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General characteristics

General characteristics

The oil secreting glands of the skin (sebaceous glands) become inflamed and overactive resulting in multiple pustular spots and blackheads. Spots can become infected and result in scarring. It usually occurs in teenagers but it can carry over into adulthood or sometimes arise spontaneously in maturity. It is often of hormonal origin and also linked to poor elimination via the bowel, kidneys and lungs. It is exacerbated by a poor diet high in refined fats and carbohydrates and ‘junk’ food and also by stress. Acne has been called the 'diabetes of the skin' due to the effects that sugar has in its progression.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Whilst in the process of treating the condition avoid fried and oily foods, sugars, dairy, processed juices and drinks and 'junk' food generally. Adopt a wholefood diet based on fresh fruit, vegetables and grains and increase your intake of water.

Try eating 1-2 cloves of raw garlic each evening with food as this really helps increase skin health. Eat foods that are high in Zinc such as pumpkin seeds and shellfish.

It is important not to pick at the spots as this increases the likelihood of infection and scarring.

Avoid using antibiotics (internal and external) as these will alter your gut bacteria and make the problem worse in the long run.

Don't use conventional soaps, lotions, creams or washes as these block the pores and dry the skin, encouraging the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil. Use pure soap instead and rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Avoid covering the skin with make up or foundation or, if you do, make sure you remove it as soon as possible every day, with plain water.

Make sure your bowels are regular and healthy as this takes a burden off the skin.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbs that cleanse the blood and raise the eliminative ability of the body include barberryburdock root, dandelion root, yellow dock root, sarsaparilla, red clover, echinacea, black walnut, blue flag, nettle, wild indigo, birch leaves.

Herbs that act as bitter and digestive aids include barberry, Oregon grape, yellow dock, turmeric, dandelion root.

Herbs that cleanse the lymphatic system include poke root, cleavers, marigold, figwort.

Herbs that work on balancing the hormones include sarsaparilla, saw palmetto, agnus castus, wild yam, damiana.

Herbs that support a stressed out nervous system include skullcap, vervain, chamomile, wood betony.

Add a touch of boneset to any herbal tea mixes to create a cleansing sweat through the skin and to help cleanse the digestive organs.

Comfrey leaf tea can be used as a wash for the skin or as a compress.

Neem leaf has a very good reputation for treating acne.

Drink a couple of cups of slippery elm tea daily.



Natural healing

Natural healing

Try the following recipe for a skin lotion that will cleanse, balance the skins natural oils and, prevent infection and reduce scarring. In a 30 ml base of almond and carrot oils, add 5 drops each of lavender, german chamomile, yarrow, myrrh, palma rosa and bergamot essential oils. Wash the skin with pure soap, pat dry and apply the oil before bed, wiping off any excess. Repeat each night for as long as necessary.

A glass of fresh carrot juice daily stimulates circulation to the skin and digestive system, it is an old beauty trick used to keep skin clear and healthy.

Evening primrose oil helps to balance hormones.

Take a good quality Zinc supplement if you are not eating enough foods containing zinc.

Undertake a gentle bowel cleanse when the time feels right.



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