ACNE TREATMENT Naturally
According to Research Nutrition’s latest newsletter for those who suffer with acne, their quality of life is effected, with regard to being unsatisfied with their appearance, impacting them socially and even causing comorbid depression! Interestingly this effect is not necessarily related to the severity of the acne and effects people of all ages, but predominates in teenagers. So acne treatment options become more urgent than just – skin deep.
As we know teenagers are, at a stage in their lives where they are looking outside the family, connecting with their peers, building relationships, learning how they fit into the world and generally have lower self esteem than most other demographics. They have their “L” plates on, when it comes to negotiating life, so we need to pay attention. Particularly because, as we will discuss further along, drug therapies are less than ideal, and when we are desperate for solutions we are more likely to ignore the risks.
Before we get started in chatting about pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), a vitamin that has demonstrated improvements in skin health, lets first consider some of these lifestyle strategies worth their weight in gold :
- Increasing water intake
- Increasing vegetable intake
- Increasing exercise (sweating)
- Increase bowel movements (if sluggish)
- Addressing food intolerances (a good place to start is trial removing gluten & dairy for 4 to 6 weeks should be long enough to determine if this will improve your skin)
- Improving beneficial microflora (fermented foods such as sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar with mother, kefir, kombucha etc or add specific probiotics and/or prebiotics
- Identifying certain nutrient deficiencies
PANTOTHENIC ACID (Vitamin B5)
Now lets take a look at pantothenic acid otherwise known as vitamin B5, it’s a well tolerated water soluble B vitamin which accumulates in muscles and therefore a major dietary source comes from meat products. B5 supports steroid hormone production, optimises skin integrity and healing, adrenal health and stress resilience and energy metabolism. Symptoms of B5 deficiency may include:
- muscular cramp and weakness
- gastrointestinal disturbances
- sleep disturbances
- burning sensation of hands and feet
- cardiovascular instability
- impaired motor coordination
- a loss of normal eosinopenic response to adrenocorticotropic hormone
B5 – As An Acne Treatment
Clinical studies are showing promising results. This 2014 study shows great results for those with mild to moderate acne, conclusion:
“The results from this study indicate that the administration of a pantothenic acid-based dietary supplement in healthy adults with facial acne lesions is safe, well tolerated and reduced total facial lesion count versus placebo after 12 weeks of administration. Secondary analysis shows that the study agent significantly reduced area-specific and inflammatory blemishes. Further randomized, placebo-controlled trials are warranted.”
Is DRUG THERAPY Safe?
Many drug treatments exist in resolving acne and do so quite successfully, what many people are not aware of is that drugs such as Accutane (Isotretinoin, which are a vitamin A derivative) , have some alarming side effects, and of particular interest are the psychiatric symptoms which they can induce, symptoms such as depression and suicide, in patients with no prior history of psychiatric symptoms.
In many instances it is unnecessary to have to resort to this type of treatment, vitamin B5 is one option, there are many other ways, what will work for you, needs an individualised assessment. Whilst acne is nearly always more than skin deep, topical applications can prove useful, particularly with acne scars, clean teen is a specially formulated and safe topical application.
It makes sense to consider healthier, safer, practical approaches and the effects are more likely to go far beyond acne treatment.