Acne is a skin disease caused by the clogging of pores and
an inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles
which are on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest. These
glands produce too much oil, or sebum, become plugged and
end up becoming whiteheads, pimples or blackheads. This sebum
mixes with dead cells on the surface of the skin clogging
the pores and causing blackheads and whiteheads. Bacteria
around the hair follicles enter the skin if the whitehead
ruptures causing a pimple. Squeezing the pimples can cause
pitting and scars on the skin. Although acne is commonly a
teenage problem, it is not uncommon for adults, mostly women,
to have acne.
of acne is caused by a condition known as "skin hypoglycemia"
or "skin diabetes." This means that the skin, which
is an organ, is intolerant to sugars.
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There are two main types of acne: non-inflammatory and inflammatory.
In non-inflammatory acne, there are usually just a few whiteheads and blackheads on the face. A relatively mild type of acne, it can often be treated effectively with nonprescription medicines. The majority of people with acne have this type of acne.
With inflammatory acne, the whiteheads become inflamed, and red pimples and pustules develop. In its most severe form, inflammatory acne can cause disfiguring cysts and deep, pitting scars of the face, neck, back, chest and groin. Prescription drugs and sometimes surgery are needed to treat inflammatory acne.
Poor hygiene, diet, and hormone imbalances often are causes
Food allergies, especially in adults over 25, are the
cause of some of the worst cases.
In general, bad digestion, often caused by too little hydrochloric
acid in the stomach, leads to the inability to absorb important
nutrients and is a major cause of acne.
Although many traditional medical practitioners may not agree,
the excess of milk, sugar, white flour and other refined,
processed food, as well as nuts and high-fat meats, such as
pork, may be contributing factors to acne.
Iodine-rich foods, such as liver, cheese, iodized salt, kelp
products, clams, crabs and other shellfish have been associated
with acne, and should be avoided.
Avoid all foods containing trans-fatty acids, such as milk,
milk products, cookies, chips, margarine, chocolate, shortening
and hydrogenated oils.
Other causes are deficiencies in zinc, vitamin A, and essential
fatty acids such as linoleic.
Poor digestion should be addressed by a good diet and digestive
supplements (not antacids!).
It goes without saying that keeping the skin clean and bacteria-free
is of major importance. Here are some tips.
Keep your bed linens clean, as dead skin, oil, cosmetics,
hair preparations and dirt on the linen will be picked up
by your skin while you sleep and help clog pores.
Wash your skin gently twice daily with an antibacterial soap
or cleanser containing salicylic acid, not regular soap, as
it is alkaline and will promote bacterial growth. Don't scrub
too hard, as this will irritate your skin further.
Products containing benzoyl peroxide are also very beneficial
topical cleansing agents. However, if you are using products
containing benzoyl peroxide, make extra efforts to screen
yourself from the sun.
A soap with aloe vera is good, too, as aloe is a natural wound
Allergies to cosmetics may be a cause, too, so if your acne
started after using new cosmetics, eliminate them for a week
to see if the acne clears up.
Keep your hands away from your face or other affected areas.
They contain oils and bacteria that promote acne. Wash your
Take a steam shower or boil some water on the stove and put
your head over the vapors for a few minutes. This will open
up the pores and they can be cleaned out more easily. The
blackheads can be squeezed out more easily, but do not squeeze
the whiteheads, as this is an infected area and can cause
other problems. Another similar method is to put a very warm
washcloth on the affected area several times a day, This will
open the pores and help cleanse the skin.
Avoid greasy creams and cosmetics, especially ones that contain
oils and dyes, and avoid medications that contain bromides
Natural hormonal changes for both males and females are some
of the primary causes of acne. These changes usually start
at puberty and end in early adulthood. The increased androgen
males experience at the beginning of puberty causes the sebaceous
(oil) glands to enlarge and produce increased amounts of sebum
(oil and waxes) which pass through the hair follicles to the
skin. When the pores clog, acne occurs. Women, however, often
get a mild case of acne beginning a week before their menstrual
period begins, even in adulthood.
control pills also can cause acne. Try another brand or another
Some people get pimples on the scalp that may take a few weeks
to clear up. This type of pimple is known as acne necrotica
miliaris, and seems to flourish during times of high stress
or when the scalp is oilier than normal. The latter may occur
if you haven't shampooed as often as usual or are using hair-care
products with a lot of oil. To speed healing, shampoo frequently
and apply an acne remedy with benzoyl peroxide. If the acne
itches, use an anti-itch product with cortisone or wash your
hair several times with a coal-tar shampoo.
