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Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles in the skin get clogged with oil, dead skin or bacteria. Acne is most commonly seen on the face, shoulders, chest, neck and back. It could manifest as pimples, whiteheads or blackheads.

Acne is common among teenagers but it can affect people of any age. Factors that trigger acne include using greasy cosmetics; changes in hormone levels during pregnancy, puberty or while taking birth control pills; excessive sweating; and taking certain medications like oestrogen and testosterone.

Although it is not a harmful condition, severe acne can cause permanent scarring of the skin and can lead to lowered self-esteem. If the acne develops deep in the skin, it can form painful hard cysts called nodulocystic acne. 

Most people with acne follow self-care tips like using mild, non-drying soaps and shampooing hair daily to reduce acne. Some people also use prescription (topical and oral) antibiotics to treat acne. Chemical skin peeling and photodynamic therapy are minor medical procedures that are useful in treating acne.

Homeopathic treatment for acne focusses on improving the underlying health conditions of acne along with the management of skin eruptions. 

Some of the remedies that can be used to treat acne are antimonium crudum, sulphur iodatum, ledum palustre, sulphur, kalium iodatum, hepar sulphur, calcarea silicata, bovista lycoperdon, belladonna and berberis aquifolium.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for acne
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for acne as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for acne
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatment for acne
  5. Takeaway
  • Antimonium Crudum
    Common Name:
    Black sulphide of antimony
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for people who worry and feel excessively irritable. It helps reduce acne and the following skin symptoms:
    • Urticaria with skin eruptions similar to measles
    • Dryness of skin
    • Eczema along with gastric problems
    • Pustules (blisters filled with pus), vesicles (fluid-filled sac in the outer skin layer) and pimples
    • Itching while lying on a warm bed
    • Honey-coloured, thick, hard scabs
    • Dry gangrene
    • Scaly, pustular skin eruptions with itching and burning which become worse at night

Symptoms worsen after drinking wine and water, from being exposed to acids and heat and in the evening. They also worsen on applying wet poultices. Symptoms get better in moist and open-air and after taking rest.

  • Belladonna
    Common Name:
    Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: Belladonna is known as the best homeopathic remedy for children. It is also useful for people who experience burning and throbbing sensations. It helps treat acne, particularly acne rosacea, and provide relief from other symptoms like:

    • Suddenly spreading skin eruptions
    • Boils
    • Sensitive skin with dryness and swelling
    • Wounds with pus formation
    • Scarlet-coloured burns on skin that are smooth to touch
    • Indurations (increased fibre in the skin tissue) after inflammations
    • Redness in the mucous membranes or skin 
    • Alternating paleness and redness of the skin
    • Pustules on the face
    • Swelling, redness and tenderness in glands
    • Erysipelas (acute skin infection)

Symptoms worsen in the afternoon, on lying down or touching the affected area. Symptoms improve when the patient sits in a semi-erect position.

  • Berberis Aquifolium
    Common Name:
    Mountain grape
    Symptoms: This remedy helps treat skin conditions like acne and also aids in the management of the following symptoms:

    • Eruptions on the scalp that extend to the face and neck
    • Itching
    • Rough and dry skin with scales
    • Dry eczema
    • Psoriasis
  • Bovista Lycoperdon
    Common Name:
    Puff-ball
    Symptoms: This remedy treats acne on the face. It also helps treat the following symptoms:

    • Eruptions caused by herpes virus
    • Urticaria that occurs when excited and/or is associated with diarrhoea and palpitations
    • Pimples all over the body
    • Scurvy with pruritus
    • Itching on becoming warm
    • Deep impressions on the skin even with blunt items
    • Urticaria on waking in the morning which worsens after a bath
    • Moist eczema with thick crusts
    • Pellagra (a disease caused by vitamin B-3 deficiency)
  • Calcarea Silicata
    Common Name:
    Silicate of lime
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for people who are emaciated and feel weak and chilly. It helps treat the following symptoms:

    • Blackheads, whiteheads, boils and pimples on the skin
    • Skin sensitivity
    • Eruptions due to psoriasis
    • Coldness and bluish discolouration of skin
    • Wens (swelling or boils on the skin)
    • Burning and itching sensation in the skin
  • Hepar Sulphur
    Common Name:
    Hahnemann's calcium sulphide
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for people who tend to develop suppuration in the skin. It helps reduce the following symptoms:

    • Chapped skin with deep cracks on feet and hands
    • Acne in youth
    • Recurring and chronic urticaria
    • Papules (small pimples or swellings on the skin) that are prone to form pus
    • Boils with pus 
    • Decaying ulcers surrounded by small pimples
    • Painful pus-filled boils which easily bleed
    • Unhealthy skin with pus formation after every small injury
    • Pricking or sticking in the affected parts
    • Suppurating glands that are very sensitive
    • Skin ulcers that are extremely sensitive to touch, filled with bloody pus, and smell like old cheese

Symptoms worsen on exposure to cool air and dry winds and after lying on the painful side. The person feels better in damp weather and after eating.

