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Natural acne treatment: What's most effective?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/natural-acne-treatment/AN01716
- With Mayo Clinic internist
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.read biographyclose window
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Brent Bauer, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine. He is a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Bauer, a native of Madison, Wis., is also a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School and a graduate of Mayo Medical School.
He serves on the editorial board of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and is medical editor for EmbodyHealth Newsletter. He has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1992, first practicing at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before joining Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 1996.
Dr. Bauer's principal research focus is the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. He has authored several book chapters and papers on this topic, and is the medical editor of the "Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine." Dr. Bauer also spearheaded collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Gaiam in the creation of a series of 10 DVDs (Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions). These DVDs address common health problems (for example, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) with integrative medicine approaches that empower people to take charge of their health. His work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine which combines the best of conventional medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies.
Dr. Bauer has served on the NIH-NCCAM study section and is currently collaborating on over 20 studies being conducted at Mayo Clinic evaluating CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to valerian. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; the American Federation for Medical Research; the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and other professional organizations.
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Alternative medicine (1)
- Natural acne treatment: What's most effective?
Natural acne treatment: What's most effective?
Are there any effective natural acne treatment options?
from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Some natural acne treatments may be helpful in reducing inflammation and reducing acne breakouts:
- Tea tree oil. Gels containing 5 percent tea tree oil may be as effective as are lotions containing 5 percent benzoyl peroxide, although tea tree oil might work more slowly. Tea tree oil may cause a skin reaction known as contact dermatitis. There's also some concern that topical products containing tea tree oil might cause breast development in young boys. Don't use tea tree oil if you have acne rosacea because it can worsen symptoms.
- Alpha hydroxy acids. These natural acids — found in foods such as citrus fruits — help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores when applied topically. Alpha hydroxy acids may also improve the appearance of acne scars. They can also cause redness, mild stinging and skin irritation.
- Azelaic acid. This naturally occurring acid is found in whole-grain cereals and animal products and has antibacterial properties. A 20 percent azelaic acid cream seems to be as effective as many other conventional acne treatments, including 5 percent benzoyl peroxide and oral tetracycline.
- Zinc supplements. Zinc plays a role in wound healing and reduces inflammation, which could help improve acne. Taking a zinc supplement with food may reduce side effects, including a bad taste in your mouth and nausea. Zinc can also be added to lotions or creams and may reduce acne breakouts.
- Brewer's yeast. A specific strain of brewer's yeast, called CBS 5926, seems to help decrease acne. Brewer's yeast may cause migraines in susceptible people and may cause intestinal upset.
More research is needed to establish the potential effectiveness and long-term safety of these and other natural acne treatments.
If you're considering natural acne treatments, consult your doctor first. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of specific treatments.Next question
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- Tea tree oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.
- Alpha hydroxy acids. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.
- Zinc. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.
- Saccharomyces boulardii. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.
- Morelli V, et al. Alternative therapies for common dermatologic disorders, part 2. Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:285.