Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands secrete too much oil. Normally the oil flows from the glands to the skin’s surface, but if the dead skin cells accumulate, they can clog the pores.
The skin reflects our internal health. Acne is sometimes an indicator of toxic conditions. Too much waste product in the kidneys, liver, lungs, intestine or digestive problems can all give cause for breakouts. Allergies, high fat diet, emotional problems, pollution… these are all causes.
Most cases of acne will disappear by themselves at the end of adolescence, but if acne persists or becomes severe, it should be treated more aggressively to prevent scarring.
Sudden appearance of acne in adulthood may be a sign of hormonal imbalance or drug toxicity (usually from steroids). Get a medical checkup to rule out these possibilities.
Western drugs, derivatives of Vitamin A, are used to treat acne. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is a topical preparation, while isoretinoin (Accutane) is for internal use. These drugs are safe when used under the supervision of a dermatologist but should not be used casually because they can be irritating and toxic. (Caution: Do not use if pregnant. These drugs may cause birth defects).
Clean the skin regularly with soap and water as well as with the special acne formulas containing benzoyl peroxide. This is an excellent cleansing agent and the active ingredient of many lotions and creams, both over-the-counter and prescription varieties. Benzoyl peroxide may irritate the skin, so it is best to leave it on for only two hours, then wash it off.
Herbs used for general detoxification of the liver and bowels assist in elimination and herbs that increase perspiration through the skin are very helpful in treating acne.
Severe Cystic Acne and Boils
Acne that grows into large groups can form sebaceous cysts, carbuncles or furuncles. Boils can be large and inflamed and can be a sign of a staphylococcus or (staph) infection. Weak immune function, diabetes mellitus, poor nutrition and the use of immunosuppresive drugs are some causes. Boils are often an infection that starts at the hair follicle, inflammation occurs and then spreads.
The bacteria in the pus reacts the same as acne in that it is contagious to the surrounding skin. Staph infection is contagious, can contaminate new skin, causing new boils or enter the bloodstream and spread to other body parts. Without treatment, a boil usually comes to head, opens and drains in 10-25 days.
This is something that should be watched carefully. If nausea, vomiting, fever or infection grows, these are signs that these pus and blood filled boils are not acne, but a bacterial infection. Severe cases require blood test and doctor to prescribe antibiotic, draining incision and bed rest.
Boils are usually treated by lancing the boil to get the pus core out and oral antibiotics are given to get rid of the infection.
Poultices, warm towels on a regular basis will help with pain and drawing it out of skin. Do this 4 times a day for about 20 minutes.
Clean the wound. This is important to prevent infection and to decrease the chance of permanent discoloration, or scarring. Wash the area with soap and water Your own saliva contains many enzymes, which kill bacteria. Use it to clean the area if soap/water are not available. The object is to dilute the bacteria in the wound.
Disinfection is necessary, pour 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into the wound, let it foam up, repeat, and pat dry with a clean piece of gauze or cotton.
Yunnan Paiyao is an excellent Chinese herbal powder, which helps to stop bleeding, close the wound and decreases scarring. This patent formula alone helps the flesh regenerate and prevents blood stasis and infections, which could lead to scarring. It can be used externally and taken internally as well! Excellent treatment for boils and staph infection.
Consider burdock root which is a natural blood cleanser, red clover to cleanse the blood, along with Chlorophyll and garlic, a natural antibiotic. Take additional Vitamins A, C, E, which are powerful anti-inflammatory and Co enzyme Q10, a fantastic antioxidant.
Basil has been shown to kill bacteria on the skin surface. Apply this tincture directly to the skin surface on a compress. This works to kill the bacteria that forms blackhead and whiteheads. It is also possible to steep two to three teaspoons of dried basil in a cup of boiling water. Allow the herb to steep 5-10 minutes or more in order to extract the healing oils from the plant. Then soak a washcloth or compress in the tea and apply to the areas where acne is most present.
Burdock is a tonic herb and has been used in the treatment of skin conditions. Burdock is an herb that boosts immunity and purifies the blood. It’s a traditional liver tonic and a mild, natural diuretic. Burdock’s laxative and diuretic properties help remove toxins from the system.
The Chinese utilize it against tumors, inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections. It is often recommended for dry, scaly skin. You can take burdock in capsule form (follow the directions) or make a acne fighting tea. Burdock root tincture may be taken in 2–4 ml amounts per day. Dried root preparations in a capsule or tablet can be used at 1–2 grams three times per day.
Calendula is a good herbal treatment for the skin, commonly known as Marigold. (It is not a true marigold.) Calendula is a popular ornamental plant. Try washing your skin with tea made from the flowers or taking the tincture orally.
Dandelion is a leading remedy for detoxing the liver. It stimulates the flow of bile, a fluid that aids fat digestion, which is why it’s used for liver and gallbladder disorders. Dandelion has scientifically documented potent diuretic properties. It relieves constipation and eases bloating and swelling. Dandelion should be used for 4 to 6 weeks at a time. For it’s liver benefits dandelion is helpful for acne.
Garlic can be taken internally 2-3 times a day as well as massaging your acne with raw garlic several times a day.
Oregon Grape Root (Berberis aquifolium) has antibiotic properties and helps stimulate the immune system.
Red Clover is an herb suggested for chronic conditions affecting the skin. It is a diuretic, but it’s unknown exactly how it works for skin conditions. Use nonfermented red clover which is safe. Red clover contains a substance called genistein, which has anticancer properties.
Yellow Dock is another herb that purifies the blood. It has compounds called anthraquinone glycosides that stimulate bile production, aiding digestion and cleansing the liver. Some herbalists believe that chronic skin problems like acne improve with long-term use of yellow dock. Don’t take yellow dock if you have kidney stones.
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