Cause of Acne
An inflammatory skin condition, acne is characterized by clogged pores, blackheads, and pimples. It is caused by a problem with the oil-secreting sebaceous glands, which lubricate the skin and are found in large numbers on the face, chest, and back. When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil (called sebum) and combine with dead skin cells, the pores become clogged, bacterial multiply, and the skin becomes inflamed and forms pimples. A blackhead forms when the sebum combines with skin pigments and is trapped in the pores.
The exact cause of acne is not known, but there are a number of factors that can contribute to this condition. One major factor is hormone imbalance, which is why so many teenagers, who experience increased hormone production during puberty, suffer from acne. Because hormonal changes also occur before and after menstruation – as well as before, during, and after pregnancy and menopause – some women experience outbreaks (usually short-lived) during these times. Other factors can include a family history of acne, emotional stress, allergies, and an overconsumption of junk food, saturated fats, and hydrogenated fats. The use of certain drugs, such as steroids, oral contraceptives, and lithium, can also contribute to this skin condition.
Along with treating acne by following the supplement program presented below, wash the skin once or twice a day with a mild cleanser. Avoid scrubbing the skin or washing more frequently, as this can worsen the condition. Use oil free skin products, and cosmetics that are labeled “water-based” or “non-comedogenic”, which means that they do not contain mineral oil, which can clog pores, and do not aggravate acne. USANA Gentle Daily Cleanser is a mild, soap-free formula and washes away surface dirt and impurities without drying or irritating the skin. Rich in vitamins A and E, USANA Night Renewal Crème brightens the complexion with coneflower and gotu kola and softens the skin with Irish moss, shea butter, and mallow.
Supplements to treat acne
• B-complex vitamins – 50 to 100 mg once a day
• Copper – 2 to 3 mg once a day – your copper-to-zinc ratio is very important for your health. Also, do not take copper supplements cupric oxide, which has a very low bioavailability.
• Dandelion – 100 mg once a day – if you have gallstones or obstructed bile ducts, consult your healthcare practitioner before taking.
• EPA/DHA (fish oil) – 1,000 to 3,000 mg once a day – choose a source that contains vitamin E to prevent oxidation.
• Evening primrose oil – 500 to 1,00 mg once a day
• Glucosamine – 1,000 mg once a day – don’t take if you are allergic to shellfish. Consult use with your healthcare provider if you have diabetes because glucosamine can alter blood sugar levels.
• Milk thistle – 200 mg once a day – reduces efficiency of certain blood pressure medication.
• Probiotics – 20 billion units once a day – if taking an antibiotic, wait three hours before taking probiotics.
• Taurine – 1,000 to 2,000 mg once a day – take between meals. Discontinue use if you suddenly have feelings of chest or throat tightness or if you break out in hives. Do not take with aspirin.
• Tea tree oil – apply directly to blemishes once or twice a day – do not ingest or use in ears, eyes, or other mucous membranes.
• Vitamin A and mixed carotenoids – 5,000 to 15,000 IU – half vitamin A and half mixed carotenoids – once a day – use caution when taking vitamin A supplements because they have the potential to be toxic. Do not take for extended periods of time. Do not take more than 8,000 IU a day if you have liver disease, are a smoker, or are exposed to asbestos.
• Vitamin C – 500 to 1,500 mg twice a day – do not take high dosages if you prone to kidney stones or gout.
• Vitamin D – have your blood levels measured by your healthcare provider, who will then determine proper dosage.
• Vitamin E – 400 IU once a day – take mixed tocopherols, the more active type of vitamin E. consult healthcare provider first if you are taking a blood thinner.
• The best zinc supplements are zinc picolinate and zinc citrate. If you are taking zinc and iron supplements, take one in the morning and one in the evening. (taking them together reduces the efficiency of both).