Herbal Healing: Acne

Acne a skin problem, characterized by the presence of blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples that blocks the pores of the skin, it does not result from dirty skin. It occurs when increased production of the male sex hormone testosterone stimulates the skin to produce vastly greater quantities of sebum, or oil. This hormone also stimulates the cells lining the hair shafts to produce keratin, a tough protective skin protein that can block the passage of sebum from the pores. The testosterone byproduct dilhydrotestosterone thickens the skin and toughens its underlying tissues. There are other factors that can contribute to development of acne that include heredity, stress, oily skin, and overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans. Acne lesions can progress to become nodules, which are tender accumulations of deep pus in the skin. Acne can also cause cysts, nodules that fail to drain, and pustules, which are deep seated infections that break down the soft tissues below them. If cysts or pustules left untreated or broken open they can lead to scarring and pitting.  A form of acne called, ance vulgaris ( Latin name common cane ), is most common during puberty, this is the stage of life which the body creates the most testosterone, which is heightened during puberty in both boys and girls. There are significant differences in males and females in the amount of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone produced, since males have significantly higher levels than females. As hormone levels stabilize after adolescence acne also diminishes. Adults can still have flare ups, for females these are often triggered by premenstrual release of another hormone, progesterone,. Oral contraceptives contain progesterone, the use of birth control pills can also cause outbreaks, and can steroid treatment in men. The conventional medical treatments for acne include antibiotics and large does of vitamin A. But each of these has a drawback, taking antibiotics are only effective if taken for a long period, and leads to digestive disturbances among other problems.Vitamin A supplements are safe when used as prescribed, but can cause liver damage in overdoes and birth defects if there is a unexpected pregnancy. Isotretinoin ( Accutane ) is a drug prescribed for severe acne, causes miscarriage, and multiple birth defects if taken during pregnancy, as well problems affecting the liver, intestines, eyes, ears, and skeletal system. Herbal treatments do not carry these risks. Some herbs for acne are applied externally, others herbs and herb formulas are taking internally. Beneficial herbs externally are Calendula creams, Lavender plus water as a cold compress 2-3 times a day relieves pain and inflammation, tea tree oil is a antiseptic, walnut leaf apply 2-3 times a day is a astringent that protects skin against allergens and infection, which hazel a antibacterial and astringent that stops oozing.

Precautions for the use of herbs are, if you are allergic to celery or thyme you should not use tea tree oil products, do not use barberry, coptis, goldenseal,Oregon grape if you are pregnant or have gallbladder disease , do not use goldenseal if you have cardiovascular, glaucoma disease. do not use echinacea if have autoimmue disease as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, HIV, tuberculosis.


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