Acne, Pimples, Blackheads & Bacteria
The actual cause of acne is unknown. Hormones, diet, genetics, vitamin deficiency, and stress play a role. In simple terms, though, acne happens when a skin pore gets plugged. That said, let's look at the process in a little more detail.
There are two primary mechanisms for the onset of acne.
- The abnormal flaking of cells inside the hair follicle leads to the formation of a plug. The plug can enlarge and rupture the hair follicle. A ruptured hair follicle spills its contents of oil and debris into the skin where it leads to swelling and causes redness (inflammation).
- Oil and dead cells get trapped in a pore where they block the duct and mix with bacteria. They then turn black when exposed to air (a blackhead). Red pimples develop when blackheads become inflamed. When the pimple becomes infected, it develops a whitehead or pustule. These can break and cause scars.
Understanding the mechanisms, we can better understand the possible triggers.
- As we've discussed, part of the process involves oil and skin cells mixing with bacteria in a clogged pore. Bacteria that normally live on the skin, then, obviously play a role in acne development, contributing to both inflammation and subsequent infection. For this reason, some doctors like to prescribe antibiotics such as tetracycline. But my goodness. Using tetracycline for treating acne is like using an H-bomb to clear weeds from your backyard. It will definitely do the job, but it will also leave a lot of ancillary damage behind.
- Testosterone and all its variants, which are present in both men and women, play a role by both enlarging the oil producing glands and causing them to produce more oil. This increased oil both serves to increase the likelihood of a pore plugging up and serves as "food" for the bacteria. This is a primary factor in teenage acne since testosterone surges during puberty. Synthetic relatives of testosterone, known as anabolic steroids, used by some athletes also contribute to the problem.
- The female hormones estrogen and progesterone also play a role as evidenced by the fact the acne worsens and improves during the monthly cycle. For this reason doctors often prescribe birth control pills to deal with acne. This is crazy. It's actually a condition called estrogen dominance that contributes to the acne so adding more estrogen to the mix actually exacerbates the problem. Acne is also a known side effect of synthetic progesterone, a component of most birth control pills -- once again contributing to the problem rather than helping with it. So why do doctors prescribe birth control pills for acne? Because they provide a "temporary" reversal of the problem by "overwhelming" the body with estrogen -- that is until the body catches up with the surge and starts producing side effects. If you haven't already done so, I recommend reading Chapter 10 of Lessons from the Miracle Doctors. You can download a free copy at www.jonbarron.org/detox/free-natural-health-book-lessons-miracle.
What to do
- Keep the skin clean. Use grapefruit seed extract and an echinacea extract such as Immunify topically to help control bacteria.
- Use immune boosters and pathogen destroyers such as Immunify and SuperViraGon internally to help control the bacteria systemically.
- Supplement with vitamin A and zinc to help the body resist infection and inflammation.
- Supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Use probiotics to rebuild intestinal bacteria, particularly if you've been on any antibiotics or if you drink chlorinated water.
- And most important of all, use an all natural progesterone crème (men's or women's) to help balance out the hormonal issues that are most often the root of acne problems.