Skin eruptions on the face, back, and elsewhere on the body. The eruptions, which can be blackheads, whiteheads, inflamed pustules, sacs, or cysts, occur when hair follicles from the sebaceous glands become blocked and infected. The infection can cause the pores to become permanently dilated or even lead to scarring.
What is Acne?
From Modern Western Medicine
About 80 percent of teenagers suffer from some degree of acne. The ostensible cause appears to be an increase in androgens, or the male hormone, which in turn produces an increase in sebum, a fatty, waxy substance designed to keep the skin supple and healthy. The sebum can block pores and lead to acne.
Acne can be made worse by some drugs, including corticosteroids and androgens, which increase production of oil by the sebaceous glands. Cosmetics and skin contact with oils or grease can also block pores and cause acne.
There is no scientific evidence supporting the widespread belief that diet can either promote or prevent acne. The American Medical Association (AMA) maintains that there is “little point in avoiding sweets such as chocolate,” at least insofar as acne is concerned. Frequent washing of the face does not prevent acne, but might keep it from spreading, says the AMA.
Common treatments include topical skin ointments, antibiotics, and ultraviolet light. For very severe acne, retinoid drugs are prescribed by a medical doctor.
From Traditional Medicine
People living on the traditional human diet, composed chiefly of unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, beans, fish, and low-fat animal products, experience little or no acne. Traditional medicine has maintained that acne is the result of overly acidic blood, brought about by a wide variety of lifestyle factors, including eating refined foods, excessive amounts of dairy products, high fat and cholesterol, sugar, chocolate, and other sweet foods. Dairy products, especially when they are combined with sugar, as in ice cream, have a particularly deleterious effect on the skin because they contain sugar (lactose, plus the sugar they are often combined with), protein, and fat.
Other factors that lead to acne are poor elimination, especially from the large intestine, and weak blood-cleansing organs, particularly the kidneys. Certain dietary deficiencies may also contribute to acne. (See Supplements listed below.)
Foods to Eat
- Green vegetables (at least two servings per day)
- Carrots (five servings per week)
- Celery (three to five servings per week)
- Fish (cold-water ocean)
- Whole grains, especially brown rice and millet (daily)
- Vegetable juices: carrot, lettuce, nettle, watercress (at least four times per week)
- Cold-pressed, unsaturated, raw oil in small amounts. Make salad dressing with lemon juice.
Foods to Avoid
- Anything fried
- Dairy foods, especially dairy desserts containing sugar
- Nut butters
- Citrus, except a little lemon juice on salad
- Canned and refined foods
- Refined grains, such as white flour products
- Caffeinated drinks
Herbs for Acne
- Tea made from sassafras, dandelion, and/or burdock seed, combined or used individually
- Mix together:
2 parts red clover
1 part echinacea
1 part nettles
1 part burdock root
1 part dandelion root
½ part licorice root
½ part ginger
Powder herbs and put into #00 capsules. Take 2 capsules three times each day, or make an infusion and drink 1 cup three times a day.
- Externally: make a facial using clay, avocado skins, or raw honey
Homeopathic medicine regards acne as a symptom of fundamental imbalance, so treatment is long-term and constitutional; however, the remedies below may produce improvement.
Take three times daily for up to 14 days:
- Kali bromatum 6c: for itchy pimples, fidgety feet, restless sleep, unpleasant dreams
- Sulphur 6c: for long-standing acne; rough, hard skin; condition aggravated by washing, especially if person tends not to feel the cold and is prone to diarrhea first thing in the morning
- Calcarea sulphur 6c: for blind pimples and weeping pustules that form yellow crusts, slow to heal
- Hepar sulphur 6c: for large pimples that look like boils
- Astimonium tartaricum 6c: for pus-filled pimples
- Silicea 6c: for skin that scars easily
- Wash with warm water two times per day with mild calendula or castile soap. Alternate warm, then cold applications.
- Lemon juice diluted in water may be applied. It has an antiseptic effect.
- Ocean bathing
- Daily skin brush to entire body with loofah or soft-bristle brush.
- Beta-carotene: 15 milligrams (mg) per day
- Vitamin B1: 1.5 mg per day
- Vitamin B2: 1.8 mg per day
- Niacin: 20 mg per day
- Vitamin B6: 2 – 10 mg per day
- Vitamin C (antibiotic, antioxidant, stress reducer): 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 100 – 400 IU per day
- Zinc: 15 mg per day