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What is a natural acne treatment

By on Nov 16, 2010

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Alternative natural acne treatmentAcne is a very common skin condition that usually affects teenagers at the time of puberty but can also affect adults. It usually affects the face, back and shoulders. The skin eruptions usually appear in the form of spots that are raised and painful. The spots appear as blackheads, whiteheads (small hard lumps with a white centre), pustules (spots with a lot of pus) and nodules (hard, painful lumps under the skin). It is important to look after your body so why not try a natural acne treatment.

There is also the risk of scarring when these spots disappear. Acne is normally causes by hormone imbalances. Sebaceous glands in the skin produce an oily substance called sebum, which helps to protect the skin. Hormone imbalances cause an increase in the production of sebum, which blocks the hair follicles, resulting in the formation of spots and inflammation.  Acne is not only related to hormone imbalances. Other factors that can contribute to acne are nutritional deficiencies, stress, certain medications, a diet high in saturated fat and food allergies. The skin is also a major detox organ, so if the body contains a lot of toxins, this process may also contribute to acne.

It is not surprising that acne is a condition that can affect people both physically and emotionally. Acne on the face can cause a lack of self confidence and low self esteem. This can have a knock on effect in the person’s social and work life. People often give up with over the counter skin creams and washes and are often prescribed long term antibiotics and retinoids which can have harmful side effects. There are however a number of natural approaches to skin health that can help to improve the general health of your skin.

Nutrition is the most important factor in the health of your skin. A diet high in refined sugar, salt and hydrogenated fat can cause and aggravate acne. Processed food can also aggravate acne, as these foods contain very few enzymes and are generally high in sugar and salt. A diet that contains a variety of fibre, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and essential fatty acids will benefit the health of the skin as well as your overall general health. Water intake is very important in maintaining healthy skin. You should aim for between 1 to 1.5 litres per day. Eating a variety of fruit is very important for your skin as they provide a variety of vitamins and have high water content.

Fruits such as papaya, pineapple, grapes, apples and oranges are a rich source of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s). These acids stimulate the removal of dead skin cells that block the oil glands. They are also able help the skin to absorb water and remain hydrated.

The products that you apply to the face and skin can also contribute to the development of acne. Some of these products do not allow the skin to breathe. It is important to wash your face daily before bedtime, to allow the skin follicles to breathe. You should not use normal soap as this can cause dry skin. A good alternative is to put a few drops of lavender oil or tea tree oil into a cup of warm water and apply as a face wash. These essential oils have natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

As stress is a contributing factor in acne, as well as general health, it is important to incorporate some form of relaxation therapy into your lifestyle. This can be in the form of yoga or regular exercise as this movement results in de-stressing and helps the body to detox and flush out toxins.

Supplements

There are several natural supplements that can be taken to help with overall skin health. This should be done in conjunction with and not instead of a healthy balanced diet. Several studies have confirmed the beneficial action of Zinc on acne symptoms. It has been reported that supplementing with zinc is as effective as the antibiotic, tetracycline, in the treatment of acne. Zinc is an important mineral in regulating the glands that produce oil on the skin. A deficiency of the mineral will therefore cause flare ups to occur. Zinc also helps in the healing of skin that has been affected by acne and also helps to prevent scarring. This mineral is also very important for maintaining levels of Vitamin E in the body and helping the body to absorb Vitamin A. Natural sources of Zinc include almonds, peanuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds, corn and mung beans.

Vitamin A and Vitamin E are also important in treating acne. Vitamin A has been reported to reduce the production of sebum. You should be careful not to take high doses of Vitamin A, as it can be toxic in high doses. Vegetable sources of vitamin A are known as carotenes. Foods that contain vitamin A include liver, whole eggs, cheddar cheese and whole milk. Natural sources of carotene are carrots, spinach, sweet peppers, dark green leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin E helps to regulate levels of Vitamin A in the body and is important in maintaining the general health of your skin. Vitamin E is also important in healing and repairing scar tissue. Vitamin E is commonly found in nuts, seeds, soya and olive oil.

As you can see there are a number of natural approaches to acne treatment that can be effective.

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