Acne is something that most people have experienced at some point in their lives, and it is a condition I see frequently in my NW Naturopathic Medicine practice. It is a condition that can have a significant impact on one’s self esteem and can contribute to anxiety and depression. It is usually characterized by pimples, blackheads and whiteheads, greasy skin, and possible scarring. It is typically seen on the face, upper back and chest, but can also be seen on the buttocks. Although most likely experienced in adolescence, patients can continue to suffer from this condition into their 20’s and 30’s, and sometimes even into their 40’s.
From a Naturopathic perspective, we not only want to treat the skin topically but also address the skin from inside out. This means we want to address all potential causes of acne, such as hormones, digestion, immune system, stress, and much more. Although noticing a difference on the skin can take a bit longer than topical treatment, the results are longer lasting because the root cause has been addressed. Read below to learn about the treatments Naturopathic Medicine has to offer in treating acne.
Diet and Nutrition for Acne
Although many sources say that diet is not linked to their skin, most people find that it is. This correlation can be linked to several causes. One link is the impact of insulin levels on one’s skin. A diet high in sugar and refined grains will cause an increase in insulin levels. Another link is fiber intake, because a high fiber diet can ensure proper elimination of the bowels. We also want to ensure healthy levels of stomach acid to ensure proper digestion of food, and a healthy gut flora.
Food Sensitivity Testing
The foods a person eats can contribute to acne if the patient has a sensitivity to that food. Elimination of foods that test positive can improve one’s skin and also has many other impacts such as improved digestion, energy, mood, sleep, and immune system. Click here to read more about food sensitivity testing.
Vitamins and Supplements
There are several supplements that I use in my patients suffering from this condition. These supplements can improve the health of the skin overall, while also addressing the root cause. I always ensure that the supplements I am prescribing are safe for my patients based on their health conditions and other medications they are currently taking.
Botanical Medicine and Herbs
Herbs are a very powerful method of treating this condition. We can use herbs that will support liver and kidney detoxification, and also support healthy skin. Like supplements, I always ensure these herbs are safe for my patients based on their health history.
Hormones that are out of balance can definitely impact one’s skin. We can either do salivary hormone testing, or send the patient to the lab for blood testing, to determine if the hormonal picture is contributing to this condition.
This is a good approach to treating acne scarring, after the active outbreaks have been treated. Microneedling will help with the indentations left on the skin, as well as the scarring. You can read more about Microneedling here.
As you can see, there are many options for treating acne with Naturopathic Medicine. Once we can get to the root cause of the acne, our goal is for you to experience healthier skin in the long run. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at my NW Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice to determine what options would be best for you!
Dr. Ramona Charikar
Naturopathic Vitality Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic
205-5403 Crowchild Trail NW, Calgary, AB