Acne has plagued most of us at one time or another and although it is more prominent in men, women of all ages can be affected. In women, acne often coincides with the menstrual cycle and can occur after the time of ovulation, when progesterone is high.

Although, the exact cause of acne has not been determined, there are some key factors that contribute to the condition, including heredity, oily skin, androgens, stress and allergies.

The skin is the body's largest organ and plays a major role in ridding the body of toxins. When there are too many toxins for the kidney and liver to process the skin takes over and releases the toxins through sweat. This can disturb the skins healthy integrity and can be a contributing factor to many skin disorders including acne.

Clogged pores mean the skin cannot breath. If the sebaceous glands, which lubricate the skin, become clogged, a break out can occur. Usually this does not mean the pores are dirty, but rather that oil from the glands has created a sort of stickiness, blocking the pore, eventually causing an inflammation. Dirt, dust, pollution, and certain makeup and skin care products can also increase the possibility of blockage.

It is important to keep the skin clean, however, over washing or rubbing can increase irritation. Be sure to use a cleanser with the proper pH level. The skin is usually 4.5 to 5.5 pH. If a product is too high in pH or alkaline, it can cause the problem to escalate.

Supplements that can help prevent or treat the skin when a breakout occurs are:

-Chromium picolinate - aids in reducing infections of the skin.
-Essential fatty acids (see Melt issue 3) - i.e. Evening primrose and flaxseed oil aid in keeping the skin smooth and frees pores of fatty deposits.
-Zinc - helps healing and scar prevention.
-Garlic - boosts immunity and helps destroy bacteria.
-Potassium - deficiency has been associated with acne.
-Vitamin A - helps strengthen skin's tissue.
-Vitamin E - an antioxidant (see Melt issue 2) enhances healing.
-Chlorophyll - aids in cleansing the blood.

Steaming the face with lavender and strawberry leaves or the use of a poultice made with chaparral, dandelion and yellow dock root can also be helpful. The poultice can be applied directly to the acne. If steaming is desired, it is best to do it when skin is not inflamed, as it can aggravate the condition.

Before you begin taking any supplements it is recommended that you consult you doctor or pharmacist to avoid creating unnecessary side effects.


This article is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical advice if you have any concern about your health or physical condition, and you should always consult your physician before following the recommendations presented here.



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© Melt Magazine 2001