The blackheads and sometimes painful pimples that we know as acne occur most commonly during adolescence, but they may persist into later life as well. There is much we still don't understand about what causes acne. We do know that during adolescence and other times of hormonal imbalance, such as around menopause, glands in the skin increase their levels of oil secretions. A combination of naturally occurring yeast and bacteria then breaks down these secretions, causing the skin to become inflamed and the pimples to eventually rupture. In severe cases, acne can lead to permanent scars.
Conventional treatment, which usually is quite successful, consists primarily of oral or topical antibiotics, cleansing agents, and chemically modified versions of vitamin A .
Note : Do not rely on any of the natural treatments discussed in this article to treat severe acne in which scarring is a possibility.
Principal Proposed Treatments for Acne
Several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have found zinc more effective than placebo but less effective than antibiotic therapy.
For more information, see the full Zinc article.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Tea Tree article.
Other Proposed Treatments for Acne
Other commonly mentioned natural treatments for acne include chromium , vitamin E , selenium , burdock , and red clover . There haven't been any well-designed studies examining these treatments, however.
Various herbs and supplements may interact adversely with drugs used to treat acne. For more information on this potential risk, see the individual drug article in the Drug Interactions section of this database.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -