In the Clear for Good!
Homeopathy heals severe cystic acne— lets Lara face a brighter future
By Amy Rothenberg, ND, DHANP
I sometimes think about the concept of beauty in our culture... we so often judge a person by how they look. I like to think I am not so shallow and that I care more about the quality of a person’s internal attributes than about how they appear on the outside. That said, externally visible or “disfiguring” symptoms can cause a person terrific pain, both psychological and otherwise. Cystic acne is one such example. Thankfully, it is also one condition that, in my experience, homeopathy and natural medicine can really help.
An inflammatory process
Our skin has tiny sebaceous glands that naturally secrete sebum (an oily substance) into the hair follicles. Sebum normally flows up the hair shaft and onto the skin, where it lubricates the skin and hair. When hair follicles become blocked with sebum and dead skin cells, however, we have the start of acne. Inflammation in the area then occurs alongside excessive keratin and normal skin bacteria that gets trapped, which can further plug the hair follicle. When this inflammatory process is up and running, it can be difficult to stop.
Acne can have many contributing factors. Heredity is one difficult-to-control aspect, as we do see acne running in families. Shifts in hormones, such as reaching adolescence (when androgen hormones kick in and trigger the growth of sebaceous glands) or starting or stopping oral contraceptives, can also cause acne. Certain medications can lead to acne, too, as can exposing the skin to heavy oils, certain cosmetics, and even unfavorable climates.
Just about everyone has dealt with unwelcome acne breakouts at some time in their lives and to varying degrees—pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and raised red bumps (papules). Perhaps a big pimple appeared on your nose the morning of an important job interview. Or angry red bumps sprang up on your back the day of the all-school beach party or the prom. Although these experiences may be common, they are no less distressing for the person involved. And coping with acne can be especially traumatic for people with severe or longstanding acne.
People with the most severe form— cystic or nodular acne—suffer with very painful bumps (cysts or nodules of trapped pus, sebum, and debris) deep beneath the skin’s surface, somewhat like boils. Their skin may be extremely inflamed over large areas of the face, neck, and/or back and be very painful to touch or pressure. Scarring of the skin is com- mon, and unfortunately, embarrassment and low self-esteem are frequent accompaniments to this condition.
Thank you to the National Center for Homeopathy for their permission for us to re-print this article from their Winter 2012 issue of Homepathy Today. For more information about membership to the NCH or subscribing to their publication, you can contact them at:
National Center for Homeopathy
101 S Whiting Street, Suite 315
Alexandria, VA 22304