Naturopathic Acne Treatment Options

  • Tara Andresen

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Acne is caused by pores that are blocked and often infected. Although acne is common in adolescents, it is appearing more frequently in adults. Naturopathic treatment of acne includes address hormonal as well as dietary factors.

Hormones play a significant role in acne. Sebum is an oily lubricant that is normally produced by the body but with hormonal fluctuations sebum production is increased. Excess sebum production has a more difficult time passing through the glands and as a result hardens and clogs up the glandular canals. As a result a red bump appears on the skin. These clogged pores can become infected, resulting in increased bacteria and yeast overgrowth on the skin. An overgrowth of these organisms causes skin inflammation. Superficial inflammation results in pustule formation and skin redness but inflammation that occurs deeper in the skin can form nodules, cysts and scars.

A key hormone that can causes acne is testosterone in both males and females. Testosterone is converted to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), and elevated levels of DHT is linked to acne formation. DHT can be measured by a blood test that can be ordered by your Naturopath. DHT management, as well as balancing progesterone and estrogen is important in addressing acne in women.

To address these hormonal imbalances, your Naturopath will often prescribe effective herbs and other nutrients that decrease DHT levels and balance estrogen and progesterone.

Food sensitivities also play a role in causing or worsening acne. Sugar encourages sebum production and hydrogenated fats worsen acne. Some foods can result in a delated sensitivity response that triggers acne outbreaks. Dairy is one the most common culprits. In addition, a diet high in carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates can elevate the blood sugar hormone insulin which increases skin inflammation. In general, people with acne should follow a diet that is low in processed foods.

Nutritional deficiencies often need to be addressed to improve acne. In particular, zinc, vitamin A and essential fatty acids. Zinc works to reduce DHT and promote skin healing. Vitamin A works to reduce sebum production. Essential fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil, are helpful for acne by reducing skin inflammation.

To find out more about how a Naturopath treats acne , contact your local Naturopathic Doctor or book your appointment with Dr. Andresen at one of her Toronto Naturopathic Clinics