Naturopathic Approaches to Acne
There are many causes of acne. It can be related to hormones, diet and lifestyle, digestion, stress and much more. Treating acne usually involves both internal and external approaches. Today I’ll talk about some of the many ways a naturopath can help you get clear skin.
There was a point when researchers argued that the link between acne and diet was a myth. The evidence has changed since then. More and more studies show some sort of connection between diet and acne. Foods with a high glycemic index may contribute to acne. These are foods that spike blood sugar quickly. They include sweets, white bread and many processed foods. Studies show that a trial elimination of these foods often results in reduced acne. Some patients benefit from removing other types of foods from their diet (like dairy). Each person is unique so I work with patients to determine what type of diet will help them the most.
Most of the acne research revolves around applying substances to the skin to calm acne. Products with tea tree oil are one of the more popular options. There is also growing research on applying products with green tea, honey or turmeric. These herbs have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and germ-killing properties. Castor oil is my favourite spot treatment for pimples. It has an anti-inflammatory effect. Another approach I love is doing regular facial massages when applying your moisturizer. I find this helps even the skin tone. This is a popular habit around the world and has been used for centuries. YouTube is now full of great videos on how to do this.
Internal treatments vary widely from patient to patient. Sometimes I use herbs to help the body detoxify or balance hormones. Sometimes I use herbs with gentle germ-fighting properties. I use various approaches to reduce stress levels for those who find their acne is related to stress. Certain vitamins like vitamin A can also benefit the skin. Taking vitamin A supplements should be done with caution – dietary sources are safer. There is even growing research on the power of probiotics to relieve acne.
Don’t forget this important step! Change pillow cases and face towels often. Wash makeup brushes regularly. Avoid touching your face or letting your phone touch your face. If you wear makeup, consider using a makeup remover in addition to your face wash to get everything off.
There’s always more to say but I’ll leave it at that for now. Whether it’s acne or some other skin issue like eczema, psoriasis or rashes – if you need some help book an appointment or free 15-minute consult.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected]!