Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Acne

Acne: "In most people acne is more of an annoyance than a calamity, although rare forms of it can cause serious disfigurement and scarring.

Acne is the result of overactivity of oil glands in the skin, usually because of increased hormonal activity in adolescence. It is a very common disorder of the skin of the face, shoulders and upper back, worse in males than in females. Infection is not the primary cause, and long-term treatment with tetracycline and other antibiotics should be avoided.

Diet is also not the major determinant of acne, but it is important to avoid high-fat foods and iodine (found in shellfish and iodized salt). 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. Do not use any skin products containing oils or dyes.

A good herbal treatment for the skin is calendula, commonly known as pot marigold. (It is not a true marigold.)

Calendula is a popular ornamental plant that you can buy for your garden at most nurseries in the spring. Its bright orange flowers can be made into tinctures, lotions and creams. Try washing your skin with tea made from the flowers, or buy ready-to-use calendula skin products at health-food stores. 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. Highly effective drugs, derivatives of vitamin A, are available.

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. Some very good Chinese herbal treatments for acne are available, both topical preparations and pills. 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. "

more info at www.dreddyclinic.com/

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