  • Kalium Iodatum 
    Common Name:
    Iodide of potassium
    Symptoms: This remedy helps treat acne rosacea and helps in the management of the following symptoms:

    • Tendency to develop swelling with fluid accumulation in the eyelids, uvula and mouth
    • Tiny boils
    • Hives
    • Induration and enlargement of the glands
    • Rough nodules all over the body that worsen when covered or exposed to heat
  • Ledum Palustre
    Common Name:
    Marsh-tea
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for people who lack body heat. It helps treat acne on the forehead and reduce the following symptoms:
    • Sticking pain on the forehead due to acne
    • Ecchymosis (bruise)
    • Eczema on the face
    • Severe abscess in the skin
    • Prolonged discolouration after an injury
    • Itching of ankles and feet that worsens after scratching and lying on a warm bed

Symptoms worsen due to heat in the bed and at night. They become better in cold weather and on putting one's feet in cold water.

  • Sulphur
    Common Name:
    Sublimated sulphur
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for people who experience a burning sensation in the skin, have hard and dry hair and skin and offensive breath and discharges. Along with acne, it helps reduce the following symptoms:

    • Pus formation after every little wound on the skin
    • Pimple-like eruptions
    • Pustules
    • Burning and itching sensation of the skin that worsens while washing or scratching the skin
    • Pruritus that often recurs in the spring season
    • Hang-nails (a piece of torn skin at the root of a nail)
    • Rhagades (linear scars or cracks on the skin)
    • Pruritus due to warmth, dampness and in the evenings

Symptoms worsen at night, after bathing and on lying on a warm bed. Symptoms become better in dry and warm weather and on lying on the right side.

  • Sulphur Iodatum
    Common Name:
    Iodide of sulphur
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for people with acne and barber’s itch (ringworm on the neck or face). It also reduces the following symptoms:

    • Itchy skin rashes on arms 
    • Papular eruptions on the face
    • Boils, especially on the neck
    • Cold sores on the lips
    • Lichen planus (purple-coloured itchy bumps with a flat top)
    • Itching of the nose, urethra and ears

Homeopathic remedies are prepared and administered in highly minute doses. So, certain foods and habits can influence the activity of these remedies and hinder the healing process. Dr Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, recommended the following lifestyle and dietary changes to help achieve maximum therapeutic efficacy from homeopathic remedies:

Do’s:

  • In the case of acute acne, adjust the room temperature according to your comfort and satisfy your desires for eating and drinking, in moderation.
  • In the case of chronic acne, lead an active lifestyle, wear linen clothing during warm weather and keep your surroundings clean.

Don’ts:

  • In the case of acute acne, do not get extremely emotional or overwhelmed.
  • In case of chronic acne, do not consume herbal spices, teas and odorous water. Do not eat highly spicy and sugary foods. Do not eat fruits and vegetables that are known for their medicinal properties.

The natural remedies used in the homeopathic treatment aim at improving the overall health of the individual, stimulating the regulatory mechanisms of the body and enhancing the body’s natural healing capacity. Unlike antibiotics and other conventional medications, homeopathic remedies treat the condition without producing any toxic or adverse effects in the body.

A study was conducted on 60 Japanese patients with a chronic skin disease to observe the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment. The patients had atopic dermatitis (n=25), severe acne (n=6), psoriasis vulgaris (n=2), chronic urticaria (n=6), eczema other than atopic dermatitis (n=20) and alopecia universalis (n=1). They received individualised homeopathic therapies along with conventional dermatological treatment for a period of 3 months to 2 years 7 months. After treatment completion, 88.3% of patients reported above 50% improvement in their symptoms. The study concluded that the holistic approach in homeopathy is a useful strategy in treating chronic skin conditions.

Another non-randomised, interventional, prospective trial was conducted to study the efficacy of Azadirachta indica in increasing potencies of 6C up to 1M in treating acne vulgaris. The study included 31 participants, of which 29 completed the treatment along with a 6-month follow-up. After treatment completion, it was found that the remedy improved the lesion counts in all the patients. It was concluded that Azadirachta indica is beneficial in treating acne vulgaris when administered in the early and recovery stages of the condition. 

Homeopathic remedies are prepared using diluted forms of herbs, minerals and other natural products. The quality and safety of the remedies comply with the requirements of the Indian Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Therefore, they are safe for people of all age groups and pregnant women as well. However, homeopathic remedies should only be taken as per the prescription of a qualified physician.

Acne is a condition characterised by skin eruptions including pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. People with acne may develop low self-esteem, difficulty in participating in social activities and even experience depressing thoughts. Conventionally, acne is treated through antibiotics and self-care.

Homeopathic treatment aims at reducing acne as well as associated skin problems like dryness. Unlike the creams, gels and other conventional topical medications for acne, homeopathic remedies are safe and do not produce any side effects or reactions, which is essential when treating sensitive skin conditions like acne. Thus, homeopathic remedies provide encouraging and safe results in the treatment of acne. They can be taken as a standalone therapy or along with conventional medicine. Always talk to an experienced doctor before taking any remedy.

References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [Internet] US National Library of Medicine; Acne
  2. The European Committee of Homeopathy. Benefits of Homeopathy. Belgium; [internet]
  3. Anjali Miglani, Raj K Manchanda. Azadirachta indica in treatment of acne vulgaris-an open-label observational study. Year : 2014, Volume : 8, Issue : 4, Page : 218-223
  4. William Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1
  5. Itamura R. Effect of homeopathic treatment of 60 Japanese patients with chronic skin disease.. Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):115-20. Epub 2006 Nov 29. PMID: 17544862
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