Control Acne Safely Without Drugs

Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder, affecting about 80% of those between the ages of 12 and 24, at least to some degree. It is more common in males due to androgens (male sex hormones) that stimulate the production of keratin and sebum, leading to clogged pores. Acne is believed to be caused by overactive oil trapped in sebaceous glands. The excess oil makes the pores sticky, allowing bacteria to become trapped inside. Adolescent males, in particular, can be severely affected by acne, which, if left untreated, can cause scarring. Acne can sometimes last well into one's thirties and forties. In addition to facial acne, many people can have body or back acne.

Are Acne Drugs The Answer?

Isotretinoin, under the brand name Accutane, is the prescription medicine designed to treat severe acne. It may take from 15 to 20 weeks for the user to experience the full benefit of taking the drug. As reported in the Health Sciences Institute e-Alert (3/04), one of the problems with Accutane, according to a dermatologist (a member of the FDA advisory panel) is that it is over-prescribed. While the drug is intended to address only very severe cases of acne that create large cysts, doctors have been prescribing it for relatively normal cases.

Potential side effects listed by Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane, include depression, psychosis, acute pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and vision and hearing impairment. According to the FDA, between 1998 and 2000 Accutane was linked with at least 160 cases of suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts, and hospitalization-more than 50 cases per year. In 1990, the FDA estimated that since the drug's introduction in 1982, there had been 11,000 to 13,000 Accutane-related abortions, and 900 to 1100 Accutane-related birth defects.

As reported in NaturalNews by Seppo Puusa (6/08), more evidence has come in on the dangerous side effects of Accutane, the powerful acne drug, that is also known as Roaccutane in Europe. A Canadian study confirms that Accutane increases depression risk. The study found that Accutane more than doubles the risk of depression. The study is the first controlled investigation to find a statistically substantiated link between isotretinoin (the active ingredient in Accutane) and depression, Dr. Anick Berard, from CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre in Montreal, and colleagues stated in a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

The researchers studied 30,496 people from Quebec who had at least one prescription of Accutane between 1984 and 2003. Among these people, 126 had a reported depression case. The researchers looked for Accutane use five months before the reported depression case (risk period) and compared it to a five-month control period. After adjusting for potential risk factors for depression, the study found that exposure to Accutane increases the risk of depression by 2.6 times.

The research report finishes by recommending that "current guidelines should possibly be modified to include psychiatric assessments of patients prior to and during isotretinoin therapy." There are two known pathways Accutane can lead to depression: lower availability of serotonin and decreased brain activity in the areas that mediate depression.

Earlier research has shown that Accutane reduces the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the "feel good" hormone. Low levels of serotonin have been linked consistently to many psychiatric symptoms, such as aggression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation. Naturalnews reported about the study here: Suicide Link to Acne Drug Officially Established.

A simple diet change and other minor adjustments may be all it takes to clear up acne. Many nutritionists and alternative health practitioners have known that wheat intake can cause acne to flair up. As bread, cereal or potatoes are consumed, digestion increases glucose levels, insulin production rises and triggers hormones to secrete sebum in pores of the skin and the sebum attracts acne-promoting bacteria.

Does Diet or Food influence Acne? by Ray Sahelian, M.D. (

I have come to realize that diet does play a role, even though the medical profession denies that food has anything to do with acne. Basically, acne is an inflammatory process, and the types of food we eat can certainly influence inflammation.

Here are some suggestions to prevent, treat, or control acne:

 Avoid friction or contact with acne pimples. Leave them alone, do not play with or pop pimples. Avoid any kind of friction on your skin areas that are prone to acne. Rubbing of the skin or friction with clothing can lead to pimples. At night, try to sleep on your back rather than on your side since the friction of your cheek or side of face against the pillow can clog pores and aggravate acne.

Avoid androgenic hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, and androstenedione. Acne is definitely aggravated by androgens and certain hormones.

 Reduce stress of any type if you can. Stress can make acne worse by releasing certain hormones.

 Acne and facial hair - if you are a male with moderate or severe facial acne, you may consider growing a beard, since shaving may make it worse.

 Acne face wash - I don't think washing your face more than required is going to help get rid of acne.

Foods That Cause Acne:
 Reduce your intake of sugar (including excessive amounts of fruit juices), sweets, processed flour, baked goods, and trans or hydrogenated fats. Examples include donuts, cookies, pastry, ice cream, pies, etc. Use Stevia, the no calorie natural sweetener rather than sugar. Regularly eating breads, cakes, chips and other staples of Western culture is likely to promote acne.

