During puberty, before a menstrual cycle and menopause, there is a hormonal shift. These shifts, increase in androgens, cause an overproduction of oil in the oil cells (sebaceous glands) inside a skin follicle. Together they form a jam that plugs the pore opening causing the follicle underneath to swell. As a result, there’s an overgrowth of bacteria on the skin, which produce irritating chemical substances that cause inflammation. The result is pimples, pus filled lesions and black heads. The skin disease most often affects skin areas with a lot of oil glands. These are the face, neck and upper part of the chest and back.
Symptoms of acne
- Increased sebum secretion (seborrhea)
- Redness around the skin eruptions
Many treatments exist for acne. Over the counter acne supplements are life savers because they are cheap and convenient to purchase. Prescriptions are expensive and hard to come by if you don’t have medical insurance.They are in three categories.
Hormonal suppressors: they target the production of oil or hormones which trigger an increase in oil production. Skin changes are caused by androgen stimulation. Androgens are sex hormones which trigger an increase in oil production.
Pore cleansers: they contain benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid. They suppress acne by clearing the jam that forms at the pore opening. If the breakouts are not causing scarring, this may be all the treatment that is needed. Unfortunately, acne builds resistance to medication. The key is to get three over the counter treatments that you like and rotate them after every three months. Prepackaged acne treatment products usually contain benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid or both. Their main advantage is that they come with a recommended regimen which makes it easy to comply with. For effectiveness of any products, it’s crucial to comply with the instructions.
Over the counter vitamin supplements
Over the counter acne supplements do not require prescriptions. Vitamins are considered natural remedies for treating acne. They may also reduce the symptoms of acne. These are over the counter acne supplements for hormonal acne treatment.
Sulfur: It helps in detoxifying the body and ridding it of waste and toxins which clog the pores if allowed to build up.
Vitamin A: Regulates how the skin sheds cells. A build up of dead skin and cells can clog pores and cause blemishes. Vitamin A ensures we shed the right amount of skin to avoid build up. Eating vegetables with beta carotene is a good way of getting vitamin A.
Vitamin K: It is important for blood clotting. Other benefits include: skin elasticity by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and under eye circles. Green leafy vegetables and ale are some sources of vitamin K
Vitamin E : It has antioxidant effects that help protect and repair our skin . It improves the skin elasticity and acne scars. Can be taken as capsules
Saturated fat: Not all saturated fat is bad. Coconut oil is a good example. Using extra virgin or virgin coconut oil topically helps moisturize the skin and reduces the appearance of acne scars.
Citrus fruits are called astringents because they help reduce oil production by tightening pores. Astringents are great for people with oily skin. Lemon, a citrus fruit, helps to kill bacteria, lighten dark spots and improve acne scar appearance. Once applied topically it is recommended that you sit under the sun.
Herbal supplements for treating acne
Herbal supplements contain vitamins A, K, E and sulfur mentioned above from different herbs. They are mostly taken orally in the form of teas or supplement capsules.
Green tea: Because of the antioxidant in green tea called EGCG, it helps reduce and prevent inflammation in blemishes. It also reduces oil production in the skin follicles.
Licorice root; is an anti-inflammatory and can be taken in the form of candy or mixed with aloe Vera to make a skin mask. It also reduces the redness around pimples.