Herbal Remedies and Other Non-Traditional Acne Treatments

Posted on | May 6, 2011 | No Comments

In general, over-the-counter acne treatments and traditional prescription medications have proven effective in the reduction and virtual elimination of acne; there are other less traditional ways to approach the treatment of acne. When delving into non-traditional medicine most are dealing with approaches such as acupuncture, herbal medicines, homeopathic medicine and mind/body medicine. The following takes a look at each of these areas as they relate to acne.

Herbal medicine: Some herbs are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and, for that reason, they may be helpful in the treatment of acne (as well as other skin conditions):

Seaweed
Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) and flaxseed oil
Tea Tree Oil

The herbs that help reduce acne inflammation do so by reducing the amount of the acnes bacteria produced by the body as a reaction to clogged pores. Tea Tree oil has been favourably compared to benzoyl peroxide in the reduction of acnes and is said to have fewer side effects (stinging, itchiness and dry skin).

Homeopathic remedies: Homeopathic professionals evaluate the individual (their physical, emotional and intellectual makeup) before prescribing a treatment and then tailor the treatment to the individual. While homeopathy has not had the benefit of many scientific studies, professional homeopaths have found that certain homeopathic treatments reduce certain symptoms of acne:

Mind and body medicine: Mind and body approaches to the problem of acne are primarily through the practices of biofeedback, cognitive imagery and hypnotherapy.

Biofeedback and Cognitive Imagery: Biofeedback and cognitive imagery are relaxation therapies used because emotional stress can have an aggravating effect on acne. Biofeedback techniques train the individual to control some internal processes such as heart rate and muscle tension. Cognitive imagery (also called guided imagery) involves the use of mental pictures to relax and evoke helpful physical and emotional conditions. Together, when used properly by a person who has mastered the techniques, these methods have been shown to lessen the severity of acne breakouts.

Hypnosis: Hypnosis works pretty much the same way that biofeedback and cognitive imagery work, by relaxing the patient. The obvious difference is, of course, in the case of hypnosis, a professional practitioner is controlling the process.

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