 Sodas are a significant source of sugar. Switch to water, herbal teas, and vegetable juices. You can sweeten herbal teas with stevia.

 Reduce intake of nuts, including brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, and filberts. Peanuts and peanut butter may provoke acne in some individuals. If you eat nuts, limit your intake to small amounts and preferably eat raw nuts.

 Reduce intake of milk products, including ice cream and cheese. There is a high amount of hormones produced in the milk of cows, particularly in the milk of pregnant cows, which makes up the bulk of marketed milk and dairy products. Milk from pregnant cows contains progesterone, 5-alpha reduced steroids, and other steroid hormones. These hormones, when consumed, can break down into dihydrotestestosterone (DHT), the final molecule that turns on oil-making cells. Studies show there is an association between milk consumption and acne, and it didn't matter whether the milk was whole, low fat, or skim. For those who eliminate or significantly reduce milk products from their diet, calcium supplements could be helpful. Consider soy milk as a partial alternative. Buy unsweetened soy milk and sweeten it with stevia.

 Reduce or avoid vitamin E supplements. I have come across some patients who have noticed acne pimples after taking vitamin E. I am not certain of this connection, but until more is known you may wish to stop taking high dose supplements of this vitamin. There have also been rare case reports of aggravated acne following very large intake of B vitamins.

 Increase intake of foods that may improve acne such as fish (halibut, salmon, tuna, sardines). These contain important omega 3 oils such as EPA and DHA. They will make a difference in the health of your skin.

 Eat as many vegetables as you wish, preferably organic. Eat a wide variety, not just the few that most American eat. The combination of fish and vegetables is likely to be the healthiest meal for those with acne.

 Consider taking fish oil capsules if your intake of fish is fewer than twice a week.

 Increase your intake of water. Drink a glass or two of cold water first thing in the morning to eliminate the bowels. Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water per day, more in hot weather.

 Foods that I consider to have no major influence on acne include meats, turkey, and chicken.

Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D. is the chief formulator and head of research and development for Irwin Naturals. He is the author of numerous nutritional books including, Mind Boosters, Finally The Common Cold Cure and Saw Palmetto Nature's Prostate Healer. As the country's leading expert on nutritional science, he has appeared on over 120 TV programs, including 20/20 and magazines, including Newsweek.

Are You Washing Your Face With Bar Soap?

Your skin has a protective covering referred to as the acid mantle. It provides a limited barrier of protection from bacteria and also against moisture loss. Bar soaps are alkaline based and strip away that protective barrier resulting in a loss of moisture.

Cool Mint Cleansing Scrub has proven to be, not only safe, but effective for even the most sensitive skin types. Our specially formulated aloe vera base cream is rich in emollients to soften and condition your skin. Other cleansers are made with inexpensive cream, oily lotion or sticky gels. Our patented Micro Scrub-22, a scientific break-thru in revolutionary skin care, will gently pamper your skin for a relaxing facial treatment. Tiny spherical micro beads roll over your face... instantly leaving it smooth, silky and baby soft. Other cleansers are made with harsh, abrasive walnut shells, raspberry seeds, and pumice that hurt the surface of the skin and can damage delicate tissue.

Why Does This Product Work So Effectively When Others Don't?

Quite is formulated with specific, natural ingredients like Papaya, Rosemary and Lemon known to treat acne-prone skin. The formula is set in a base of "True" Aloe Vera and enriched with Tea Tree Oil, a natural antibiotic and antiseptic known to accelerate the healing of skin disorders. Even dermotologist-recommended cleansers don't perform like this one.
We guarantee it.

Comment from Ray (
In 1997, based on my own history of severe acne, we formulated Skin Sense "Invigorating Cleanser" for acne-prone, oily skin types. We called it "Invigorating Cleanser" because of its "awakening" effect. The popularity of this product demanded that we add a larger sized bottle. So, we began offering Cool Mint Cleansing Scrub in a 8.5 oz. Yes, we did change the name, but we didn't mess with the ingredients. It still produces the same "wake me up in the morning" feeling and it really does work. No one believes me when I tell them I once had a severe acne condition.

Fragrance-Free Formula, Safe And Effective For All Skin Types-
To Promote, Not Rob, Your Skins' Moisture. Experience Squeaky-Clean Skin.

Tan Plus Products
Essentials Products

Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

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