Acne is the scientific term for what we normally call
pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or nodules that form on the face, chest, upper back or
shoulders. Acne sufferers experience persistent, recurring reddish blemishes on the face,
chest, shoulders, neck, upper back or buttocks. When these blemishes are spots that have a
dark, open center, they are called blackheads. Whiteheads are spots that bulge under the
skin and have no opening. Pimples, on the other hand, are whiteheads that rupture. The
boil-like lumps are called nodules.
Despite the common myth, poor hygiene or poor diet does not
cause Acne. It is believed to be the result of an overproduction of sebum, a waxy
substance that lubricates the skin. The sebum may plug a hair follicle, bacteria grows
inside the blocked follicle resulting in an inflammation. This can result in a pimple, or
in rare cases, a boil or a cyst. Acne is an outbreak of many pimples, blackheads, etc.
Treatments for Acne:
If you have a persistent, uncontrollable acne, see a
A prescription drug called tretinonin, a derivative of Vitamin A, alters the growth of oil
glands. It can dry up current pimples and prevent others from forming. Unfortunately, it
also has an uncomfortable, burning or drying sensation.
For inflamed acne, your dermatologist may prescribe
For out of control acne, your doctor may prescribe a drug
called isotretinoin (Accutane). It is one of the most potent acne remedy and can, in some
cases, virtually eliminate the problem. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most
hazardous. Use of this drug may result in itching, headaches, muscle pain and hair loss.
It may cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. So, it is only used when nothing
else works. In order to minimize the problems cause by this drug, researchers are now
testing preparations that can be locally applied at the affected areas, so as to minimize
Care for Acne:
- Wash the affected area twice a day with mild soap. Use soap
such as Dove, or one that contains benzoyl peroxide, such as Oxy-5. Wash as often
necessary to keep the area clean. Do not scrub.
- Shampoo the hair regularly.
- Keep long hair off the face and shoulders and wash it daily.
- Avoid shaving as much as possible; when shaving take care to
avoid nicking the pimples. Use a fresh shaving blade to minimize the chance of spreading
- Avoid use of make-up or cosmetics in areas prone to acne. If
you have to wear make-up, use only the hypoallergenic or fragrance free kind.
- Don't pop, pick, scratch, or squeeze your pimples. This may
cause infection and scarring.
- You may use an over-the-counter treatment that contain
substances such as benzoyl peroxide (gel or cream) or salicyclic acid. Start with the
lowest strength and apply once a day about half an hour after washing. It may take several
weeks to work. Never use more than 5 percent strength without consulting a physician.
Call Your Doctor When:
- If the acne does not get better after two to three months of
- You have a large number of pimples or you have signs of
- If your skin is abnormally flushed around your cheeks or
nose, you may have rosacea.
Medicine for Acne:
- Black currant seed oil or evening primrose oil, three
500-milligram capsules a day daily for three months or until your acne clears up.
- Herbalists also may recommend echinacea, calendula, tea tree
oil, and goldenseal. Drinking a tea made with a combination of nettles and cleavers
tincture may be effective for acne.
- If stress is a contributory problem for your acne, try
relaxing with a cup of tea made from lavender or chamomile.
- Chinese herbs cnidium seed and honeysuckle flower are
prescribed by Chinese herbalists.
Caution: Under no circumstances, do not
use any herbal preparations to newborns without consulting your qualified practitioner.
Nutrition Recommendations for Acne:
Most doctors now believe that acne is not a food related
problem. Some alternate practitioners use diet as a basis for their treatment of acne.
Eat foods high in beta carotene, such as carrots, pumpkin,
cantaloupe and other yellow-orange fruits and vegetables.
Therapy for Acne:
Nutritionists generally suggest:
- 30 - 50 mg Zinc supplement daily - Zinc may help contribute
to reducing the inflammation and heals the damaged skin.
- Chromium supplements - Chromium helps boosts the body's
ability to break down glucose.
- Vitamin A - reduces sebum and keratin production. (Caution:
taking mega doses of Vitamin A can cause headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and
other side effects. Consult a qualified practitioner before taking mega supplements)
- Vitamin E - an antioxidant (200 to 400 IU a day)
- Vitamin B-6 50 mg per day. This vitamin aids in the
metabolism of hormones
Treatments for Acne:
- In severe cases, you should consult a qualified practitioner
for proper treatment.
- If you have itchy acne, try taking Kali bromatum 6X three
times daily until you notice an improvement.
- If you sweat profusely, and have rough, hard skin, and you
frequently suffer from constipation, take 6X Sulfur 3 times daily.
- If you have pus filled pimples, take a 6X dose of Antimonium
tartaricum, 3 times daily until you see an improvement.
Treatments for Acne:
Acne is believed to be from Pitta dosha aggravation. So,
the treatment includes a diet that includes plenty of bland foods such as oatmeal, apple
sauce, basmati rice and eliminating fried foods, spicy foods and citrus fruits.
Drink a tea made by combining 0.5 teaspoons of cumin,
coriander and fennel in a tea ball and steeping it in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and
drink the tea after breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To cleanse your face:
- Wash your face with chick pea paste (mix one teaspoon of
chick-pea flour with a little water). Dry with a clean towel.
- Apply a paste made by mixing a teaspoon of almond powder
with a cup of goat's milk. Let this paste dry on your face for a few minutes before
washing it off.
- Apply a turmeric-sandalwood cream after removing the mask.
(The turmeric may stain your face yellow, usually this should disappear in about two
Approaches for Acne:
Aromatherapy: Apply a single drop of tea tree oil directly to the blemish after
cleansing. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. It is gentle to the skin and speeds the
healing of blemishes.
Acupressure: Stomach meridian is one of the several energy pathways that govern
the skin functions. Acupressure, when practiced properly, can improve the appearance of
Juice Therapy: Use a blend of one part beet juice, three parts carrot juice and
two parts water to stimulate the liver and to cleanse the system.
Reflexology: Try working the liver, adrenal gland, kidney, intestine, thyroid
gland and diaphragm reflex points on your hands or feet.
Yoga: A series of five yoga poses can help increase blood flow to your face,
flushing away toxins and providing nutrients to your skin. A daily routine of the
following yoga poses are recommended:
standing sun, knee squeeze, seated sun, baby and cobra.