There are many natural remedies that can help improve or even cure acne. Some of these treatments have been shown to be medically proven, such as the acne diet, whilst others such as tea tree oil and zinc tablets can help improve acne on a case to case basis.
The Acne Specialist Clinic acknowledges that natural treatments may work, and endorses dietary changes in the management of acne.
Cases of hormonal acne, or severe acne may not respond to diet changes, and medical therapy maybe indicated.
Specialist Acne Clinics view point on natural acne remedies
Natural remedies have been used for decades in the management of acne, and can be used in conjunction with our medical therapies. We encourage all acne patients to follow the acne diet guide, because at best this can reduce the need to place patients on medication. Some forms of acne, including hormonal acne, and severe acne do not respond well to natural treatments, and medical therapy maybe indicated. In cases of blackhead or comedomal acne, our first treatment preference is actually a natural remedy – AHA chemical peels. Omnilux blue light or red light treatments can be safely combined with AHA peels as part of our Clear Skin Program. This natural therapy is ideal for pregnant women or where other therapies are contraindicated. Acne solutions are always possible.
Absolutely! Over the past few years it has been medically proven that diet can be associated with acne. Eating foods with a low Glycaemic Index (GI) and avoiding processed foods and sugars may decrease your acne count. Note however that diet changes may not be successful in everyone with acne. Patients with hormonal mediated acne, genetic acne and severe acne can respond to diet, however the response maybe minimal.
Yes, AHA or alpha hyproxy acid is a natural fruit acid found in citrus fruits and can be an excellent method of treating certain forms of acne, including white and black head acne. Natural chemical peels with AHA fruit acids exfoliate the upper layers of skin, unclogs pores and can kill bacteria associated with acne.
In some cases of acne, taking a zinc supplement can help. Ask for zinc sulfate tablets from a health food shop and take as directed, some patients will notice an improvement within 8 weeks of therapy. In the UK, zinc is combined with medical therapy in the form of zinc and erythomycin cream- a highly effected method of killing bacteria associated with acne.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted for a native Australian tree. The most common concentration used is 5% gel, and is thought to be anti-bacterial. At best this can improve acne lesions by reducing bacteria count and drying out zits. Use with caution as skin irritation may occur, allergy to tea tree oil has been reported and commonly seen.
Natural remedies can help with very early and mild acne scarring. Natural ways to help reduce scars include-
AHA chemical peels
AHA peels can also stimulate collagen remodelling, especially in higher concentrations. This form of acne scar treatment is best used on early and mild acne scars.
We do not know why, however early use of Bio Oil on scars and stretch marks may work. This can be especially useful on lumpy scars. Massage a tiny amount every night for 10 minutes.
Vitamin E can also help early scarring
Best used for mild and early acne scars, break a capsule and rub into the scars nightly.
Light treatment for acne and acne scars have been around for many years! In fact many people with acne notice an improvement after going to the beach. This is because sunlight can activate porphyrins that are produced by bacteria found in acne lesions. This forms the basis of phototherapy or BLUE / RED phototherapy acne treatments.
Omnilux is a type of phototherapy that emits light in different wavelengths.
- Omnilux Blue can decrease bacterial counts associated with acne. Blue wavelength of light can activate chemicals produced by acne forming bacteria. This chemical activation can destroy bacteria in acne lesions. A series of treatments are needed for improvement. Phototherapy can temporarily improve acne, however in the majority of cases, acne returns after treatment.
- Omnilux Red can be used to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, and remodel early scars. We often use phototherapy as adjunctive treatment for both acne and acne scarring, and not as a sole method of treatment.
As phototherapy is a non-laser method of treating acne and mild acne scarring, it is safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Acne Specialist Clinic at Westside Dermatology encourages natural treatments as adjunctive treatments to our medical approach to this condition.
The clinic can provide an acne diet guide, however can also provide AHA chemical peels and Omnilux Phototherapy for acne and early acne scarring. We encourage patient’s to try zinc tablets if they would like a more natural approach to acne treatment. Sometimes a change in skin care products can make all that difference.
An important step in treating acne is to develop a simple but active skin care regime. Harsh toners and cleansers strip the skin’s natural oils and can irritate acne prone skin. Our Specialist Nurses can guide you thru what products to use, make up tips and even provide a complimentary fruit acid acne chemical peel thru our Acne Solutions Clinic. This 30 minute intensive acne management consultation is the first step.