Random Health Fact:

Natural Remedies: Acne

What Is It?

Acne is a skin disorder in which the skin becomes inflamed and creates pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads. While it is usually thought of as a disease of the dreaded "teenage years", acne can occur at any time in a person's life. The American Academy of Dermatology, has reported that acne is the most common skin condition that people seek treatment for. There are so many different types of acne treatment products in the market today. Acne usually starts around the time of puberty, but can occur at any time in life and is triggered by a myriad of conditions, usually hormonal. Pregnancy, puberty and other conditions in which hormones are being over-produced often lead to acne break outs. These hormones stimulate sebum and keratin, which move through the pores on our body; the largest of which are often on the face, chest or back. Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles, tiny shafts in the skin where hair grows. Normally, oil spreads from a follicle to the skin's surface to lubricate skin. Follicles shed skin cells from their lining. When the body produces excess oil and dead skin cells stick together in the follicle acne develops. If sebum is trapped, whiteheads appear and can rupture and the body's natural immune response is to send white blood cells to the area causing pus to accumulate. Women may also suffer an out break as a result of the release of Progesterone, a hormone, in the time right before their period or if they take birth control pills.

Some factors that increase the chances of developing acne are genetics, hormonal imbalances, oily skin, menstrual cycles and yeast infections. Other things that can increase your chances of getting acne are a diet high in fats, poor hygiene, exposure to pollutants such as smoke or coal. The skin is actually the largest organ in the human body,  and is our first line of defense against our environment. A main function of the skin is to help cool us and eliminate some of the body's toxins through sweating, which helps both the liver and kidneys process and eliminate toxins. As these toxins escape through the skin, they increase the chance of creating plugged pores and thereby creating a bout of acne.

What can be done?

If your acne is caused by puberty or other prolonged hormonal surges such as taking hormonal birth control, a doctor can prescribe you antibiotic pills or cream. Retin A has been used in severe cases, but NEVER USE RETIN A IF YOU ARE OR ARE PLANNING TO BECOME PREGNANT AS IT IS KNOWN TO CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS IN THE DEVELOPING FETUS. Retin A can clear up your acne in as little as 2-7 weeks but really should be considered for severe cases.

Natural Remedies

There are many natural remedies that can help fight acne. First and foremost, keep your skin clean, but do not over wash as this can backfire and cause your body to respond by producing more sebum, thereby creating a vicious cycle (you will have over dry, broken out skin) Salicylic acid can help treat minor acne, however overuse of it can cause your skin to become too dry while underneath the pus and sebum are still building up. Pure filtered sesame seed oil with calendula and rosemary can help as calendula is well known for helping to repair skin damage, the sesame oil will absorb into your skin without making the acne worse as it has antimicrobial properties. Potassium (100mg) per day may help as people who are on diuretics and a deficiency in potassium have been known to develop severe acne. Acidophilus (Probiata by Wakunaga) helps to re-establish good bacteria to help eliminate break outs.

Garlic (Kyolic) taken 3 times a day will help to destroy bacteria and help to build up immune function. As far as herbs go, you have several choices. You can try to cleanse the liver as acne tends to get worse when the liver and the kidneys are overloaded with toxins, causing the skin to have to handle the overload. Milk thistle and burdock root cleanses the blood and help detoxify the liver and take the burden off of the skin. Lavender essential oil is a very good antiseptic and can be applied to the trouble areas; also make sure your diet has enough vitamins A, C, and E and essential fatty acids to help the skin heal. Be sure that you do not take more than the daily recommended dose of Vitamin A as it can be harmful, especially if you are pregnant.

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