Acne is caused by the sebaceous glands becoming over excited, getting blocked up, infected and resulting in very distressing pimples popping up all over the place. Much money is spent slathering stuff all over the wretched things in the hope of making them go away and, in the meanwhilst, covering them up. And spots are not only troublesome to the young. They can strike when you are fully adult.
So we go to the doctor who usually starts by prescribing topical anti-biotics. When these don’t work, long term antibiotics can be prescribed which do a little to help, but completely destroy the gut flora – so ultimately make things much, much worse. Things can get even worse as Vitamin A is prescribed first topically where it is very drying on the skin, then orally in the form of Roaccutane. Sometimes Benzoyl Peroxide is prescribed which is also very drying and a free radical. Free radicals cause cancer. Benzoyl Peroxide was used at one time to bleach your hair. The problem with all these things is they don’t get to the cause of the acne.
In fact, spots are the greatest gift you can have. They are so awful that ultimately you are forced to do something about them that actually works. And as a result you get much, much healthier than your non-spotty counterparts.
Spots have several origins: one is a male hormone that stimulates sebum. Two is the GI tract and the spots are a result a slow moving digestive tract, food sensitivities, a lack of beneficial gut bacteria, low stomach acid – or a combination of all these things. The third is a sign of a struggling liver. The final causes strike when suffering from any of the above already, and they are stress, tiredness and sugary foods.
Partly these things are age dependant. When they strike in adolescence or in the menopause, then a major suspect of the cause is that male sebum stimulating hormone. Sometimes drugs are prescribed that suppress it but these were trialled on male pattern baldness and long term side effects are unknown. Natural remedies include zinc, green tea, saw palmetto, B vitamins and GLA (borage seed oil).
For the menopausal woman, the lower production of the female hormones can bring on acne because the female hormones1 counteract the effects of this particular male hormone.
The following couple of blogs on this subject will go into more details about what can be done to improve things.
- particularly estradiol [↩]