Q. Dear Terry, “My teenage son has been dealing with a lot of acne over the past six months. He’s tried some of the over-the-counter washes and creams, but they haven’t made much of a difference. We made an appointment with a dermatologist for next month. What herbs or nutrients do you recommend for him?” – Cliff P., Pharr, TX
A. Dear Cliff, There are many factors that play a role in the development of acne like hormones, toxins, stress, and certain foods or beverages. While many approaches to acne involve external treatments, I feel that healthy skin is actually more about what’s going on inside of the body than outside it.
When it comes to preventing or treating acne, I believe a nutritional approach including vitamins, minerals, and herbs can provide some excellent results. I recommend a combination of vitamins (A, B6, pantothenic acid, and C) and minerals (chromium, potassium, and zinc), along with sulfur, burdock, and boswellia. These ingredients are crucial for balancing oil production, restoring healthy bacterial balance, and improving overall skin integrity. I would take 1,500 mcg (5,000 IU) of vitamin A in its retinyl acetate form, 100 mg of vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), 5 mg of vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5-phosphate), 25 mg of pantothenic acid (as d-calcium pantothenate), 15 mg of zinc (as zinc glycinate chelate), 100 mcg of chromium (as chromium picolinate), 100 mg of potassium (as potassium chloride), 100 mg of sulfur (sublimed), 50 mg of burdock, and 50 mg of boswellia, twice daily.
Because skin issues can take time to heal, I suggest he try these ingredients for at least 60 days. Some people may respond right away, in as little as 1 to 2 weeks, while others may need more time to help correct the issues that led to the acne.
For additional support, he may want to consider adding andrographis. Andrographis has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda. Andrographis is extremely beneficial for the liver and can increase our own antioxidant production. Research has also shown that andrographis is effective at fighting many pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi – which can contribute to skin issues and breakouts. I believe that taking 400 mg of andrographis once daily would be an excellent choice. Look for an andrographis standardized to andrographolide content.
Lastly, I think a high-quality probiotic could be very beneficial. Probiotics help improve gut bacterial balance, which is great for our overall health.
Terry . . . Naturally