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Whilst most commonly experienced during adolescence, acne is unfortunately not restricted to one’s teenage years. These unattractive spots can present themselves on one’s face or body at any stage of life. In naturopathy we look at the location of the spot to determine the cause. For example, spots that appear on the chin indicate hormonal imbalance whilst spots appearing on one’s back indicate a build up ‘toxins’. There are many types of acne and it is always best to try to determine the cause to ensure that successful treatment can occur.

The body tries to eliminate and ‘purge’ unwanted substances through any eliminatory channel such as bowel material, urine and sweat. In our society we tend to restrict these channels with poor diets, dehydration and sweat-blocking deodorants. As such, it’s easy to understand why one’s skin needs to try to clear the body in any way it can.

Some of the most important strategies one can do are to focus on allowing and encouraging elimination. Simple tactics such as increasing water intake, promoting regular bowel movements and concentrated sweating experiences can assist this process tremendously. These include activities that encourages sweating such as exercise and saunas.

Useful treatments for any type of acne include:

  • Herbal Medicines such as Calendula, Sarsparilla, Nettle leaf, Burdock and Dandelion. For females, Chaste Tree is especially beneficial especially if hormonally triggered
  • Nutritional supplementation such as Zinc, Vitamins A, C, D and E and Essential Fatty Acids
  • Dietary recommendations such as increasing purified/spring water, herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices
  • Lifestyle strategies: Sunlight and warmer weather are fantastic as they promote the skin’s absorption of Vitamin D. Make sure you refrain from picking, squeezing and touching spots unnecessarily as this promotes scarring and repeated infections. Keep skin clean and use natural skincare products/makeup and wash makeup brushes regularly.