About Natural Acne Medicine
Acne is one of the most common skin diseases in the United States, affecting approximately 17 million Americans. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases estimates that 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will develop acne. While there are many ways to treat acne, the natural approach has gained widespread interest in recent years.
The information in this article is not intended to replace consultation with your health care provider.
Acne is the result of clogged pores in your skin. Pores become blocked by sebum, an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands. Our bodies naturally make more sebum when our hormones surge, which is why teenagers are more susceptible to acne breakouts. A bacterium called Propionibacterum acnes also thrives in that oily environment, causing the pore to become inflamed, which is why the pimple can look red and swollen. Sometimes the inflammation penetrates deep into the skin, causing cystic acne.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the more effective natural acne treatments due to its medicinal properties. Tea tree oil is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree and contains a compound called terpinen-4-ol, which gives the oil its antibacterial activity. In an October 1990 study published by "The Medical Journal of Australia," tea tree oil was shown to be just as effective as the topical cream benzoyl peroxide in treating moderate acne. There were also fewer side effects for patients using tea tree oil.
If you're interested in a more holistic approach to treating acne, one which tries to stimulate the body's own natural capacity to heal, you might want to consider consulting a homeopathic or naturopathic doctor. Dr. Darlene Bouchard, a practicing homeopath, said she treats patients as a whole, from head to toe, trying to uncover the deeper cause of the acne. As homeopathy is highly individualized, Dr. Bouchard said she could choose from over 60 different remedies after gathering a patient's complete history. "It's not just treating the acne on its own, but looking at the person from the inside out."
The mineral zinc is commonly cited as a natural acne fighter, and there is limited evidence that it can help reduce the number of inflammatory pimples. In a 2001 study by B. Dreno published in the journal "Dermatology," zinc was found to have a 31.2 percent success rate in the reduction of acne lesions, still significantly lower than the 61.2 percent success rate of the prescription antibiotic minocycline. Several food sources contain zinc, including oysters, red meat and poultry, along with beans, nuts and seafood. Zinc is known to have some side effects, including digestive upset, and can interfere with the absorption of certain medications. If you are considering taking a zinc supplement, consult your doctor.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin care can be as important as medical measures in the treatment of acne. Frequent touching of the skin can make acne worse and cause flare-ups, as can skin care products that contain oil. Look for oil-free products when considering a sunscreen. Popping your pimples will only irritate your skin and could increase the risk of scarring. A non-abrasive, gentle skin cleanser without alcohol is recommended for washing your face.
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