Natural Treatment of Acne and Breakouts

Acne is one of the most troublesome issues in both men and women. It commonly begins in the teenage years as your hormones change, but can also persist later in life. Some people also experience on onset of acne in their adult life.

Because acne is so cosmetic, it can really bother people and lead to issues with self-confidence. This causes stress which then can further exacerbate the problem. More severe acne can also be quite uncomfortable and can lead to scarring.

 

What causes acne?

Acne is usually a multifaceted problem which is why it can be tricky to pin-point one cause. Most often hormones are involved – acne that begins in the teenage years is due to the fluctuations in sex hormones that occur. Other factors can also be at play, including eating the wrong type of diet, stress and digestive issues.

 

Acne occurrence based on location

From a naturopathic perspective, different parts of the face give clues as to the underlying cause of the breakouts. Breakouts around the mouth and chin-line are usually due to hormonal issues. Breakouts between your brows are normally liver related and the forehead are from digestive toxicity.

 

Can you cure acne naturally?

YES! In our experience acne can be treated very successfully. The key is to uncover all of the underlying causes – usually we find there is more than one factor. For example it is very common for people to have acne that is affected by stress, which disrupts the hormones, but is also affected by diet. If we take a holistic approach to healing the acne both externally an internally then we have an excellent chance of a successful outcome.

 

How do you treat acne?

There are 2 main areas of treatment that need to be covered for the best results. You need to look at topical treatment (your skin care) as well as internal treatment that will address the underlying causes.

 

Topical

What you put on your skin can make a huge difference to your acne. Most people that have had acne have tried everything under the sun – the issue is that most products do not help to balance and heal the skin; rather they are very stripping and encourage scarring. We stock a range of natural and organic skin care lines that are designed to heal your skin and reduce scarring. Rather than using strong antibacterial agents, we recommend cleansers that help to make the skin slightly acidic, which stops bacteria from populating. Organic facials are also a great way to facilitate healing and break up scarring in acne sufferers.

 

Internally

Internal treatment is individualised to suit what is going on for you. Here are some of the ways that our naturopaths may treat acne.

 

Stress management – In nearly all cases of acne there is a stress component. Our naturopaths use herbal adaptogens – herbs that help your body to cope with stress better as well as nutritional support.

 

Hormonal support – We work on helping your body to regulate hormones as well as to detoxify excess hormones that can be causing acne. Our naturopaths can specifically work on issues like PCOS that can contribute to acne.

 

Detoxification – Improving your detoxification pathways always helps with skin conditions. This includes clearing any digestive toxicity, improving your liver function so it can eliminate hormones properly and using herbal medicines that help to purify the blood.

 

Sebum control – For cystic acne working internally on sebum control can be very effective. Our naturopaths use specific nutrients that help to reduce the production of excess sebum as well as herbs that remove congestion in the skin to prevent blind pimples.

 

Digestive support – It is important to clear any constipation as this can lead to more toxins building up in the system. Our naturopaths also look at your levels of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut as this can impact your skin as well.

Most people need a combination of these approaches to fix their acne. Our naturopaths are experts in finding the underlying cause of acne and will be able to give you an idea of what might be the issue after your initial consultation.

A multi-faceted approach is needed to stop breakouts.

 

How long does acne take to treat?

Unfortunately acne is not a quick fix and most patients find that they need a good 6-12 months treatment to resolve it. Significant improvements can be made in the first few months though – and often within 4 weeks we have some reduction in severity. Combining the naturopathy with our recommended skin care regime can take the severity down a notch pretty quickly.

 

Can acupuncture help acne?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is another way that you can treat acne. Acne treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective is quite different to a naturopathic approach – it will depend on the type of acne, location as well as your concurrent symptoms as to what your TCM diagnosis will be. Acupuncture should still also be combined with a good topical therapy for best results.

If you’d like more information about how we can help your skin or would like to make an initial appointment, please call us on 07 3367 0337.

 

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Heat Therapy – How To Get Best Results

Posted by chiropractor Dr. Craig Buscomb.

The ice and heat debate is a never ending discussion.  Depending on what book you read or who you talk to, you will get different answers as to what is best and how to use them effectively.  Here is my take on heat therapy.

Heat therapy can have numerous benefits and has long been associated with comfort and relaxation.  However, it can provide both pain relief and healing benefits for injuries.  Heat is best used for sub-acute and chronic or long term conditions.

So how does it work? 

Heat therapy can help provide relief through several mechanisms:

Heat therapy dilates the blood vessels in the area.  This process increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and washes away the toxin build up, helping to heal the tissue and reduce pain.

Short term heat application will only penetrate a few mm’s.  Deeper tissue reactions are due to local reflexes and require more than 15 minutes of heat.

If mild heat is used it can decrease sensation of sensory nerve endings.  This means that applying heat to the area will decrease the transmission of pain signals to the brain and help relieve the discomfort.

Heat application also facilitates stretching the soft tissues around the spine, including muscles, connective tissues and adhesions.  As a result of this, there will be a decrease in stiffness as well as pain, with an increase in flexibility and overall feeling of comfort.

How to use heat therapy effectively

My suggestion for using heat therapy is to have a good heat source like a wheat bag, hot pack or a heat lamp.  My favorite thing to use is a wheat bag for its ease of use and safety (if you follow the instructions and heat it correctly).  If you are using a microwave to heat a wheat bag, make sure you put a cup of water in the microwave to avoid overheating the wheat.

When applying the heat I have found short bursts tend to work more effectively from a physiological perspective.  Apply the heat for 20min (to make sure it penetrates deeper tissues) them remove the heat for approximately 40 min before re-applying for a further 20min.  These short bursts will help bring two big rushes of fresh oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to the area to help speed up the healing process.  You can leave the heat on for longer, but applying it this way will give you the best physiological response.

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