Acne vulgaris is caused by many factors, ranging from hormonal imbalances, poor hygiene, or synthetic chemical-based cosmetics or skin creams that disrupt the balance of the skin. When oil is overproduced under the skin's surface, and insufficient shedding of dead skin cells collects upon the epidermis, inflammation and eruptions occur. The oil that gets clogged can create cystic blemishes. Among your options for treating acne are herbal remedies. Always talk to a doctor before taking unregulated herb products.
Causes and Herbal Therapy
Cystic acne in adults is likely the result of imbalanced hormones or androgen resistance. In healthy skin, hormones are regulated through the body with ease, processed by the liver, utilized effectively, then eliminated if unused. When hormones become out of balance through a highly processed diet, sleep deprivation, birth control pills, or medications, the skin becomes a primary avenue for reaction.
Maca root can create a very powerful adaptogen within the body. Adaptogens are plant sources that balance endocrine hormones and the immune system. This root vegetable has been scientifically validated through numerous studies. Dr. Beth Ley, Ph.D, writes at www.macasure.com, "One of the most dramatic and noticeable benefits of Maca is a reduction in stress. Maca has a balancing effect on the hormones, and therefore, can positively affect any system in the body that is out of balance." Another writer at the same website, Dr. Harold Clark, MD, states, "I'm amazed at how fast Maca works...within just four days of taking the Maca capsules, my patient went through an enormous turnaround."
Saw Palmetto- The anti-androgen effects of saw palmetto are attributed solely to its ability to suppress the production of DHT from testosterone. Testosterone is a naturally occurring androgen within the body, while DHT is a more potent hormone produced from it, Magdy M, Gynecol Scand 67: 397-399; 1988. Testosterone is converted into DHT through an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase which is effectively inhibited by saw palmetto. Androgen production stimulates sebaceous glands and cause them to enlarge. The androgen-stimulated sebaceous glands produce more sebum and can result in cystic acne.
Diet and nutrition needs must be dealt with first when considering acne. The main minerals that support immune function and wound healing are zinc, which heals tissue and aids in scar healing, and also supports immune function; magnesium, which aids in eliminating unused hormones; and chromium, which is not prevalent in most American diets, and reduces skin infection.
Vitamins are essential for healthy skin. They include vitamin A, of which you should take up to 10,000 IU to successfully combat acne. B-complex helps you to maintain healthy skin tone. Vitamin C is vital because more than 300 metabolic functions depend on it. This bioflavinoid nutrient also has great effects on immune function and wound healing. The majority of vitamin D is obtained through sun exposure. Also, vitamin E is vital to tissue repair and wound healing.
Finally, include cod liver oil in your diet or supplement regimen, as this provides DHA, EPA, vitamin A, and vitamin D, all attributes that heal, strengthen and promote health.
Topical Acne Treatments
Topical applications can be very helpful in camouflaging breakouts and treating them to avoid scars. Among effective topical treatment ingredients is sulfur, which has the ability to promote the shedding of skin cells. Zinc is an ingredient that aids in wound healing and diminishes scars. Vitamin E is vital to tissue repair and wound healing. Organic pH balanced oils such as jajoba, almond, and hemp seed aid in reducing a scar's appearance. Retin-A is a vitamin A derivative that accelerates skin cell production and is used often to treat cystic acne.