Acne, A profile…

What is it?

Most of us have gone through it.  Blemishes with white tops, whiteheads, and blackheads (acne vulgaris).  In more severe cases, some have to suffer through cyst acne, which sometimes clusters, forms hard, large cores, can fill with fluid, and are painful to the touch (cycstic acne).

How does it happen?

At the base of the hair follicle are sebaceous glands.  Acne forms when the glands produce too much sebum.  Sebum is normally excreted through the pores to keep skin moisturized and healthy.  If the pores are clogged, the sebum backs up and forms plugs.  Acne tends to show up on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest.

There are many factors that can cause a breakout:

  • Hormone imbalances
    • Adolescence
    • Menstrual periods
    • Menopause
    • Pre-Menopause
    • Pregnancy
  • Emotional stress
  • Clothing on skin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cosmetics, but not all of them.
  • Contraceptives
  • Heredity
  • Certain foods and food allergies
    • There are some that would argue this and say it is a myth, but there are doctors that say that certain foods can cause breakouts.
    • You need to find these as they are different for each person.

What Can I Take?

Here are some supplements you can take to help clear up and manage the acne.

  • Vitamin A
    • Beta Carotene is recommended
    • 25,000 IU daily until an improvement
      • drop to 10,000 IU when a difference is noted
    • Women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, shouldn’t go over 5,000 IU daily
  • Vitamin B6
    • 50 mg each morning
      • To avoid nerve damage, do not take more than 200mg daily for chronic acne.
  • Vitamin C
    • 1,000 mg daily
      • May cause diarrhea, if it does, reduce dose.
  • Vitamin E
    • 100mg daily, but taking a multi-vitamin will keep you from having to buy this supplement.
  • Zinc/Copper
    • 30mg zinc daily
    • 2mg copper only if you’re using zinc for more than a month.
  • Flaxseed oil
    • 1 tablespoon daily
      • You can add it too food.
      • Do not cook with it.
  • Evening Primrose Oil
    • 1,000mg 3x daily
      • 1,000mg Borage oil daily is a good substitution.
  • Any herbs such as Burdock root, Butcher’s Broom, or Chamomile that either purify the blood or sooth the skin will help as well.
  • A combination of Burdock, Chamomile, and peppermint in a tea to be used as an astringent is cleansing and purifying.
  • Tea tree, lavender, Chamomile, and Bergamot essential oils can help to cleanse, and tone the skin.

Can I do anything else?

  • Wash with a mild soap daily
  • Use a light moisturizer after washing your face.
  • Avoid cleansers with high acid content and high alcohol content.
    • These will dry out the skin, causing the sebaceous glands to work harder.
  • Find what foods, substances trigger outbreaks, and avoid them at all costs.
    • Substances can include cleansers your using, moisturizers, etc.
  • Look for hypo-allergenic cosmetics and cleaners.
    • Even these, in some circumstances can cause break-outs.
  • Avoid pinching/picking.
    • I know it’s hard, but it can irritate the skin even further and cause inflammation.

Sources for post:

Reader’s Digest; The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs; copyright 1999

Does Vitamin E Help Acne? | The Acne Zone


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