What is Acne?
Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands which is usually associated with excessive sebum secretion, affecting areas which are rich in sebaceous glands, disease affects almost all males and females during puberty.
Although bacteria play an important role in the development of acne or pimples, it is not caused by bacterial infection. They are caused by excessive secretion of oily substance called sebum by the sebaceous glands.
Acne usually start as children attain puberty, but In some patients acne may appear during late adolescence. It usually stops appearing spontaneously in a majority of patients by the age of 25 years.
The lesions of acne are usually situated on the cheeks, chin, nose and temporal region, shoulder, back and front part of the chest may involve in severe cases. Occasionally one can see the lesions on the buttocks also. The types of lesions vary from patient to patient but majority of the patients have multiple types of lesions.
Types of acne
There are mainly two types of acne
- Inflammatory acne
- Non inflammatory acne
Inflammatory acne – inflammatory acne include pustule, papule, nodule and cyst.
Non inflammatory acne – include whiteheads and blackheads. The characteristic lesions of acne are the comedones which have dark horny follicular plugs. These may be open and is called “blackhead” or may be closed, which is known as “whitehead”.
Causes of acne
There are various causes of acne. Basic cause of acne includes increased secretion of sebum or increased activity of sebaceous gland and blockage of hair follicles or pilosebaceous ducts.
Some precipitating factors mainly include
- Certain drugs
- Hormonal disturbances after using hormonal contraceptive pills
- Exposure to heavy oils
- Exposure to cobalt radiation
- Accumulation of dead skin cells
- Tropical climate
- High glycemic load diet
Complications of acne
complications of acne mainly include
- Low self esteem
- Secondary bacterial infections or abscess
- Acne conglobata
- Diagnosis of acne
General tips for acne
Proper hygiene should be maintained by the patients, they should clean the skin properly and patient should be advised to stop using hair oil as well as any greasy make-up on the face as it can aggravate the complaints.
In conventional medicine, Topical therapies are the main line of treatment in case of mild acne
Combination drug therapies
- Benzoxyl peroxide/erythromycin
- Zinc /erythromycin
Benzoxyl peroxide – it treats non-inflammatory and inflammatory lesions in a effective manner
Topical Retinoids- it is useful particularly for non-inflammatory lesions.
Topical antibiotics – useful in reducing inflammatory lesions
Systemic antibiotics – reduce inflammatory mediators.
Homeopathy Acne Treatment
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy for acne is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat acne but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several homeopathy remedies are available for acne treatment are there, which can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Following remedies are commonly helpful in the treatment of acne:
Antimonium crud – acne on the face and shoulders with dry skin in fatty persons
Arsenic album – an excellent remedy for acne on the nose. Patient is often very anxious and restless about her disease.
Belladonna – acne red in color, burning and painful
Borax – remarkable remedy for the acne on the nose and the lips. Acne from use of cosmetics.
Calcarea carb – acne on the roots of hair, bleeds on scratching. Patient is often fat and flabby with tendency to slowness and indolence.
Dulcamara – acne on face around menstrual period, in humid weather
Asterias rub – acne on the face at the age of puberty. Acne vulgaris.
Thuja – acne after vaccination, acne at puberty which is large and slow to resolve, leaves a bump after healing. Patient is often hairy and has perspiration that has strong odour and stains.
Hydrocotyle – acne of face, when associated with uterine derangements
Berberis aquifolium – acne, pimples and blotches on the face of girls
Psorinum – acne from fat, sugar, coffee, worse during menses
Bovista– acne due to use of cosmetics
Calcarea Phos – acne of anemic girls at puberty, associated with menstrual troubles
Calcarea sulph – acne and pustules on the face and around ears with the discharge of yellow secretion
Eugenia – simple and indurated acne, painful, black heads, red pimples on the sides of nose, mouth, and chin.
Fagopyrum – red and sore acne, on the hairy parts, itching worse by scratching.
Graphites – acne worse during and after menses, esp in girls who are stout.
Kali brom – acne on the face, chest and shoulders, with depresses centre, acne may be associated with increased sexual urge.
Ledum pal – acne red, on the forehead and cheeks.
Pulsatilla – pimples aggravated at puberty and at the start of menses, in overweight girls who have delayed menses. Mild personality with low thirst.
Radium brom – small pimples with redness, itching and burning.
Sepia – acne or pimples on the forehead near the roots of hair, acne before menses.
Sanguinaria – acne on the face with the sensation of burning and itching.
Causticum – acne on the nose.
Magnesia mur – acne on the face which appear before the beginning of menses in the females who are constipated.
Other alternative treatments for acne
Include Naturopathy, Herbal medicine, Yoga, Ayurveda, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Tea tree oil, Omega-3 fatty acid, Zinc, Sulphur, Vitamin A, C, E, Beta carotene, Acupressure etc.
Please consult a qualified medical or alternative medicine practitioner before starting any acne treatment.