Herbal Hormonal Acne Treatment
Hormonal acne -- acne that is triggered by changing hormone levels -- isn't just a teenage problem. It affects adults, mostly women, as well. According to Skin Care Physicians, acne in a woman can indicate underlying medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome. See your doctor immediately if your adult acne is accompanied by excessive facial and body hair, along with thinning hair or bald patches on the head. Some people turn to herbal remedies, such as guggul, for help with outbreaks of hormonal acne. Ask your doctor before using guggul.
Hormonal Acne Causes
When excess sebum, skin cells and bacteria clog skin pores, acne is the result. This process is associated with the fluctuating hormones that occur in puberty; in adult women, acne can flare right before menstruation and during pregnancy and menopause. Another hormone, androgen, is produced by stress; this can stimulate sebaceous glands and trigger acne flares as well. Skin Care Physicians notes that stopping oral contraceptives can cause hormonal changes that trigger acne, and adds that while birth control pills with both estrogen and progestins can be beneficial for acne, pills that contain only progestins may aggravate it. According to The Hormone Help Center, if your hormonal acne doesn't respond to conventional acne treatments, you may need to see an endocrinologist.
Guggul Features and Traditional Uses
Guggul, botanically known as Commiphora mukul and a member of the myrrh family, is a small, thorny plant indigenous to India. Extracts made from the yellow resin residing in the stem of the plant have been used by herbalists and Ayurvedic healers for treatment of arthritis and obesity. Blue Shield Complementary and Alternative Health says that guggul was also used in Ayurvedic healing to treat atherosclerosis and to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Guggul Constituents and Effects
Guggul contains contains resin, volatile oils and gum. Drugs.com, which provides peer-reviewed information to consumers, says that the pharmacologically active components of the plant are guggulsterones and gugulipid. A triterpene in guggul called myrrhanol A has potent anti-inflammatory properties. The website notes that in addition to being used to treat acne, guggul is employed for lowering cholesterol, stimulating thyroid activity, treating obesity and promoting cardiovascular health.
Herbalists often recommend guggul for acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities; University of Maryland Medical Center concurs, stating the herb is used as an alternative acne treatment. There is some scientific research supporting the use of guggul for acne. In a clinical study conducted by D.M. Thappa and J. Dogra and published in the October, 1994 issue of "Journal of Dermatology," gugulipid, an extract of guggul standardized to 25 mg guggulsterone, worked as well as tetracycline in reducing inflammatory acne lesions.
Dosage and Safety
According to Drugs.com, the standard dosage for the treatment of acne is gugulipid, standardized to 25 mg guggulsterone, twice a day for three months. There have been reports of adverse gastrointestinal effects, including abdominal pain, with the use of guggul. Headache, hiccups and rash have been reported as well. Guggul interacts with many prescription medications, including blood thinners and thyroid medications. Ask your doctor before taking guggul for hormonal acne.
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