing acne with alternative medicine and complementary therapy

Acne – it’s not just the scourge of teenagers, adults are also susceptible to skin eruptions that can be both unsightly and painful. Acne is one of the most common skin complaints. Spots, or acne lesions, appear on the skin in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and papules (small bumps that are pink in colour). At its most severe, acne can cause scarring when the spots become cysts or nodules. And it’s not just the face that can suffer with spots – the neck, back, legs and shoulders can also develop acne lesions. The physical symptoms are bad enough, but don’t forget the emotional trauma of spots, particularly if they are present on the face. Nobody wants to be seen with acne, but for some it’s inevitable and in its most chronic form it can be psychologically damaging.

You shouldn’t have to put up with acne, nor should you only rely on prescription drugs or over-the-counter remedies to clear up the problem. The best form of defence against spots is to adopt a few natural health choices. Approach your treatment for acne from an alternative medicine and complementary therapy point of view. Begin to develop a program of methods that will prevent scarring, minimise the painful acne lesions and reduce the distress caused by spots. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your natural health cure for acne.

Clear up spots and acne the natural way

Nutrition – Whether or not diet is linked to acne is often debated by doctors, dermatologists and alternative medicine practitioners. The simple fact is that you should have a nutritionally sound diet for overall health anyway and skin can only benefit from eating the right foods. Acne has been found to be aggravated by eating foods that contain refined white sugars and refined carbs due to insulin levels being increased. There are three compounds that can benefit acne and all can be found in certain natural foods. Beta carotone is present in orange coloured fruit and vegetables and is good for acne. Eat plenty of carrots, oranges and pumpkin to increase your levels of beta carotone. Selenium and zinc can be found in Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds respectively and both can help with acne.

Cleanliness – And by this we don’t mean have a wash. Having acne and spots has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Acne is caused due to a skin gland disorder. The skin’s oil glands produce ‘sebum’ which rises up through hair follicles and onto the skin. When hormone levels are increased (typically during adolescence which is why acne is seen as a teenage problem) the amount of sebum produced can cause a blockage in the hair follicle and lead to a bacteria filled cyst known as a comedone. An open comedone is a whitehead and a closed comedone is a blackhead. If these rupture, inflammation occurs and this can then lead to pustules, papules or cysts. However, if acne does develop, you’ll still need to wash your skin and keep it clean. Be careful not to over-wash as this can stimulate the glands to produce more sebum – and that’s something you already produce enough of if you have acne.

Normal soap can be quite harsh and dry the skin, particularly if you have sensitive skin in the first place. Acne soaps are available which can be used daily, but also consider a honey face mask a couple of times a week. The antibacterial properties of honey can heal minor skin blemishes and also disinfect the skin of bacteria. Another natural antibacterial product is tea tree oil. Diluted, it can be applied to acne and kill off bacteria.

Vitamins and minerals – Supplements that can be taken on a daily basis are an excellent way to ensure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to clear up your acne and spots. Zinc is needed by the body for healing and is of great benefit to skin that has been damaged by acne. Zinc will also help reduce the inflammation caused by spots. We’ve already spoken about ‘sebum’, so what vitamin can help reduce it? Vitamin A has been found to reduce sebum production but be wary of taking high dosages as too much can be toxic, particularly if you’re pregnant. Vitamin B6 can help with hormone metabolism and Vitamin E is a known antioxidant which protects from free radicals (molecules that damage cells and cause ageing).

Relax and stimulate the mind and body – Remember to look after your whole-self when treating acne. Acne isn’t necessarily caused by stress, but it can aggravate the symptoms. Use Yoga as a way of de-stressing and detoxifying the mind and body. Yoga stimulates circulation to the face which will aid skin healing and it will also help flush out toxins. Techniques that involve hands-on stimulation such as massage, acupressure and reflexology will improve bodily function of systems that control toxin drainage as well as improving the condition and appearance of the skin.

Acne treatments that are natural and work

Hopefully this article will go some way to showing you how natural alternative therapies can help treat acne and clear up unsightly and painful spots. Visiting a trained practitioner for the therapies we have mentioned above will give you the best treatment options available and guide you toward healthier and better looking skin.

Article submitted by
Daniel Alexander, GoToSee Journalist

Date published
29/10/08


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