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Acne Medication and Treatment

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This most common skin condition affects 85% of all Americans at some time in their lives and along with the condition, comes embarrassment and a feeling of helplessness when faced with it. Together with other chronic diseases – diabetes, heart disease and obestity – acne is primarily a disease of the western world and there is a reason for this.

Acne vulgaris is the name given to common acne and this is one of the most likely skin condition to affect teenagers. Acne is a disorder of the sebaceous glands so that when these glands lubricate the skin and become blocked, bacteria overgrows and causes skin blemishes. Acne is characterized by the appearance of pimples, scaly red skin, whiteheads, blackheads and more.

The number 1 cause of acne is thought to be diet. While the spread of bacteria and the inflammation leads to acne, diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates are the cause. The simple fact of changing to a low-grain or no-grain diet is almost certain to clear up your skin. This is good news because often medical practitioners will prescribe antibiotics for acne but these will exacerbate any bacterial growth. Propionibacterium acnes is the name of the bacteria that lives in the skin and is a major cause of acne.

The skin is yet another organ that is used to excrete waste products and with some, acne is a tool whereby your skin gets rid of such waste products often caused by the body trying to get rid of something. Dairy products in some people can actually promote acne.

If medications used to treat acne fail and the acne keeps reappearing, often the acne will be labelled as chronic. The treatments could be failing because the real cause of the acne is not being addressed. Unfortunately, often the medications prescribed are ineffective or even potentially dangerous, so that when the acne keeps on appearing, stronger and stronger medications are suggested in the hope of finding a possible solution.

The main types of conventional acne medications include:

  1. Topical treatments such as lotions, creams and gels which are either available over the counter or prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist.
  2. Oral antibiotics (tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, and erythromycin) usually prescribed when topical treatments listed above fail.
  3. Accutane (isotretinoin) and its generic equivalents which are highly controversial and potentially dangerous and yet still prescribed for severe acne cases. Side effects include depression, the risk of suicide, inflammatory bowel disease and birth defects if taken during pregnancy. The labelling of Accutane was changed to strengthen the warning about its risk for causing depression. Isotretinoin now has the strongest warning available for any drug category

It is worthwhile to repeat that grains and sugars are the main reason why most suffer from acne whether they are teens or adults. If they can just eliminate grains, sugars, sweets, potatoes and corn, they could well find a vast improvement as it becomes difficult for bacteria and inflammation to flourish. There are also foods that are especially helpful for skin health, including berries, citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, fish, almonds, walnuts and leafy green vegetables.

Stress is the second most likely cause of acne. So much so that sufferers need to plan to manage stress in order to prevent acne flare ups by finding ways to eliminate daily stress in their lives. Such a plan would include a healthier diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (including raw when possible), grass fed meat and dairy, free range organic poultry and eggs; plenty of good quality sleep; and regular and active exercise. Finding an enjoyable outlet for relaxing and spending some “me" time is also important to combat stress.

Ensuring sufficiently high vitamin D levels is another natural acne medication to combat acne. Sunlight in the form of UVB light can reduce the risk of acne, killing off bacteria while strengthening the immune system. Without adequate vitamin D, your body cannot control infection, in your skin or elsewhere. The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is to expose as much skin as possible to sunshine between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm for as long as it takes for your skin to turn slightly pink. The darker your skin, the longer exposure you need. If you don't have access to regular UV exposure, the next best thing is an oral vitamin D3 supplement. Testing is the only way to be sure of your levels.

Essential oils and pure ingredients are one of the most effective natural weapons against acne and a natural medication. Spend 5 minutes at least twice a day carefully and gently cleaning your face and always remove all make up with an occasional exfoliating session. Apply your natural skin care products including moisturizer to a warm skin – this increases absorption. Always use pure, safe, natural skin care products such as H-Acne Formula from Healing Natural Oils. Naturally derived topical acne care products are 100% preferable to chemical products since they do not irritate and dry the skin.