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dr samdhattwrites


treating skin from the inside&outside


In the first of a two part article, Dr SamDhatt explains how to treat skin conditions with the rightmix of internal nutrients and topical agents. Thismonth, he looks at Acne.


For years, skin care practitioners have known that regular use of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and other topicals offer effective Acne treatments.


We have also known that certain peptides, some botanicals and vitamin C, can help brighten the skin, even tone and ease pigmentation problems. But, combining these and other topicals with specific nutrients − or, in some cases, avoiding certain foods and supplements − can result in even more dramatic effects.


treating acne from the top


In essence,Acne is nothing more than a big traffic jam under the skin.When overactive sebaceous glands pump out excess sebum and a constantly shedding keratin lining clogs the skin’s hair follicles, the oil and dead cells back up the pore, creating the perfect anaerobic environment for Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria that thrives in the closed, oxygen-deprived environment of a clogged hair follicle. The result? Inflammation, blackheads and whiteheads.


To treatAcne topically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognises four over-the-counter (OTC) drug treatments forAcne − benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulphur and resorcinol − in addition to prescription medicines, which include antibiotics, azelaic acid and tretinoin (vitaminA).


Benzoyl peroxide (BPO):A common ingredient used to treat mild to moderate Acne, benzoyl peroxide has been well documented in treatingAcne either alone or in combination with other topical medications.


BPO reduces inflammatory lesions by introducing oxygen into the clogged pore where the anaerobic P. acnes bacteria harbor. BPO also helps reduce oil production, rid the follicle of excess dead skin cells and unclog pores. Unlike some other antibacterial treatments, multiple studies show that P. acnes does not manifest a resistance to BPO.


However, this topical ingredient can sometimes irritate skin, especially when used at a higher percentage of 10% versus a 2.5 or 5% level [1]. Clinical studies have shown that lower concentrations are just as effective as higher concentrations and with less irritation [2].


Salicylic acid: Derived from the same substance used in aspirin, salicylic acid unclogs pores, increases cell turnover and neutralises bacteria, all of which make this OTC active a popular and effectiveAcne treatment.As an OTC active ingredient, salicylic acid is used in concentrations of 0.5 to 2%.


Sulphur: One of the oldestAcne treatment, suphur helps clear comedones and is found in both OTC and prescription remedies. On the downside, sulphur can cause dryness and irritation and has a pungent odour.


Resorcinol: Often used in combination with sulphur, resorcinol helps break down


rough skin, making it useful for treating blackheads and whiteheads. But, like sulphur, resorcinol also has a drying, irritating side and so should be used in moderation.


There are many additional blemish- clearing topicals that, while aren’t classified as OTC drug treatments specifically, can have a big impact on breakouts.VitaminA derivatives known as retinoids, namely retinol, help by ensuring proper cell division, clear plugged pores and minimise oil glands.According to the Mayo Clinic (a non-profit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education), the irregular shedding of skin cells serves as a leading cause ofAcne. Retinoids help correct this problem by normalising the shedding of the skin cells, while helping reduce inflammation.


Azelaic acid also offsets inflammation associated withAcne by reducing the P. acnes bacteria and clearing pores. The Mayo Clinic reports that a 20% azelaic acid cream seems to work as well as other conventionalAcne treatments, including 5% benzoyl peroxide and oral tetracycline.


NaturalAcne remedies include gels containing the natural antimicrobial Tea Tree oil, the anti-inflammatory Boswellin extract and Sea Buckthorn oil.


the acne food connection


Many foods, like pizza, chocolate and French Fries, were once villainised as causingAcne but have been since exonerated by today’sAcne experts.A few


GUILD NEWS 99


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