Natural Acne Treatments - Part 1
by our Health Coach

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and is on display for the world to see at all times. Obviously we want it to look its best at all times, but for 80% of people between the ages of 12-35, acne makes that difficult to some extent. Acne Vulgaris - also known as common acne - is the most common skin disease today; it affects about 80 million people in the US and Canada.

Acne is a common inflammatory skin disease characterized by the blemishes that occur due to clogged pores. Although it is not dangerous, it can cause low self-esteem and emotional distress when the skin is unattractive or disfigured. At its most severe, acne can lead to permanent scarring; and even less harsh cases of acne can cause scarring.

It is most common during puberty, when hormones are produced in abundance, stimulating the production sebum, which is an oily skin lubricant. When oils are trapped in the pores, it causes blemishes. It is not fully understood why this process happens in one sebaceous gland rather than another. There are four types of blemishes:

  • Pimples or zits are pustules that occur when the walls of the blocked follicle rupture. Oil, dead skin cells and bacteria from the skin surface get into the skin and irritate it, forming small areas of inflammation.
  • Blackheads appear when skin pigments mix with sebum to block the pores close to the surface of the skin, blackheads appear. Because they are exposed to the surface, blackheads don't usually become inflamed. Blackheads are dark because of the skin pigments, not dirt, in the pores.
  • Whiteheads occur when scales below the skin's surface are filled with sebum. With no path to drain, the oil accumulates in the skin, causing small white or flesh-colored bumps. Unlike blackheads, whiteheads are deeper in the pore and are more likely to lead to pimples.
  • Cysts or nodules are red, inflamed areas that are larger and form deep in the skin, indicating a more extensive infection.

The exact cause of acne is not known, but doctors believe there are many factors that can contribute to acne including:

  • Allergies
  • Candidiasis (overabundance of yeast)
  • Drugs such as steroids and birth control pills
  • Environmental pollution
  • Heredity - studies show that many boys suffering from acne have a family history
  • Hormones - male sex hormones (androgens) rise in both sexes during puberty and can cause sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Oily skin
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress

Acne is a problem that cannot be hidden from the world and its resulting feelings of embarrassment low self-esteem can affect many areas of your life. Most people feel that if they've seen the dermatologist and used the prescriptions, there is really nothing else they can do. But in fact, there is.

There are prescription medications that can be very effective in treating severe acne, but sometimes they have side effects that can continue even after you stop taking them. Natural remedies can also be highly effective in treating acne, and it is possible that all you need is good skin care and proper nutrition.

In this three part article, you will learn several relatively easy things that you can start doing today to help treat and prevent acne. If you stick with it for about a month, you should notice some major differences, whether your acne is mild or severe.

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