COMPREHENSIVE ACNE CORRECTION
Effective, Safe and Natural Treatment
Acne is the most common skin condition resulting in health care visits affecting 85% of 15 to 18-year olds to some degree. For many acne can be severe resulting in permanent scarring. The problems caused by acne are not limited to the skin, and “emotional scarring” is common as the problem typically occurs at a time in life where emotional sensitivity can be very active.
Acne is caused by multiple interacting factors some occurring generally throughout the body (systemic) such as hormonal imbalance, and others occurring locally such as inflammation and infection. The major source of the systemic imbalances in acne are diet/nutrition related, and any effective acne program must start with careful nutritional evaluation and intervention.
The local imbalances are best corrected with combined laser therapies that resolve infection, inflammation and generate tissue healing naturally. Specific laser therapy is both safe and effective.
Acne literally begins on the inside and ends on the outside. Effective treatment has to follow the same path.
What causes acne?
Acne is driven by the general internal chemistry of the body. The single most important factor driving the internal chemical imbalance in acne is diet/nutrition. Dietary imbalances result in several triggering factors including:
- Hormonal imbalance – Diet is one of the most potent stimuli that triggers change in the hormonal system. Hormones such as insulin are expressed to help manage the energy and other products diet delivers. Different components of diet such as sugar place greater stress on this hormonal compensation. There are several other dietary imbalances that can contribute, and each person’s diet can have a unique pattern of imbalance.
The hormonal compensation occurs broadly across many hormones including those made in the adrenal glands. Extreme fluctuations of these hormones such as testosterone is a basic driving factor of acne. Natural processes that also elevate these hormones such as puberty are potent stimuli to acne, especially if this period of life overlaps any of the triggering factors such as diet driven hormone imbalance.
- Detoxification weakness – The body detoxifies through four primary systems; the liver, kidneys, intestines and the skin. Weaknesses overwhelming the capacity of one of the other systems will trigger detoxification through the skin. Nutritional detoxification support for the liver, digestive system and kidneys is often important and helpful in resolving acne.
Interestingly one of the important chemicals we need to detoxify are hormone breakdown products. All of the steroid hormones including those typically imbalanced in acne circulate about 3 days and then are broken down in the liver for elimination. Weak ability to do so alters systemic hormone levels.
- Excess toxicity – Not only is it important to identify weaknesses in the body’s detoxification systems, but it is also important to avoid being overloaded with toxins to begin with. There are currently over 200 chemicals that are approved for use just in food in the U.S. We are exposed to many more in our environment such as pesticide residues in food, water and air. A particular group of chemicals such as BPA which are classified as hormone disrupting chemicals may be of particular concern. These chemicals are highly used in our environment including food packaging and as pesticides applied to food crops.
It is important to identify the sources of toxicity and control those as much as possible as well as to support the ability to detoxify as discussed above.
- Inflammation – Inflammation in the areas of active acne is well documented and understood. The level of inflammation is an important factor in the generation of new skin lesions, the symptoms involved in acne and the potential for scarring. It is important to evaluate and treat both systemic and local inflammatory activation in acne.
Systemic causes of inflammation may include dietary imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods and immune food sensitivity reactions.
Skin reactions such as eczema are a common feature of food sensitivities related to the immune inflammatory reaction. They may be contributory in acne.
Local causes of inflammation are generated by infection and tissue damage associated with acne. While inflammation is necessary to begin healing, persisting inflammation prevents healing and becomes a major source of chronic tissue damage.
Infection – Acne is associated with infection of the sebaceous glands of the skin with the bacteria propionibacterium acnes. Acne has been treated both with topical and internal antibiotics, but because of the long-term use often required, antibiotic resistance has become a growing problem.There are safe and effective non-antibiotic treatments for skin infections such as photodynamic therapy.
The Comprehensive Acne Correction Program
The treatment of acne must involve both local therapies where skin lesions are active as well as therapies aimed at systemic triggers such as diet driven hormonal imbalances. The systemic triggers drive the production of new and continued skin disruptions, while local therapies are important to heal and resolve active skin disruptions.
Systemic treatment involves both dietary analysis and electro-acupuncture meridian screening or electrodermal screening (EDS). Dietary imbalances that drive both toxicity and imbalanced hormonal patterns are examined by computerized dietary analysis that gives a comprehensive analysis of the exact chemical composition of the diet. Once triggering imbalances are identified, a corrective dietary pattern can be designed.
EDS is a form of bioenergetic medicine which allows the balance in the different body systems including digestive, hormonal, immune and nervous systems to isolate the problems driving the development of acne. Different nutrients, herbs, enzymes, probiotics and homeopathic remedies are used to help correct system functions.
The local treatment of acne revolves around the components driving the local process including deep tissue inflammation, deep tissue growth and infection. Individual lesions at different stages have variable relative amounts of these processes going on.
Different light forms work on different parts of the local processes. Blue/violet light of 410-450 nm wavelength activates molecules called porphyrins in the bacteria propioibacterium acnes that are involved in and worsen acne. The activation of high amounts of these porphyrins in the bacteria kills the organism. Blue light PDT is being used extensively in dentistry to kill the bacteria responsible for gingivitis.
Blue light does not penetrate the skin well and only works superficially. As most of the bacteria are superficial, it still works for this purpose but has no effect on deeper inflammation and tissue growth.
Red laser of 600-700 nm can penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin where the acne process begins with inflammation and deep tissue growth. Surgical lasers are a continuous beam which produces intense heat. Therapeutic lasers are called “cold lasers” as the beam is pulsed or turned on and off many times each second preventing heat production. “Super Pulsing” is a specialized laser where the beam is pulsed at an exceptionally high rate (30 kHz – 30,000 times per second). This allows high doses to be delivered to deep tissue without heat production.
Superpulsed red laser has potent ability to reduce deep inflammation and inhibit abnormal tissue growth. It is ideally suited to treat the deeper layers of skin in acne. The diagram shows sequential thermograms of an inflamed tendon in the elbow before and after different time applications of red laser. Inflammation on a thermogram shows up as red, while normal tissue has a green image tone.
Because acne involves both deep and superficial tissue problems, both areas need to be treated. This can be accomplished with a single form of light therapy by placing blue methylene dye on the skin surface and treating with the red superpulsed laser. The methylene blue photosensitizes the superficial skin creating a “blue light effect” killing the bacteria. The red laser penetrates deeply reducing inflammation and generating tissue healing.These deep tissue effects result in reduced new scar formation, as well as reducing old scar and tissue discoloration.
Acne is a disorder that begins deep within the body and expresses on the outside, the skin. It only makes sense that a comprehensive treatment program to produce optimal results should also start within the body and progress to the skin.
It is best to look at acne as a disorder that occurs in layers. The first layer is in the chemical/hormonal systems that naturally undergo increased activation during adolescence. The additional stress on this system caused by dietary and nutritional imbalance leads to the triggering of the disorder during a vulnerable period.
The other important layer is the skin itself. The process in the skin driving the actual production of eruptions is complex involving infection as well as inflammation and impeded tissue healing. Combination superpulsedlaser therapy that works both on the surface and deep is ideally suited to yield the best outcome.
Acne can be best resolved by combining good treatment of the chemical imbalances that occur deep within the body as well as good treatment that works on all aspects of the skin lesions themselves.