Other factors are: stress, seasonal changes, drug toxicity
(usually from steroids) and sun exposure, as well as caffeinated
drinks and certain spices
cider vinegar/lemon juice Clean your skin and apply either
lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with a cotton ball. The
acid in these kitchen remedies helps flush out the pores and
keeps the skin looking beautiful. This remedy should work
Another method using apple cider vinegar is to "steam
clean" the face by putting it over a pan of boiling water
with a towel over your head to trap the steam. This will loosen
the dirt and oil. Then apply the vinegar with a cotton ball
to remove the dirt and oil buildup. Repeat twice, then dab
more vinegar on the pores to close them. Use this method once
Beans Make a tea by boiling a handful of green beans in a quart
of water for 10 minutes; add 3 tablespoons of dried chamomile
flowers to the tea, cover and steep until cool; strain and
bottle. Use as a face wash at least three times daily.
Juice The essential oils in carrot juice will aid digestion
and help stop acne.
Charcoal To aid digestion, take 3 tablets of activated charcoal three
Silver Cleanse the skin morning and night with colloidal silver.
You should start to see improvements within a week. Colloidal
silver is a natural antibiotic that has safely been used for
a century. See our Product.
Cucumber Liquify a peeled cucumber in a blender and apply the juice
to the acne. Another variation of this remedy is to drink
four or five cups of cucumber juice daily for a week. This
is said to purify the blood and lymphatic system, resulting
in a clearer skin.
Egg whites Clean your skin thoroughly and apply egg white with a cotton
swab. Let it sit for several hours or overnight. The egg white
is an astringent.
Fels-Naptha The use of Fels-Naptha soap has been reported with good results
for those with oily skins. It contains mineral spirits and
other ingredients that work well on skin problems.
seed extract This extract is a powerful all-around antimicrobial
product and is an excellent disinfectant. Make a solution
of 4-40 drops in four ounces of water and apply to the affected
areas with a cotton ball two or three times a day. See our
Molasses Take 2 teaspoons of molasses with one teaspoon of sulphur
once or twice daily to cleanse the blood. Skin eruptions may
increase initially, but they are an indication that the blood
is being cleansed.
a product derived from concentrated whey, the bi-product of
cheese manufacture, has been used effectively against many
forms of skin problems, especially acne. Add a teaspoon or
tablespoon to a glass of water and take with meals. It aids
in digestion and regulates metabolism. Soak an absorbant cotton
pad or cloth in Molkosan and attach it to the affected areas
and leave on overnight. Molkosan is an excellent antiseptic.
Oatmeal As for measles and other skin irritations, people have used
oatmeal to conquer acne. Apply some cooled, cooked oatmeal
to the whole face for fifteen minutes, then wash off. Oatmeal
is an astringent and seems to draw oil and impurities out
of the skin, keeping it clean and blemish-free. This method
may take a week or two, but should have good results.
Sugar Wash your face and make a poultice of white sugar with a small
amount of water; dab on the affected area. Sugar has an antibacterial
Sun Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or a sunlamp will help kill bacteria
on the skin and dry up excess oil.
If you have suggestions or know of a proven home remedy add it here in the comment area.
Aloe Use aloe vera juice or gel to counteract infection and
promote healing. Use the ointment on pimples and sores. For
acne scars, using aloe vera juice morning and night for as
long as necessary (perhaps six months or longer) will help
reduce the scars and improve skin complexion and color. It
is drying, so if you have dry skin, use an aloe-based moisturizer.
The pulp of the aloe vera plant is an excellent skin cleanser.
Break off a portion and rub the pulp directly on the skin.
Amaranth Make a tea from amaranth seeds and use as a face
wash. To make the tea bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil,
add 2 teaspoons of seeds, cover and simmer for five minutes;
remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of leaves (if available)
and steep for 30 minutes.
Basil To treat affected area, obtain a basil-based oil from your
health food store and apply it as directed. Another way is
to get the actual herb and make an infusion. To make an infusion,
put two to four teaspoons of dried basil leaves in a cup of
boiling water, steep for 10 to 20 minutes, cool, and apply
to the acne.
Burdock The herb burdock (Arctium lappa), is effective in treating
acne and is the most important herb for treating all forms
of chronic skin problems. To make the tea, bring 1 quart of
water to a boil, reduce to simmer, add 4 teaspoons of cut,
dried root; cover and let simmer for 7 minutes, then remove
from heat and let steep for 2 more hours. Use as a skin wash.
