Holistic Acne Treatment
Though there is no cure for acne, treatment options are plentiful, and range from oral antibiotics to natural oils. If you don't want to use harsh, chemical-filled lotions and gels, you can try the holistic approach. Keep in mind that many of these holistic acne treatments have not undergone extensive clinical trials to determine their efficacy. Talk to your dermatologist before trying any of these treatments.
Tea Tree Oil
According to Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson of the Mayo Clinic, a 5 percent concentration of tea tree oil has been shown to be as effective in fighting acne as a 5 percent concentration of benzoyl peroxide, which is one of the most potent acne-fighting medications available. Tea tree oil can be found as an active ingredient in gels, creams and lotions. According to the EBSCO Complementary and Alternative Medicine review board, one randomized, double-blind study found that tea tree oil used by people with mild to moderate acne was effective in reducing the number and severity of blemishes as opposed to a placebo.
Dr. Gibson also advises taking zinc supplements as a holistic approach to fighting acne. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, zinc can play a significant role in reducing the occurrence of blemishes. According to the EBSCO Complementary and Alternative Medicine review board, one double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that 30 mg zinc supplements taken daily resulted in subtle overall improvement in acne, though it was not as effective as antibiotics.
Another natural acne-fighting option is glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane and can found as an active ingredient in many pimple creams. Glycolic acid is especially effective in treating blackheads and whiteheads because it penetrates deep into pores to remove dirt, oil and dead skin cells. Glycolic acid is mildly irritating and may cause redness and peeling of the skin.
Despite the various studies, there is still not enough clinical evidence to conclusively recommend these holistic remedies as effective acne treatments. Always consult your dermatologist or personal doctor for advice before beginning any holistic acne treatment regime. A medical professional will be able to give you the best acne treatment information based on your individual needs.
Tea tree oil is generally considered to be safe to use on the skin, but it has the potential to lead to severe allergic reactions in certain users. Pregnant and nursing women, young children, and people with liver or kidney disease should avoid using tea tree oil. Taken orally, tea tree oil can be toxic.
Dosages of zinc higher than 30 mg may be extremely toxic, especially when taken on a daily basis. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist regarding a safe dosage.
Glycolic acid has mild side effects of irritation and redness, but if irritation persists or becomes bothersome, discontinue use and consult a doctor.
Essential oils, herbs and supplements can react negatively with various other drugs. Always exercise caution and confer with your doctor before taking zinc or tea tree oil with other medications.
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