My Child's Health >> Acne
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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses Acne and what is behind why so many people get acne, especially teenagers. Understanding what this means is important to eliminating the reason and the acne itself.
Click on any of the links to your right, listen to our radio show on How To Raise A Healthy Child, or scroll down to read the full article.
The short and long-term health of your child is going to be based on how you choose to address this: medication or naturally.
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Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne most commonly appears on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Acne can be distressing and annoyingly persistent. Acne lesions heal slowly, and when one begins to resolve, others seem to crop up.
Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and lead to scarring of the skin. The good news is that effective treatments are available — and the earlier treatment is started, the lower your risk of lasting physical and emotional damage.
Three factors contribute to the formation of acne:
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles and form together as a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.
This plug may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or, the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, aren't normally involved in acne.
These factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:
THE MECHANISM BEHIND WHY ACNE DEVELOPS
Acne develops when there is a change in the physiology of a pre-teen/teenager and the requirements associated with what the body needs to manufacture hormones associated with the secondary sex characteristics related to reproduction of the individual. Therefore, when a child begins to manifest these developmental changes, the body requires excess amounts of hormone precursors for the production of the hormones required to support the glands associated with reproduction. This increases the demands on the body to pull the vitamin E from the storage sites found in the oils of the skin used to help with production of vitamin D when exposed to the sun. By removing the vitamin E from the skin, the integrity of the skin and its defense system becomes compromised. This allows opportunistic infections from bacteria or other pathogens to take advantage of the reduced defense system. As a result, acne occurs.
The lack of vitamin E is part of the equation. That is why it is important for a developing child to get adequate amounts of vitamin E in their diet and possibly take a Whole Food vitamin E supplement.
Acne treatments work by
With most prescription acne treatments, you may not see results for four to eight weeks, and your skin may get worse before it gets better.
Your doctor or dermatologist may recommend a prescription medication you apply to your skin (topical medication) or take by mouth (oral medication). Oral prescription medications for acne should not be used during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
Types of acne treatments include:
Acne lotions may dry up the oil, kill bacteria and promote sloughing of dead skin cells. Over-the-counter (OTC) lotions are generally mild and contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or sulfur as their active ingredient. These products can be helpful for very mild acne. OTC acne medications may cause initial side effects — such as skin irritation, dryness and flaking — that often improve after the first month of therapy.
If your acne doesn't respond to OTC treatments, consider seeing a doctor or dermatologist to get a stronger prescription lotion. Tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A, others), adapalene (Differin) and tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage) are examples of topical prescription products derived from vitamin A. They work by promoting cell turnover and preventing plugging of the hair follicles. A number of topical antibiotics also are available. They work by killing excess skin bacteria.
Often, a combination of such products is required to achieve optimal results. A number of benzoyl peroxide and antibiotic combination medications are available, including different dose combinations of benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin (Benzaclin, Duac, Acanya) and benzoyl peroxide and erythromycin (Benzamycin). Dapsone gel (Aczone) is a newer acne treatment that's particularly effective in treating inflammatory acne. Prescription topical treatments for acne may cause skin side effects, such as stinging, burning, redness or peeling. Your doctor may recommend steps to minimize these side effects, including using a gradually increased dose, washing off the medication after a short application or switching to another medication.
For moderate to severe acne, you may need a short course of prescription oral antibiotics to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation. Since oral antibiotics were first used to treat acne, antibiotic resistance has increased significantly in people with acne. For this reason, your doctor likely will recommend tapering off these medications as soon as your symptoms begin to improve, or as soon as it becomes clear the drugs aren't helping — usually, within three to four months. In most cases, you'll use topical medications and oral antibiotics together. Studies have found that using topical benzoyl peroxide along with oral antibiotics may reduce the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics may cause side effects, such as an upset stomach, dizziness or skin discoloration. These drugs also increase your skin's sun sensitivity and may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
For deep cysts, antibiotics may not be enough. Isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret) is a powerful medication available for scarring cystic acne or acne that doesn't respond to other treatments. This medicine is reserved for the most severe forms of acne. It's very effective, but people who take it need close monitoring by a dermatologist because of the possibility of severe side effects. Isotretinoin is associated with severe birth defects, so it can't be safely taken by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant during the course of treatment or within several weeks of concluding treatment. In fact, the drug carries such serious potential side effects that women of reproductive age must participate in a Food and Drug Administration-approved monitoring program to receive a prescription for the drug.
