Updated: Nov 5
Four factors in controlling ACNE. Did you know that drinking spearmint tea help control acne? Wait there's more....
ACNE vulgaris is a common cutaneous disorder that can have a profound psychological impact, contributing to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Controlling acne can be key in improving mood and preventing depression. The physiological factors that create comedonal acne are: increased sebum production, abnormal keratinization (the process where cells move to the surface of the skin and shed), inflammation, and an over growth of bacteria (p-acnes). Further aggregating factors include smoking, some medications, diet, cosmetic products including beard oils, the wearing of sweaty helmets or hats and finally hormonal flares.
It can be very frustrating after trying a variety of products and diets and skin care regimens only to fail over and over again at improving the condition. However, clearance can be achieved using an integrative approach at the Med Spa at Clinic Edge by attacking these four factors.
1- Control p-acnes growth. How? My two favorite topical medications I prescribe are benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. Using them in combination prevents antibiotic resistance. My favorite topical over the counter (OTD) is Colloidal silver. Silver is NOT an antibiotic but rather a slippery compound that germs can't stick to. If they can't stick, they can’t hang out and grow. However, the most important things you can do to control p-acnes are to quit sugar, starches and dairy and start taking probiotics. Your skin is the window to every living cell and organism in your body. Diet plays a major roll in gut health and the health of your organs. The human body, which contains about 10 13 cells, routinely harbors about 1014 normal microbial flora (Midolo, P., 2003). This normal flora is ESSENTIAL to maintain balance. When consuming processed foods, sugars, dairy, saturated fats and starches you imbalance you natural bacteria and have an overgrowth of one or more organisms including yeast.
2- Control inflammation. In addition to avoiding the foods that cause inflammation and p-acnes growth above you need to start eating the ones that are anti-inflammatory by eating the rainbow of colors found in vegetables and berries. Additionally, most people don't realize that over exfoliating will cause inflammation. So resist the daily scrubs and avoid picking or squeezing the comadones because this also causes inflammation. My favorite topical for reducing inflammation is tea, yes black tea. Seep a bag in a cup of water, drink it or toss it then seep it again. This second seep is the right concentration to soak your washcloth in and place it on your face. Other supplements worth mentioning are turmeric and curcumin.
3- Control hyperkeratinization. Woe, how do you do that if you can't even pronounce it?! Hyperkeratinization is an abnormal growth rate of keratinocytes (skin cells that lose their nuclei and become keratin). When these cells are pushed to the surface quickly they become too "sticky" from all that sebum production which can lead to the cogging of pores. This is where exfoliation comes in. Unfortunately, when you use those over-the-counter scrubs you are actually causing more inflammation, not less. The best way to exfoliate is with a medication we use in dermatology called tretinoin. Tretinoin is a retinoid that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and will upgrade the production of collagen. Most importantly it helps remove the top layer of keratinocytes making way for new cells while reducing inflammation.
4-Finally, control sebum production. Sebum production is under hormonal control in your body. When hormonal flares occur like in puberty years sebum can be over produced. This occurs when testosterone is converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an endogenous androgen hormone and a POTENT agonist androgen receptor, increasing insulin levels in the body (Wikipedia Contributors, 2023). This can occur in both men and women. Conditions that can aggravate this situation in women are obesity, diet and polycystic ovarian disorder. Dermatologists use anti-androgens to treat this underlying condition which can make all this difference in the world to clear skin. Anti-androgens are an assorted group of drugs and compounds like birth control and spironolactone that reduce the levels or the activity of androgen hormones within the human body. Integrative dermatologist also incorporate plant-derived anti-androgens, like, spearmint, red reishi, and licorice, which has phytoestrogen effects and reduces testosterone levels. Some Chinese herbs proven helpful in studies are peony, which promotes the aromatization of testosterone into estrogen; green tea, which contains epigallocatechin’s and also inhibits 5-alpha reductase, thereby reducing the conversion of normal testosterone into the more potent DHT; black cohosh, which has been shown to kill both androgen responsive and non-responsive human prostate cancer cells; chaste tree, which reduces prolactin from the anterior pituitary; and saw palmetto extract (Grant, P., & Ramasamy, S., 2012).
Finally, microneedling with PRF helps with ALL four of these factors. This unique integrative approach is available at the MSCE at a very affordable price at under $500. Learn how by taking one of our microneedling courses. The proof is definitely in the pudding with these great results!
Grant, P., & Ramasamy, S. (2012). An Update on Plant Derived Anti-Androgens. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 10(2), 497-502. https://10.5812/ijem.3644
Midolo, P. (2003). Medical Microbiology, 4th Edition [Book Review]
Wikipedia Contributors. (2023). Dihydrotestosterone. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved April 15, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrotestosterone