Are you frustrated about having acne? So is 90% of the population. Symptoms can be so bad it’s no wonder you want a quick fix! You’re probably thinking Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) is the only option you have right now. Wrong! First let me begin to tell you that it’s not worth all the nasty side effects that come with it. Reports have been made that people taking Isotretinoin have been left suffering from permanent hearing loss. Could you imagine how horrible that would be! That’s not all either; you can end up with severe depression leading to suicide, alopecia (hair loss), vision loss, liver damage, pancreatitis, skeletal calcification, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, constipation, photosensitivity and much more. Oh and let’s not forget that if you become pregnant whilst taking it, it is guaranteed to cause birth defects to your baby. It has the strongest warning available for any drug category and was given an FDA pregnancy category X rating. This drug is not to be considered lightly and the best decision for you is to pursue other options that will be just as effective, if not better and without those nasty side effects.

Being a Naturopath and Dermal Clinician, one of the most important things I consider when seeing someone presenting with acne is finding out what the cause is. There are so many factors to consider; typically sex hormones play a major role, such as imbalances with testosterone, androgens, oestrogen and progesterone. Women can often present with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and/or endometriosis consequently being the cause of their acne.

There are however many other countless factors that can contribute to acne such as digestive disturbances and food allergies, increased stress, autoimmune diseases, liver burden (from chemical exposure and alcohol intake), external causes (skincare and makeup). Diet also plays a major role as it can interfere with hormones, increase sebum production and lead to oxidative stress.

So ditch Roaccutane and try this instead:

  • Get your Naturopath to help you find the cause of your acne and modulate your diet to reduce acne symptoms.
  • Seek professional advice in regards to skin care that’s right for you.
  • Drink plenty of water to help facilitate cell growth and repair as well as eliminating unwanted wastes! An extra bonus of hydration is it will help prevent wrinkles!
  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep to help decrease stress and increase healing.

Last but not least, remember this: “Your complexion is your health’s reflection!”

By Blaise Stowers Naturopath

BHSc. Nat., BHSc. CDT