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Post-pill Acne, Anxiety, Eczema and Menstrual problems – a Naturopathic perspective

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and is a global issue of Western countries, and its prevalence can vary among different populations and age groups. It is estimated that approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne at some point.

Acne, Eczema,

Acne can range from mild, with a few pimples or blackheads, to severe, with painful cysts and nodules. The severity can also impact how individuals seek and receive treatment.

Acne can have a significant impact on an individual's mental and emotional well-being. It is associated with feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment, low self esteem, even depression and anxiety in some cases. If this is you or a loved one, you can remedy the situation and it starts with awareness and understanding.

Acne occurs in the hair follicle and in areas that produce sebum in the pore / hair follicle. Acne happens on the face, chest, neck and back where there is a higher amount of sebum production in the follicles. There can be too much sebum or skin building up in the hair follicle and it all gets trapped in there and bacteria / fungi or inflammation can build up.

There are many triggers that can make an underlying acne condition worse, but if this is taken away and it is still present, it is not the root cause itself. The root cause is the actual causative agent of the acne, one that if you take this away the acne clears up.

Acne usually doesn't happen just in the skin, there are other things going on as well, so getting to the causative layer is an expedition that we embark on together with a combination of case history taking and functional testing.

In a recent functional medicine study on acne it was found that skin is very much linked to the gut.

  • Helicobactor pylori overgrowth in the stomach is often present in 92% of acne cases

  • Candida is elevated or high in 94% of cases

  • Protozoal parasites that are often present - 52% are present (blasto, endolymex nanna, - this will often occur alongisde h.pylori as it sets the gut mileau up for protozoa to thrive).

  • 47% had all three conditions, 44% had two which were mostly helicobacter pylori and candida.

Consider the following client story.

A Familiar Story

Penny* was 23 when she attended the clinic to get help with her eczema and menstrual acne. She was working as a receptionist at a beauty shop and was deeply embarrassed by her skin issues.

Penny presented with premenstrual acne that covered from her jawline, cheeks, forehead and back. They were a mix of pustular acne and deep cystic acne lesions that were painful and itchy, worse in the week before her period. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries some years ago and was put on the pill by her doctor with no discussion on diet or causes.

She stayed on the pill for ten years, but she wanted to come off it, it made her feel terrible, she put on weight and struggled with sugar cravings, low libido and an ongoing dysphoric mood. Penny came to see me after she had been off it for three months and her skin exploded. The doctor’s solution was long term antibiotics. Penny was aware of the importance of the gut microbiome and didn’t want to risk doing more damage to her health.

On top of her acne and menstrual issues, Penny struggled with recurring eczema on her hands and arms. She had terrible gut problems, wasn’t sleeping well, had a very high degree of social anxiety, monthly mood swings and bouts of depression since puberty. She was fatigued, lethargic most of the time, suffered recurrent respiratory infections, chronic sinus congestion and battled a deep and unrelenting desire to crawl under the doona and stay there forever.

We looked at her unremarkable blood tests from the doctor and discussed functional testing, but she just wanted treatment. Knowing the common gut findings in Acne we undertook bioresonance testing and treatment and worked through clearing the layers that showed up. We also brought in key herbs and supplements to address the microbiome imbalances often found in acne, repair the gut and support healing. We removed all the foods that tested as a system stressors to her body's energy system. This made her feel significantly better within just two weeks – her brain fog was soon clearing, blood sugar stabilised with the new eating plan, so she was much less anxious, gut problems improved, sleeping became more restorative, she could feel an improvement in her skin. Once her skin cleared up completely we began reintroducing foods watching for any aggravations to her gut or skin, and any reactive foods were kept out of her diet (mainly diary, sugar, processed seed oils and wheat flour products).

At her initial bioresonance evaluation her abdomen was extremely tender, reflecting a high degree of intra-abdominal inflammation which resolved with treatments and diet change. She had other benefits too, less PMS, a lighter and more regular menstrual cycle, much less pain, more energy, better mental clarity, improved focus at work, and a return of her confidence and competence both at work and socially.

Penny’s eczema also regressed and disappeared. She understands now that her skin is a reflection of her internal state and gut health, and her body lets her know if she gets off track for too long. She understands her triggers and feels more in control of health.

This story is typical of my practice. Finding and removing the underlying drivers of health issues is a rewarding job. When people put in the effort, the benefits are worth it.

What is your body telling you?

* Name obviously changed.

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