One of the most common problems I treat with teenagers and some adults is acne. It typically occurs between the ages of 12-20 years old and is a result of many factors. These typically are: changing hormones, diet choices, hygiene, sleep patterns, liver function and lymph flow. Therefore, to resolve this problem without using a pharmaceutical drug, you need to look at all these factors and change what is out of balance.
1. The first step is to work on balancing hormones. When we go through puberty or into menopause, the hormones are fluctuating and sometimes swing too widely. It is important that they are brought back to balance with herbs such as: Angelica(Dong Quai), Vitex(Chaste Berry), Glycyrrhiza(licorice), Serenoa (Saw palmetto) for example. They all help to regulate the proper release of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When the hormones flow smoothly, the liver has a much easier job at regulating them & can break down their metabolites much more effectively.
2. The second step is to analyze your diet. If you have read ANY of my articles, you will know that FOOD & WATER IS THE KEY TO WELLNESS!!! I always tell folks that we have a shower/bath everyday to keep our outside clean, drinking water or herbal tea flushes our insides clean. You should be drinking ½ your body weight in ounces. So, if you are 140 pds, you should be drinking 70 oz/d. By drinking water, you are continually flushing toxins and metabolites out of the body, just like flushing the toilet!!!!!! You want to minimize any acidic drinks, such as coffee/tea/pop. Not only do they make the system too acidic, but, they also have other naturally occurring chemicals that the liver has to de-toxify. So, try to drink them as a treat on the weekend.
Then, it is important to look at what you are eating. As always, eat at least 4-5 servings of veggies, especially green leafy veggies and raw seeds and almonds. Fruits should be 2-3 servings/d and whole grains- whole grain cereals/breads/ pastas/crackers/flour etc. This keeps the system alkaline. When the system is alkaline, it can detoxify and get rid of by-products from the body. Proteins are primarily acidic. So, you want to always balance your protein- fish/chicken/turkey/beans/legumes/soy/ lamb/buffalo with your veggies/grains on your plate. This keeps the overall pH neutral or slightly alkaline. As always, you want to minimize processed/ packaged/canned foods. They typically have a lot of chemicals/preservatives/ sugar/dyes which put a load on the liver. This can overload the liver and therefore, since your next biggest elimination organ is the skin, it will send them out through the skin to get rid of them. Minimize acidic foods such as citrus & tomatoes.
3. The third step is hygiene. Having a shower or bath everyday to rinse off the skin of released metabolites allows the skin to breathe and therefore let the pores release on a regular basis. If they become blocked, residue and bacteria can build up and form acne/boils or rashes. The same is true of the scalp. Always try to rinse the scalp and give it a good massage in the shower. This minimizes dandruff.