This is the most prevalent skin condition in the world and is said to be suffered to some extent by 85% of teenagers (although many adults also suffer from acne too). Whilst nobody likes to be pimply, some cases of acne can be very distressing indeed, often coming at a time when interest in intimate relationships is escalating and one's appearance seems incredibly important.
The cause of acne is mostly hormonal: androgens increase the secretion of sebum to the skin via the follicles. The follicles get blocked by keratin plugs and these form a breeding ground for the bacteria which cause acne. Acne may be mild and pimples may resolve without too much problem, but some cases of acne may be very severe and cysts or boils may form in the skin, which may leave behind a lot of scarring and these may be quite disfiguring.
The traditional orthodox treatment for acne is usually low dose long term antibiotics such as tetracyclines. Sometimes doctors will prescribe Roaccutane, which is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A. Roaccutane is a harsh treatment and is teratogenic (meaning it may cause deformities in a growing foetus) and so pregnancy during this treatment must be avoided at all costs. Antibiotics and Retin A may also be used topically.
Many people with acne use harsh cleansers and alcohol toners on their skin. This may at first cleanse the oil, but the skin's secondary action is to produce more oil to replace what the alcohol has stripped away. This leads to leads to a vicious cycle and more spots in the long term.
The secret is to treat the skin gently. Use Rosa Fina naked beauty nourishing cleansing milk to remove make up and the day's grime followed by Rosa Fina innocence creamy face wash, lathered on and washed off with a warm cotton cloth. The skin should only be toned with cool water or Rosa Fina divine aura facial spritz and patted, not rubbed, dry. Once a week an oatmeal scrub can be used to help remove the Keratin plugs and dead skin cells. A Moisturiser should not be used unless the skin is dry. If a moisturiser is required it should be non-comedogenic (which means that it will not produce blackheads). Rosa Fina joie de vivre face lotion is ideal for this purpose.
If the skin is very oily or prone to scarring Rosa Fina secret essence face & decolletage oil can be used sparingly before bed to normalise the oil production and to fade scarring.
Diet for acne is less important than is sometimes thought. Many people on a healthy wholefood diet have dreadful skin and some with a diet of Coca Cola and chocolate bars have flawless skin. Nevertheless, a good diet is always advisable for the overall look and radiance of the skin. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding trans-fatty acids such as those found in margarines, cheap vegetable oils and biscuits might help. Also ensure the bowels are functioning well so that the body can eliminate toxins effectively. If there is constipation add seeds and nuts to the diet. These will also provide the right sorts of Essential Fatty Acids which may be helpful for the general condition of the skin.
Herbs can be of great assistance in helping to stabilise the skin and cleanse the blood.
Berberis Aquifolium also known as Oregon grape, is a fantastic skin clearing herb and can be taken 30-60 drops per day in tincture form diluted in water.
Agnus Castus is useful for girls with acne who also suffer from PMT or a worsening of their skin symptoms at the menstrual phase. Agnus Castus helps to balance the hormonal levels and can stabilise sebum production. This herb can also be useful for women who develop acne in the menopausal period.
Anyone with severe or cystic acne should seek help from a qualified herbalist.
There are many remedies that may help with acne. If the acne is stubborn or severe I would recommend seeing a qualified homeopath as some deep acting remedies, not available over the counter may be needed. But the remedies suggested below can be tried twice daily in a 6c potency for a month to see if there is any benefit. If benefit is seen continue for another month, if not, try a different remedy.
Silica is a great remedy for acne, especially where the acne mostly affects the cheeks and forehead. There are usually many small pimples, and sometimes larger tender spots that do not come to a head but just stay red and swollen under the surface of the skin. The skin on the back may be affected. In patients requiring silica, the pimples may be slow to heal and there may be a tendency to leave a scar.
Mercurius is useful where the acne is usually rather painful. The skin may be sweaty (often with unpleasant smell) and oily, which may be worse at night, and the acne may form unsightly blemishes.
Kali Bromatum is often useful in puberty. There may be large pustules on the face and other parts of the body. There may also be an underlying guilt about developing sexual urges.
Thuja is often needed when the skin and the hair may be exceedingly oily. There may be a tendency to form blackheads. In more severe cases the acne may be cystic and leave behind quite nasty looking pock marks. This patient may also have been troubled in the past with warts or verrucae.
Sulphur is a good all round skin remedy. The patient needing sulphur is usually very warm blooded. The skin may look very red. The skin may look dirty even after washing, and washing may seem to aggravate the skin, causing more redness. There will be a lot of pimples which erupt very quickly to a pus-filled spot, but will heal up fairly quickly as new ones form.
Pulsatilla is a good remedy for teenagers when the hormones seem out of balance. This may cause mood swings and easy tearfulness. The skin may be worse around the menstrual period. Pulsatilla can also be good for teenage boys, especially when there is shyness, made worse by the appearance of the skin.
Calc Sulph is useful where there is most often an insecurity about the appearance. Pimples and pustules come to a head with yellow pus.
Hepar Sulph is often the remedy where there are a lot of very sensitive spots. They may become large and may also be filled with a lot of green pus. There will be painful crops of spots anywhere on the face, but especially the forehead. This patient may be more prone to chilliness. Sometimes boils will form.