Calendula can be made into tinctures, lotions and creams. Look for products
containing this herb. Make a tea of calendula and wash your
oil derived from the leaves of the native Australian Melaleuca
alternifolia tree contains antiseptic compounds that are a
very effective skin disinfectant. Depending on severity, use
5-15% solutions twice daily. It is as effective as 5% benzoyl
peroxide and is less drying, although it may take a little
longer to work.
hazel In the morning wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
If you have oily skin, rub a cottonball saturated with witch
hazel over your entire face. It is an astringent and will
help dry the skin and shrink the pimples. Next, spread a thin
coat of a 2% salicylic acid product (found in drugstores)
over your whole face. Its deep penetrating action will help
unclog oil-clogged pores. Repeat the cleansing and witch hazel
steps, then dab 2.5% benzoyl peroxide over the entire face
to kill bacteria.
If you have suggestions or know of a proven herbal remedy add it here in the comment area.
Since diet plays such a large part in acne problems, the first
step to alleviate the problem is to make the necessary dietary
changes. Without doing this, your chances of improvement are
As with any wellness program, we suggest drinking six to eight
glasses of water daily. This will aid your body systems in
functioning properly, especially your skin (your largest organ)
for acne sufferers.
A high-fiber diet of whole grain breads and cereals, bran,
legumes (beans, lentils and split peas) and lots of fruits
and vegetables is a good way to minimize eating the wrong
foods. Often skin problems are rapidly improved when more
fiber is added to the diet.
Reduce your consumption of junk food and limit your total
fat intake to no more than 20% of calories. Cut out hydrogenated
Eliminate sugars. Skin glucose tolerance is significantly
impaired in acne patients.
Reduce (or eliminate) milk consumption. The hormones contained
in milk can aggravate acne.
Avoid chocolate, tea, and coffee.
Avoid foods containing trans fatty acids, as noted above under
Avoid fried foods.
Eliminate sodas and artificial sweeteners.
Eat foods with zinc to get enough to satisfy the remedy listed
below. Foods containing zinc include oysters, herring, wheat
germ, sesame seeds, liver, soybeans, sunflower seeds, egg
yolk and lamb.
Acidophilus Take acidophilus either in capsule or liquid form
2-3 times a day.
yeast tablets taken after every meal has worked for some people.
It contains chromium which is an essential mineral involved
in the processing of sugar. Take 2 teaspoons of brewer's yeast
(GTF or glucose tolerance factor) will aid in glucose tolerance.
This will be especially beneficial for those with sugars-induced
acne. Take 400 mcg of chromium. ChromMate® is very bioavailable.
fatty acids (EFAs) are composed of linoleic and linolenic
fatty acids and should be taken to help reduce or eliminate
inflammation. Individuals with acne are often deficient in
these important nutrients. The omega 6 fatty acids are found
in evening primrose oil (take 500 mg three times daily), black
currant seed oil, and borage seed oil. A tablespoon of fish
oil daily will be helpful. Pure cold-pressed flaxseed oil
is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
helps boost the potency of vitamin E when the two are taken
together. Take 200-400 mcg. per day. People with severe cases
of acne have been found to be deficient in selenium. A multi-vitamin
with all the antioxidants should have sufficient selenium.
A will help reduce sebum production and is important in maintaining
healthy skin. Take 10-15,000 I.U. (not beta carotene) and
400 I.U. of vitamin D daily. For severe cases of acne you
may need to increase the intake to 25,000 I.U., but do this
only with medical supervision as it may cause side effects.
B-complex Take a B-complex supplement daily.
B5 (pantothenic acid) has been used successfully in China.
Dosage is 10 grams daily (divided into 2.5 grams doses) plus
a cream containing 20% pantothenic acid by weight, applied
four to six times daily. After 2-3 days there was a dramatic
decrease in the amount of oil secretion, and the acne was
brought under control in a few weeks' time. Severe cases needed
15-20 grams of pantothenic acid daily, and the time needed
was up to six months.
B6 will help restore normal hormone balance, especially testosterone
and estrogen, which contribute to flareups. Take 50 mg three
times per day. Women should start a week before menstruation
and continue for a week afterward, as a minimum; daily would
E boosts the effectiveness of certain enzymes (glutathione
peroxidase) needed for good skin health and enhances the absorption
of vitamin A. Take 400 IU per day. It is more effective when
taken with selenium.
an essential mineral, is more effective than antibiotics for
wound healing, inflammation control, tissue regeneration and
healthy skin in general. To see results you may have to take
zinc for one to two months, and it should greatly reduce the
recurrence of acne once the body chemistry is in balance.
Zinc may be used topically or take 50 mg with each meal. Zinc
picolinate is readily absorbed. If you don't see any results
after a month or so, increase the level to 100 or even 150
mg with each meal. You should have very positive results within
three months. Many teenage diets are high in the junk food
category, which is very low in zinc. Consult your physician
before taking more than 15 mg of zinc per day for an extended
period of time, as it may interfere with the absorption of
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