About 50 percent of young women and 75 percent of young men develop acne. Although acne usually clears up around age 20, it is not uncommon for acne to progress into later years of life.
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by poor hygiene. Rather, it is more closely related to hormones, increasing pore size and bacteria growing on the skin that can cause infection and subsequent inflammation. Washing your face twice per day with a mild soap is recommended to help clean pores. Washing your face more frequently and using strong cleansers that dry out the skin can actually worsen acne and cause irritation.
Prescription medications and antibiotics are available to treat acne, but they often have significant side effects. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done naturally to help clear up acne:
There are a number of herbs, vitamins and minerals that can be helpful as well. Many of these, such as zinc, can be consumed in the diet. For more individualized information about which treatments and doses are appropriate for you, make an appointment at Bastyr Center for Natural Health at (206) 834-4100.
— Lela Altman, ND, LAc, naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.