From an allopathic perspective acne is seen as a disorder that affects the
sebaceous follicles and hair follicles of the skin. Typically it usually starts around
adolescence, when hormonal changes can cause the enlargement and
obstruction of sebaceous glands by bacteria in the skin. These multiply deep
in the hair follicle and produce inflamed pus-filled spots.
In homeopathic practice I see many clients and homeopathic students with acne and most of them just want the
symptoms to disappear like magic. They don’t understand the problem is usually
much deeper and that acne is the surface symptom of the deeper issue
in the gut. From an alternative perspective acne is related to the bodies’
ability to metabolise fats and carbohydrates. If it is unable to do this effectively the skin
can become aggravated resulting in acne. From a homeopathic perspective
those who are susceptible are seen as having an active tubercular miasmatic state
with a history of antibiotic abuse.
However, unfortunately, normally by the time I see people they have been on many courses of antibiotics (Tetracycline or Retin-A gel) or synthetic hormones (Dinette) and the key organs (the colon and liver) that they should have been looking after have been trashed. These drugs have two things in common - they create liver toxicity and deplete the body of beneficial bacteria.
As we teach in our homeopathic course - we teach our homeopathic students they have to address this first before even thinking about remedies for the skin itself. Homeopaths take a unique approach to skin problems because the skin is seen as a living dynamic organ with strong links to the internal organs. So the essence of the homeopathic approach is to understand the causes and remove the obstacles to cure before seeking remedies to stimulate the body to heal itself. As this happens, the skin symptoms may get worse for a short time (this often has cosmetic considerations for the client,
particularly if they have lived with a problem a long time - better the devil you know etc!) but the end results are often excellent if they persevere and the results are permanent. The more chronic the internal imbalances the longer it will take to achieve the results.
From a homeopathic perspective the skin is susceptible to toxins absorbed through the colon and affected by a congested liver. The liver has a direct effect on hormone excretion and if it is unable to eliminate properly there will be an increase of acne. Homeopathy uses a comprehensive approach of detoxification, addressing the causes, support of the key organs such as the liver, pancreas and colon. The bowels should be kept clean, (use a fibre supplement such as flaxseeds, or Psyllium husks (Lepicol). If there has been a history of antibiotic abuse or they have been on dinette they should go onto acidophilus to replenish essential bacteria.
We teach our homoepathic students to support the liver, lungs and bowels before starting
with indicated remedies.
Nux Vomica, Morgan, sulphur or Thuja are often helpful for this.
If they are on Retin-A creams I reduce the application of these slowly as the skin
improves. (They should not stop the creams suddenly before the lines of
elimination have been properly opened and the liver has been supported with Nux–Vomica and Morgan.
This is because once you stop the suppressive topical applications the skin will usually flare up as it tries to eliminate toxins and regain its natural healing integrity and the flare up can sometimes be quite
Once the issues of drug toxicity and depletion have been addressed there are many good homeopathic remedies that work.
Please see further articles on Natural Remedies to use to combat acne. These are ideal to use after detoxing.
Ellen Kramer is the Course Director of the College of Practical Homeopathy.
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