Naturopathic Acne Treatment – What to Expect and Why
This article was originally published by FacingAcne.com.
Naturopathic medicine treats acne by treating the root of the issue – not the symptoms. By treating the root causes of acne, future breakouts and flare ups are often times also prevented. Naturopathic medicine for acne treatment can also help heal scarring and present a healthier glowing skin. This treatment along with a balanced diet optimized for skin health should result in smooth acne free skin.
Information Your Naturopath Will Need From You
It’s always a good idea to know what to expect when visiting any medical practitioner. Your first visit will be somewhat familiar to visiting a conventional physician or dermatologist. You will need to have your medical history available, fill out the same basic intake forms and HIPPA agreements as well as answer a a questionnaire specific to the reason for your visit. Unlike a typical doctor visit, your first appointment time might be close to 1.5-2 hours.
The naturopath will take time to find out who you are, what your basic day to day activities and diet are like and to find out about how long you’ve had acne, when it started and what you’ve already tried. A naturopath will dig as deep as they need to get to the root of the acne.
You can also expect to have a blood test run so that the naturopath can see what your vitamin and mineral levels look like. This will also help expose any underlying problems you may have in relation to the acne you are experiencing. They may even expose things like inflammation and infections that have gone undiagnosed.
Visiting a naturopath is quite a unique experience and you will find that you have never felt more secure about your medical treatment. You will probably learn more about your own body and how it is functioning than ever before… including why you have acne!
What Your Naturopath Might Prescribe
Knowing why you have acne and what makes your body function the way it does will give your naturopath the very best idea of what to do to counteract your acne. There are many different types of acne and there are many different ways to treat it. Here are some basic treatments your naturopath might suggest for you to get started on the path of clear skin.
A diet based on whole, unprocessed foods is what’s best for just about everyone, acne or not. The naturopathic physician will encourage you to eat a lot of green vegetables and add some fruits to your diet as well. Of course, removing refined sugars will be suggested. Taking milk and dairy products out of your diet will lower your intake of tran-fats. This will also mean cutting out fried foods, margarine and other hydrogenated vegetable oils and hydrogenated oil products.
As with any reduced diet, they’ll probably suggest you increase the amount of other foods such as those containing Omega-3 fatty acids. Using ground flaxseed in cooking, or whole flaxseeds on salads, increasing healthy dark meat fish such as salmon and sardines will help balance your dietary needs.
Your naturopath will of course tell you to cut out all those yummy junk foods and carbonated drinks as well but as an acne sufferer you probably already have!
Once the naturopath has looked at your test results as well as your lifestyle and dietary choices, they will then be able to more accurately pinpoint the cause of your acne and begin treating it. Here are some things to expect once this process is complete.
Herbs and Minerals
Herbs such as garlic, amaranth, aloe, lemon, coriander, basil, cucumber, grape, chickpea and beet might be a part of the herbal supplement prescribed by your doctor. All of these herbs have different properties that help reduce, heal and prevent acne. Each of the herbs must be harvested correctly and measured specifically to work correctly so don’t try to mush these all together and make tea! Let your naturopath formulate the best recipe for you.
Zinc is very often used in treating acne and your naturopath will probably suggest a supplement of this as well. By taking Zinc supplements, inflammation and infection are reduced and beautiful glowing skin is given a chance to emerge as a result.
It seems as though tea tree oil is being used for everything from cleaning to shampoo. Well, that’s because it works! Tea tree oil is an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and is great for sensitive skin as it’s also hypoallergenic. It’s great for acne patients in every aspect and when compared to patients who used benzoyl peroxide for the same duration as those who used tea tree oil, side effects were much less seen in the tea tree oil users. Also, using fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules internally helped to improve Omega-3 fatty acids. That increase helps you to be healthier throughout your entire body and also results in great skin texture, tone and uniform color.
Don’t forget the ever important Vitamin E oil. Topically this oil will promote healing and smooth, unscarred skin. Taken internally, Vitamin E will help with creating a beautiful glow for your skin and adds the benefit of stronger nails and shinier healthier hair!
Yes! Believe it or not, acupuncture helps the redness and other inflammatory side effects of acne. It can also reduce the size and duration of pimples. The best part of this cosmetic acupuncture procedure is that it’s only needed in the ear area.
Acne is very connected to stress. Reducing stress is one of the hardest things to do in this day and age with all of the hustle and bustle of life in general today. Biofeedback or mind/ body medicine can help with this. Hypnosis and biofeedback combined with cognitive imagery can be very helpful to provide stress free times that will greatly benefit those with stress induced or stress inflamed acne. These bouts of decompressing the body help to align the hormone and immune systems thus relieving inflammation.
Biofeedback in itself is a technique used to teach the patient to better concentrate and understand how their body is working. Through guided imagery, the patient will learn to understand what the body goes through each time they go from being relaxed to being tensed and stress. This helps the patient to better manage their stress outside the office and in their personal life.
Many homeopaths have great remedies for acne. Your naturopath might suggest a specific homeopath in your area to visit. These professionals work with herbs and essential oils and are very knowledgeable about how these elements work together. They will create the perfect formula for the type of acne you have. A lot of commercial skin care products (Think Proactive acne treatment) and even acne medications are based off these formulas.
For the best results when seeing your naturopath, remember to be open and honest. The best treatment for you is based off of the information you give your naturopath. With a great diet, a healthy balance of exercise and stress reducing activities and your naturopath’s prescription, you should see great results and clearer skin.
Learn more about Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.