Isotretinoin commonly causes side effects — such as
Although this causal relationship has not been proved, doctors remain on alert for these signs in people who are taking isotretinoin. If you feel unusually sad or unable to cope while taking this drug, tell your doctor immediately.
Oral contraceptives, including a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol (Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Previfem, others), can improve acne in women. However, oral contraceptives may cause other side effects — such as headaches, breast tenderness, nausea and depression — that you'll want to discuss with your doctor. The most serious potential complication is a slightly increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and blood clots.
Laser- and light-based therapies reach the deeper layers of skin without harming the skin's surface. Laser treatment is thought to damage the oil (sebaceous) glands, causing them to produce less oil. Light therapy targets the bacteria that cause acne inflammation. These therapies can also improve skin texture and lessen the appearance of scars. More research is needed to understand the most effective use of light and laser therapies in acne treatment, and experts currently recommend these approaches as stand-alone therapy only in people who can't tolerate approved acne medications. These therapies may be uncomfortable and may cause temporary skin problems that mimic a severe sunburn.
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion may be helpful in controlling acne. These cosmetic procedures — which have traditionally been used to lessen the appearance of fine lines, sun damage and minor facial scars — are most effective when used in combination with other acne treatments. They may cause temporary, severe redness, scaling and blistering, and long-term discoloration of the skin.
Doctors may be able to use certain procedures to diminish scars left by acne. These include fillers, dermabrasion, intense light therapy and laser resurfacing.
Medicines Two Choices for You
Dr. Huntoon has been helping pre-teens and teenagers and their parents with great success for over 27 years.
Consulting with a Holistic Chiropractor who specializes in nutrition can help you to understand the most natural way to address the underlying cause of your acne. Wanting your skin to be clear is important and avoiding the potential for side-effects is important when treating acne. Long-term problems by simply taking the medication will show up later in life and may be difficult to remedy. Therefore, addressing the hormonal imbalance and supplementing the diet with extra ingredients to support normal skin health is prudent. This includes Whole Food vitamin E and other essential fatty acids to maintain the integrity of the skin and its defense mechanisms.
This has always proven to be a successful solution.
Some studies suggest that taking the following supplements may help treat acne:
More research is needed to understand the potential role of these and other dietary supplements in the treatment of acne.
Consulting with a Holistic Chiropractor who specializes in nutrition can help you to understand the most natural way to address the underlying cause of your acne. Wanting your skin to be clear is important and avoiding the potential for side-effects is important when treating acne. Addressing the hormonal imbalance and supplementing the diet with extra ingredients to support normal skin health is prudent. This will support you being healthy for the rest of your life.
Dr. Huntoon has been doing this with great success for over 27 years.
By supporting the child's digestive system while educating the parents of what the condition is really about, Dr. Huntoon has been able to restore balance to the children and help them to heal their skin's nutritional deficiencies.
When supporting a child, or an adult being told they have adult Acne with proper nutrition and cleaning up their digestive tract, this has ALWAYS resulted in normal skin for the child/adult.
There are many successful alternative treatments available for Acne.
Consulting with a Holistic Chiropractor, Homeopath or Naturopath who has experience in treating Acne is important. Making sure to discuss their success and experience in treating Acne is vital before beginning any treatment when considering this form of care. Finding one that will work with your medical doctor is necessary.
Making sure to keep the overall health and well being of the child a priority is important when considering traditional or alternative treatment.
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
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Dr. Richard A. Huntoon