The sebaceous glands (located in each hair follicle) produce oil (sebum) that lubricates the skin; if some of the oil gets trapped or pores get clogged, bacteria multiply in the hair follicle and the skin becomes inflamed.
Typically, acne appears during puberty, when hormones influencing the secretion of the oil glands are at their peak level of activity. It is more common in males because androgens (male sex hormones) like testosterone stimulate the production of oil, which leads to clogged pores. During puberty, androgens increase in both sexes, making girls in this age range susceptible as well.
Adult-onset acne typically appears in people who are thirty and older. It is often caused by an allergic reaction to food or cosmetics, menstruation or PMS.
Psychological stress may be a significant cause of acne; therefore, all nutrients needed to meet stress should be emphasized. A natural low-fat diet and skin cleanliness together with adequate rest, exercise, fresh air and sunlight, are helpful in treating acne.
Studies have shown that chocolate, fried foods and sugar do not cause acne – hormones do, although these factors can make it worse. Indigestion of too much salt has been shown to cause acne, because of the iodine in salt. Fast foods have been found to contain 30 times the RDA of iodine. Milk is also high in iodine.
Other factors that can contribute to clogged pores include cosmetic products, skin moisturizers, airborne grease and grime from pollution, irritating clothing or hairstyles with long bangs.
Sometimes rashes, allergies and other skin conditions produce eruptions similar to acne. If in doubt, or a painful cyst or nodule develops, consult a dermatoligist.
Vitamin A is especially beneficial for healthy, clear skin. It is also extremely toxic taken in large doses. Taking vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is highly recommended. Take 25,000 to 50,000 IU daily for 1 month, then 10,000 to 25,000 IU daily. If you are pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily.
B complex plus extra B3, B5 and B6 – these nutrients help reduce facial oiliness and blackhead formations.
B complex is important for healthy skin tone.Take 100 milligrams three times daily – high potency formula B complex.
+ B3 improves blood flow to the surface of the skin. Take 100 milligrams three times daily and do not exceed this amount.
+ B5 is the anti-stress vitamin. Take 50 milligrams three times daily.
+ B6 is involved in cellular reproduction. Deficiencies have been associated with acne. Take 50 milligrams three times daily.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids promotes immune function and aids in resisting the spread of acne infection. Take 3,000 to 5,000 milligrams daily in divided doses.
Vitamin D promotes healing and tissue repair. Take 400 IU daily.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that enhances healing and has been found helpful in the prevention of scarring. Take 400 IU daily.
Calcium helps maintain the acid-alkali balance of the blood necessary for a clear complexion. Take 800 milligrams total daily.
Potassium deficiency has been associated with acne. Take 99 milligrams daily.
Zinc is an efficient bacterial suppressor and a necessary element in the oil producing glands of the skin and has been found to be deficient in many who suffer acne. It aids in healing of the tissue and helps to prevent scarring. Take 30 to 80 milligrams daily. DO NOT exceed a total of 100 milligrams daily from all supplements.
Brewer’s yeast stirred into skim milk and accompanied with two lecithin capsules has cleared many cases of acne.
Charcoal – taking two activated charcoal tablets after each meal for 2 weeks, then two tablets daily, thereafter, has accomplished astounding results in clinical tests. DO NOT take for an extended period of time because it can interfere with nutrient absorption.
Chromium picolinate aids in reducing infections of the skin. Take as directed on label.
Essential fatty acids (flax seed oil and primrose oil are good sources) supply essential gamma linolenic acid, needed to repair damaged skin cells and dissolve fatty deposits that block pores. Take as directed on label.
One or two capsules of any of the following herbs can be taken daily, or one or two cups of the tea may be sipped and some of the liquid may be sponged over the lesions for relief: alfalfa, basil, burdock, chickweed, dandelion, echinacea, gotu kola, red clover, saw palmetto, white oak bark, valerian and yellow dock.
Chaparral and comfrey tea are considered excellent facial rinses.
Basil is good for acne and is an immune system stimulant which aids in fighting infection.
Burdock root and red clover are powerful blood cleansers. Milk thistle aids the liver in cleansing the blood.
Lavender oil added to water is used as an astringent for cleansing the face and treating acne.
Poultices using chaparral, dandelion and yellow dock root can be applied directly to the skin with acne.
Tea tree oil is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. Dab full strength (sparingly) on blemishes three times daily with a clean cotton ball. Tea tree oil soap also works well.
Home Remedies For Spot Treatment:
Before bed, apply a coating of milk of magnesia with a clean cotton ball, let dry. A hard paste will form. Rinse with lukewarm water.
An overnight coating of toothpaste is another option.
A spoonful of cornstarch mixed to a paste with rubbing alcohol.
An old-fashioned practice of rubbing lesions with fresh garlic several times a day is believed safe and effective; however, it does have its drawbacks.