Acne is the inflammation and even infection in the glands of the skin. The sebaceous glands make an oil which protects the skin. This “sebum” can be over-produced when hormones are high such as around puberty, pre-menstrually, and around the menopause. Scarring can happen if it is severe and chronic.
The first rule of acne is “drink more water !” Flush the body with pure water, not pop or coffee.
The oils in the skin can become thick and stiff, plugging up the glands. It is important to eat cold-pressed vegetable oils rather than hydrogenated fats. Extra virgin olive oil is the only choice for cooking.
To dry up the sebum significantly, take zinc. I use 30 mg zinc citrate twice daily until the skin improves, then once daily. It must be taken with food or it may cause mild nausea. Zinc helps the immune system, but will do harm if taken in excess.
Garlic is excellent as a natural antibiotic and will reduce inflammation and scarring. I prefer the standardized and enteric coated fresh garlic extracts. Professional quality caplets are equal to about 6 cloves of fresh garlic, and are odorless. The aged powders and oil capsules are obsolete. Standardized products are slightly more cost, but far better value.
“Tea tree oil” can be put onto acne sores (comedomes) for fast relief. Many excellent tea tree soaps and cleansers are available. They can be applied with a soft face brush, which is like a big soft toothbrush.
Homeopathic medicine is remarkable for acne and many other skin disorders. Dolisos Homeopathics has a premixed formula now available in progressive pharmacies, although I recommend a much lower dose than on the label. I will often customize this formula for the individual to optimize its performance. The homeopathics are not drugs, but gently balance the hormones and glands using the body’s own control systems. The skin may worsen slightly, and very temporarily, but if this happens then it will clear up quickly. It does not force the body, it nudges it along in its natural attempt to heal itself.
This is in contrast to the very disruptive effects of long term use of antibiotics such as tetracycline, or the very toxic synthetic vitamin A products like Accutane. Most teens would be better served by encouragement to eat foods high in Vitamin A and folic acid such as green vegetables, rather than eating junk and covering it up with drugs.