Part Three: Teenager Series
This month, our resident Homeopath Mel Owen-Browne is going to talk about the subject of Acne.
Many teenagers develop acne as a result of hormonal changes that occur around puberty. The hormonal shift leads to an increase in sebum production, an oily secretion that contributes to blocked pores, resulting in spots which can become inflamed and infected.
Acne usually is problematic on the face but can also occur on the neck and back. Both boys and girls can be affected and the problem usually clears up in the late teen period or early twenties. Other factors contributing to acne becoming worse include stress and the menstrual cycle. This condition can cause much distress and embarrassment at a time when they are at their most self conscious so it is important to take measures to help reduce the problem.
Medications often help temporarily but they do not address the underlying cause of the issue. Some teenagers are prescribed creams and in the more severe cases, antibiotics which sometimes need to be taken for several months, wreaking havoc with the gut and only suppressing the condition which often returns if the medication is stopped.
There are some self help measures that can be put in place and good homeopathic constitutional treatment will treat the underlying cause and imbalance as well as helping with the emotional distress associated with the contition. Homeopathic treatment is gentle and effective, enabling the body to heal itself by rebalancing without compromising the immune system or hormonal balance.
Some self help measures include:
Don’t squeeze spots as this can lead to infection
Wash area at least twice a day with hot water followed by cold to close up the pores. Natural lotions such as tea tree oil can be very effective but do ask in your local health food store for advice.
A good wholefood diet is of prime importance, cutting down on processed foods, fats, sugar and chocolate. Increase consumption of vegetables and fruit.
Drink LOTS of water and avoid caffeine, especially coke and other sugary fizzy drinks.
A good multi-vitamin and mineral which has a high content of vitamin A and B and mineral zinc is essential, particularly where the diet is a little compromised.
Homeopathic treatment works best as constitutional treatment as it takes into consideration the whole person, mentally, emotionally and physically. However, if your would like to try some remedies that you can buy over the counter, there are a few that might help. Just match the remedy to the symptoms of your child as best as you can.
Pulsatilla is often indicated if the acne started around puberty and your child is of generally mild nature, thirstless, changeable.
Sulphur is for a hot bodied ruddy looking teenager, sweaty, messy with quite oily skin.
Hepar sulph is indicated if the spots are pus filled and threatening to burst.
Silica is useful when the spots can form scars and are slow to heal.
If you are in doubt or would like some homeopathic advice, please so contact Mel on her mobile: 07919261639 or book in to see her at the clinic on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Summer promotion: All teenagers, consultation 1 hour including 2 free follow-up consultations.