|Photo: Martin Gommel|
Living Free from Acne - Part 1
Most people have had at least a few pimples in their teenage years. But some have to deal with major outbreaks into adulthood, causing long-term emotional and physical scarring. Fortunately, the range of treatments available today means that mild acne can be eliminated and even severe facial scars can be remarkably reduced.
Everyone knows the face must be well and gently cleansed, but there are some strange home remedies (like applying toothpaste to spots) which should probably not be used, mainly because although it’s true that toothpaste can dry out spots, it can also irritate your skin even more. So, using a very gentle cleanser, drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and getting enough exercise to keep stress under control should be the first, fundamental steps to clearing up your skin. Have you reviewed your diet lately? Why not keep a log of everything you eat for the next two weeks? Most people are surprised when they do this.
Next, many recommend topical antibiotic or retinoid ointments. On the naturopathic side of the spectrum of treatments, there are those who recommend “call salts” or “tissue salts”. Advocates of cell salt therapy state that acne can be caused by a deficiency of calcium sulfate. Like homeopathic medicine, cell salts can be obtained in most health food stores quite inexpensively. Nothing is a substitute for proper professional advice, however, and we always recommend that you see a licensed practitioner—after all, it’s your face.
Over 2,000 studies have been done on Aloe Vera, indicating that it has important healing properties for the skin, and is clinically shown to speed healing time of cuts, burns, acne, and other skin problems. Some people with Asian or delicate skin types have reported that Aloe Vera applied while the acne is healing can help to prevent scarring and discoloration. Note that it is important to use Aloe Vera during the healing process, because after pigmentation has altered, Aloe Vera will not reverse the process.
The important thing is, you don’t have to live with acne and acne scarring—whether you choose laser treatment or benzoyl peroxide lotion or more exercise and fresh foods, there are now treatment choices to suit each individual case.