Acne Vulgaris

An inflammatory disease most commonly seen in teenagers. It affects areas where sebaceous glands are largest, most numerous, and most active. Mild cases consisting of few residual signs except possibly dilated pores, and the development of the comedo, or blackhead, may progress through more pathological stages of ruptured sebaceous ducts, pustule formation, atrophy and scarring, to more extensive lesions involving the shoulders, trunk, and upper arms. In extreme cases the inflamed nodules and infected cysts canalize and become infected sacs. Bacterial and chemical irritation of the tissues occurs, with destruction and displacement of epidermal cells, and eventually, intense scarring and deformity. The effect of the androgenic hormones on the pilosebaceous follicular apparatus is considered to be the basic cause of acne. It is not seen in eunuchs, but it can be induced in them by androgen therapy. Acne is so common at puberty that it may almost be considered a physiological disturbance. It affects more than 80% of teenagers.

The most important contributory factor in this condition is diet. Certain foods appear to aggravate, or induce the onset of inflammation. Chocolate, certain grains, various proteins, cola drinks, and milk have been implicated. Above all, sugar and foods heavily laden with refined sugar, processed, packaged, and chemical-containing foods are responsible for much distress during the adolescent years. Refined, devitalized foods upset the endocrine balance and produce stress. Contributing factors include: • Hypochlorhydria • Alcohol • Low fiber intake • Anxiety

  • Bowel toxicity • Stress • Endotoxins • Environmental toxins • Food sensitivities (Especially egg, soy, peanut, chocolate, milk, potato), • sex hormone imbalance.

Naturopathic Approach

A naturopathic approach to treating someone with skin issues, regardless of the skin issue is usually very similar since we know that what is going on outside the skin is a direct reflection of what is going on inside the intestines. Therefore, although the exact protocol with certainly depend on the individual, a 4 ‘R’ gut restoration program as described in the gastrointestinal section is most commonly prescribed. Some skin conditions are more immune system realted like Impetigo and scleroderma in which case an approach similar to that in the autoimmune/infection section may be prescribed. Listed below are some specific details in regards to some of the more common skin issues I see at the clinic, however, this is by no means a complete list of all of the skin conditions I have seen people with.