Millions of people are affected by acne outbreaks on the face, back, trunk and genitals. The sebaceous glands sometimes produce excess oil. This could be due to stress, hormonal imbalance, poor hygiene or other problems. The excess oil blocks hair follicles since it combines with dirt and dead skin cells. The follicles erupt on the surface of the skin and become inflamed when they get infected by bacteria. Acne usually manifests itself in children from puberty right to the age of 30, after which it invariably disappears. Acne is not life-threatening but can result in permanent scarring if not treated properly. The emotional scars also need to be dealt with as acne can cause people to feel depressed and embarrassed.
Types of Acne Treatments
Many treatments for acne are effective. Drug therapies include topical and oral medications. Surgical procedures like laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and chemical peels all help with acne and acne scars. Complementary therapies include nutritional supplements, ayurvedic, homeopathic and herbal remedies. Each has its benefits and it is up to each individual and their dermatologist as to which treatment to choose.
What is homeopathy?
Two Greek terms – ‘homoios’ that means similar and pathos, which means disease – combine to form the word ‘homeopathy’. The guiding principle of homeopathy is that the symptoms that produce disease in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms in a person who is sick. Based on this theory, homeopathy uses micro-dosages of remedies to treat a disease. The same remedies in large dosages will produce symptoms of the disease that is being treated.
Homeopathy medications are available as tablets, granules, powders or liquids. It can be found at local health stores or available at a homeopath’s clinic. Homeopathy has been practiced from the late 1700s in Europe.
Homeopathy Medicines for Acne
The following are some of the best known homeopathy medicines for acne. The medications listed below are based on therapeutic affinity. A homeopath will still conduct tests to check which type of medication suits which patient.
- Calendula is used for pustules or blisters
- Belladonna for those with inflamed acne filled with pus and who suffer from a flushed face that feels hot
- Hepar sulphuris calcareum is for pus-filled painful acne. It is indicated for pimples that are infected by bacteria and are slow to heal. This acne produces foul smelling pus.
- Silicea for deep seated acne that forms pits and for pustules
- Kali bromatum for acne on the forehead, deep acne and for those who are of a nervous disposition
- Antimomium tartaricum is used for large acne pustules that tender and ripe
- Calcarea carbonica is supposed to help a person fight off frequent acne eruptions. Those who get tired easily, are obese and have chilly feet and hands are given this medication.
- Pulsatilla is useful for acne that gets aggravated by eating fatty foods. It is also given for those who get excessive acne outbreaks at puberty or during menstrual periods.
- Sulphur is for sores, inflamed acne that itches and is reddish.
- Sanguinaira is useful for women who develop acne due to irregular blood circulation and scanty periods
- Natrum muriaticum acts on sebaceous glands and is very helpful in treating acne.
- Asterias rubens works on pimples in children at the age of puberty. It is meant mainly for acne that affects the chin, nose and around the mouth.
- Thuja occidentalis deals with pimples on the face
Difference from other treatments
Unlike allopathic treatments, homeopathy for acne has had very little research done on its effectiveness. However, it is different from allopathic and surgical options for acne since it is not as expensive and produces little or no side effects. Hence, even though it may not prove as effective as these procedures, at least it is safe to use.
Unlike home remedies that do not require supervision, homeopathy requires the guidance of an experienced homeopath. Dosages are also different for homeopathic and OTC medications. OTC medications are usually used twice a day for several weeks. A homeopathic medication is taken once and only if there is an improvement is a daily dose recommended. Homeopathic medications are sometimes taken several times in an hour or day. It also offers individualistic treatment based on a person’s constitution that other conventional treatments do not offer.
Benefits of Homeopathy for Acne
Homeopaths treat acne symptoms only after studying the patient and taking into account their constitutional type. This according to homeopaths is made up of emotional, physical and intellectual aspects. A homeopath assesses all three factors before deciding on the course of treatment for each patient. Hence, homeopathy for acne provides more than one course of treatment. The treatment is also extremely individualized.
The main benefits of homeopathy for acne are its safe and produces little side effects. Those who do not want to use harsh chemical treatments find homeopathy more desirable.
Since homeopathic treatments are regulated in most countries, it is safe for treating various health problems. Those who support homeopathy believe that the body recognizes the medications it takes and reacts to it.
Limitations of Homeopathy treatment for acne
Some studies have examined the effectiveness of homeopathy for acne. Homeopathy is considered a harmless way to treat acne. its effectiveness lies more in the ability of the body to heal itself rather than any specific ‘cures’ found in the herbs that are used.
Critics of homeopathy believe that there is very little active substance in the treatments and hence any benefit a person may enjoy is because of a placebo effect – i.e. the patient thinks they are getting better and hence their symptoms disappear.
For serious acne outbreaks and deep seated scars, it is best to consult a dermatologist rather than a homeopath for homeopathy will be ineffective.
If you want to use homeopathy, then tell your doctor about this. He or she will advise you as to whom to approach or where to purchase homeopathic medications.