Skin Health - Acne

For most people, acne is a common occurrence during puberty and teenage years – an inconvenient, “right-of-passage” that will seemingly clear and disappear with patience.  However, for some, it goes beyond dealing with the odd pimple that appears.  It can be a persistent and painful concern that if left untreated, could lead to infection and scarring.  There is a multi-million dollar industry promoting creams and skin treatments geared toward clear skin.  Regardless of potential expensive topical treatments, the problem won’t be solved unless one works on his/her health internally.

Acne is considered an inflammatory condition, stemming from imbalances found in the gut and hormones.  The Naturopathic approach to acne addresses these root causes by making appropriate assessments such as the location of the acne and other underlying health conditions.


Location of Acne and Underlying Conditions 


The location of the acne can provide clues on what imbalances are contributing factors.  These include:

  • jawline – hormonal triggers
  • forehead – poor detoxification, food intolerance, stress
  • between eyebrows – stress
  • ears – lymphatic stagnation
  • cheeks – poor detoxification, poor digestion, dirty cellphones
  • chin – hormonal imbalance, food intolerance, stress, constipation
  • neck – hormonal imbalance, lymphatic stagnation

Treatment of Acne


Treating acne requires a whole body approach.  One potential step at identifying sources of inflammation include taking steps to examine one’s diet and the role of food sensitivities.  There are commonly known foods that trigger acne but there are also foods that trigger gut inflammation and dysbiosis that present more uniquely to the individual.  Another area of focus may include addressing gut health.  Symptoms of indigestion, gas, bloating and constipation may all worsen and coincide with the development of acne.  Healing the gut can go a long way in properly clearing the skin forever.  Finally, the liver is important to address in any acne treatment.  The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body and if it is overburdened, toxins start accumulating onto the body’s largest organ, the skin.  In Chinese Medicine, the liver is also responsible for balancing hormones and should be addressed if the acne comes and goes at different points of the female cycle.


Acne can be properly treated by a Naturopathic Doctor.  Clear skin is most certainly achievable with the expectation of long term improvements and overall good health.