Zap your zits

March 2014

By Deepak Acharya

Pulverise your pimples into extinction with a panoply of herbal easy to source ingredients, says Dr Deepak Acharya


Acne may not rank as a life-threatening disease, but for almost all teenagers, it constitutes a major tragedy. At a time when self-esteem is most intimately tied with one’s appearance, along comes the acne to rain upon our parade. But there is hope. There exist a plethora of herbal options which safely, naturally and effectively eliminate that spoilsport, and restore our complexion.

 Acne starts with the over-production of sebum from the sebaceous glands which results in the blockage of the pores with a sticky mass of dead cells and oil. It results in infection that occurs due to bacteria normally present in the skin. These convert the mass into compounds that cause inflammation and unattractive raised surfaces. Skin irritation may also result from the use of synthetic cosmetics. The problem worsens by pinching, squeezing, scratching or rubbing the affected skin area.

Common triggers

One of the most common causes is hormonal imbalance that occurs during adolescence. Other factors are emotional stress and surging sex hormones. During puberty, androgen (a sex hormone), stimulates the oil glands typically seen on the face, chest, back and shoulders. Many girls are prone to acne during the week before menstruation.

The prime suspects are sugars, saturated fat and iodised salt (liberally used on crisps, chips, and other fast food).  A diet based on junk food, snacks, chocolates, soft drinks, and alcohol is low in several vital nutrients. Deficiency of these nutrients may result in eruption of acne.

Eat well to beat acne

A nutritious diet eaten at regular meal times is essential as this plays a big role in preventing and treating acne. It is not just a matter of what you eat, but more about what you do not eat.

  1.  Many acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. Nuts, yoghurt, skimmed milk and skinless poultry can supplement this mineral in the diet.
  2. A diet rich in polyunsaturated fats has been known to counteract the
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