Acne is a skin condition characterized
by whiteheads, blackheads, and
inflamed red pimples or "zits."
We know that Acne is inherited from
your parents. It may be also be
worsened or caused (those who did
not inherit the gene) by cosmetics,
stress, hormonal fluctuations,
medications, certain vitamins such as
iodine, the sun and by the very
products which are supposed to clear
or cure the problem.
Stress is a major cause of the spot
epidemic. Acne is caused by hormonal
changes normally onset by puberty,
but it’s now seen in adults who lead
more stressful lives.
Pharmacist Shabir Daya from online
pharmacy Victoria Health says: ''Stress
stimulates the production of male
hormones. The major culprit is
dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which
increases the production of the skin’s
natural oil, sebum, clogging the
pores.’’ The bacteria associated
causes acne to thrive in these
conditions, feeding on the sebum and
irritating the glands, which leads to
The standard prescription is an
antibiotic and a vitamin A cream to
unblock the pores. For tough cases,
stronger medications such as
Roaccutane (isotretinoin) are used,
which take four to six weeks to take
effect and can clear about 50 per cent
of lesions. However, they might have
side-effects such as dry skin, eyes and
lips, raised blood fats and sugar.
SOME LOW-TECH SOLUTIONS FOR
ACNE FROM THE UK
You could try the decidedly low-tech
remedy of turmeric (a natural
antiseptic) mixed with coconut oil (high
in lauric acid) as a face mask.
Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers.
The Yes to Tomatoes range (from
contains anti-inflammatory lycopene
Reduce stress — try meditation or
autogenic therapy to keep stress
hormones under control.
Certain foods affect DHT production.
Cut out saturated fats (red meat,
butter and so on) and up your intake
of fresh fruit and veg (brassicas and
berry fruits in particular), garlic and
Skincare guru Jan Marini suffered
acne herself and her Bioclear Cream
(£48) may help clear acne lesions
Make-up can exacerbate acne. Use
high-quality mineral foundation (Jane
Iredale, Mineralogie and Priori
CoffeeBerry are all excellent) which will
disguise spots but won’t irritate the skin
Need a quick fix? Skin Oasis (www.skin-
oasis.co.uk) offers Emergency Spot
Treatment (£50-£70) where a tiny
amount of hydrocortisone is injected
directly into the spot. It gets rid of the
spot in 24 hours, but is not a long-term
BOTOX TO CLEAR UP ACNE
The muscle relaxer Botox definitely
clears up acne, says Anil Shah M.D.
The Chicago plastic surgeon is one of
the few doctors worldwide using Botox
in an entirely new way. He injects the
muscle relaxer directly into the skin to
eliminate large pores, oil production,
and acne breakouts.
Acne is caused when the skin's
sebaceous glands release too much
oil, or sebum, into the skin's pores.
Bacteria use the sebum as food,
multiply, and cause the pore to
became inflamed leading to formation
of a pimple. "Botox," says Dr. Shah,
"stops the production of sebum and
deprives those bacteria of food."
The plastic surgeon has treated about
100 patients. One of his patients is a
35-year-old Chicago resident has had
oily skin and constant breakouts all his
life. "It's discouraging." he says. "I tried
everything: Accutane, light therapy,
antibiotics, nothing worked. Then I
came across Botox for acne on the
Internet. It sounded crazy but I was
willing to try anything."
Last August Dr. Shah injected tiny
amounts of Botox throughout the
dermis of his face. The procedure is
rare because it's technically difficult.
The muscle paralyzer has to be
injected directly into a layer of skin just
1/25th of an inch thick. If it's injected
too deeply it can alter the patient's
facial expressions. "Experience here is
really essential," says Dr. Shah.
While other treatments have been
used for serious acne, none has been
acceptable until now. The medication
Accutane decreases oil production but
side effects can include liver damage,
bleeding in the mouth, birth defects,
and even suicide. Laser treatments
can't reach the skin's deep sebaceous
Still, Dr. Shah cautions the treatment
isn't for everyone. He says most teen-
agers won't need the procedure
because their skin will clear up with
time anyway. "I only treat patients over
20-years-old," he says. "Their
hormonal changes are likely
permanent. For them Botox is now the
safest most effective treatment we
CREAM FROM BREAST MILK TO
CLEAR UP ACNE
A science student in California recently
discovered that the lauric acid in
breast milk reduces irritation and
spots, and has developed an acne
cream that is undergoing clinical trials.
A bioengineering postgraduate student
from the University of California,
discovered the benefits of lauric acid
and also developed a "smart delivery
system" for it to be effective.
The cream uses tiny gold particles to
carry lauric acid into pores where its
anti-microbial properties fight bacteria.
So far, researchers have avoided
some of the tighter restrictions to get
approval for testing since the new
acne cream would contain natural or
already approved ingredients.
Fortunately, mother’s milk isn’t the only
source for lauric acid. It’s also found in
2 types: laser resurfacing and
fractional laser therapy.
Laser resurfacing burns off the top
layers of the skin. Removal of the top
skin triggers the inner layers of the
skin to immediately start cell and
collagen reproduction in a bid to
replace the missing skin.
Fractional laser penetrates the inner
layers of the skin without causing any
damage to the top layer of your skin.
BLUE LIGHT THERAPY
The blue light therapy exposes the
affected area to a low-intensity blue
light source that kills the bacteria which
are responsible for the disease. There
is also a newer light therapy that
combines blue and red light.
Light therapy is a relatively new
treatment for acne. It uses devices
tuned to specific light waves that have
a healing effect on the skin.
The blue needs to be tuned between
405 and 420 nm, or nanometers, and
the red light needs to be tuned
between 655 and 665 nm.
You can buy acne lights online. The
most popular brand on the market
today is the Acne Lamp.
Microdermabrasion works by
unclogging the pores and killing