Prob­lem Skin Guide

Six com­mon con­di­tions, and nat­u­ral ways to treat them

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Lisa Turner

Six com­mon con­di­tions, and nat­u­ral ways to treat them.

Are you itchy, mot­tled, spot­ted or in­flamed—and won­der­ing why? We’ve got an­swers. Here’s a guide to six com­mon con­di­tions, with sci­ence-backed sup­ple­ments and nat­u­ral top­i­cals de­signed to tame trou­bled skin.


Break­outs for the first time since high school—or ever? You may be look­ing at adult acne, caused by hor­monal shifts, med­i­ca­tions, stress, and other fac­tors. Avoid sal­i­cylic acid, ben­zoyl per­ox­ide, and harsh prod­ucts geared to­ward teens—they can make mat­ters worse—and choose those suited for more ma­ture skin. Gly­colic acid ton­ers, cleansers, creams, and masks gen­tly slough off dead skin cells to pre­vent build-up that can clog pores, and witch hazel re­duces in­flam­ma­tion and fights bac­te­ria, with­out dry­ing. Or try zinc, vi­ta­min A, and vi­ta­min E: stud­ies show zinc is ef­fec­tive in treat­ing acne, and peo­ple with se­vere acne have sig­nif­i­cantly lower blood lev­els of vi­ta­mins A and E.


Brown­ish-gray patches on the cheeks, fore­head, bridge of the nose, and up­per lip may be melasma, a skin dis­col­oration re­lated to sun ex­po­sure, birth con­trol pills, and ex­treme hor­monal shifts; it’s es­pe­cially com­mon in preg­nancy. Brown spots (also called liver spots) are usu­ally caused by long-term sun ex­po­sure. A skin-light­en­ing cream with al­pha-ar­butin (bear­berry), mul­berry, vi­ta­min C, ko­jic acid, licorice, or hy­dro­quinone— a com­pound that works by de­creas­ing the for­ma­tion of melanin—can help. Use sun­screen re­li­giously; choose a min­eral-based block made with ti­ta­nium diox­ide or zinc ox­ide. And try grape­seed ex­tract or py­c­nogenol; both have been shown to re­duce hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion as­so­ci­ated with melasma.


If they’re around your nose and cheeks, it could be rosacea, a chronic in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tion of the skin that may also in­clude fa­cial flush­ing, di­lated or bro­ken blood ves­sels, thick­ened skin, changes in pore size and skin tex­ture, and small red bumps. The cause is un­known, but rosacea can be ex­ac­er­bated by al­co­hol, spicy foods, stress, ex­treme tem­per­a­tures, or wind and sun ex­po­sure. Top­i­cal home­o­pathic for­mu­la­tions with cal­en­dula, chamomilla, rhus tox, thuja, and other in­gre­di­ents can soothe red­ness; or try a lo­tion or cream that con­tains rutin, bioflavonoids, and wild yam to strengthen cap­il­lar­ies. Use a fra­grance­free tinted sun­screen to tem­po­rar­ily cam­ou­flage red­ness, and try tak­ing evening prim­rose oil and zinc; both can im­prove red­ness and other skin pa­ram­e­ters.


Ker­ato­sis pi­laris, caused by plugged hair fol­li­cles, is marked by tiny whitish bumps that re­sem­ble chicken skin, most com­monly on the cheeks, up­per arms, and but­tocks. Bright, cherry-col­ored dots that look like red moles may be cherry an­giomas, tiny clus­ters

of small blood ves­sels. Both are harm­less—but if they bother you, try nat­u­ral treat­ments. For ker­ato­sis pi­laris, reg­u­lar ex­fo­li­a­tion is a must; use a sea-salt or sugar-based scrub to re­move dead skin cells, and fol­low with a rich mois­tur­izer—dry skin tends to ex­ac­er­bate the prob­lem. Try treat­ing cherry an­giomas with top­i­cal es­sen­tial oils; tea tree, chamomile, laven­der, or­ange, and pelargo­nium leaf oils can help.


It could be eczema, a group of sev­eral skin con­di­tions; the most com­mon of these is atopic der­mati­tis, char­ac­ter­ized by dry, cracked, and in­flamed skin with in­tense itch­ing. Red patches with a sil­very-white coat­ing and milder itch­ing may be pso­ri­a­sis. Most com­monly seen on the knees, el­bows, lower back, and scalp, pso­ri­a­sis is a chronic au­toim­mune con­di­tion that leads to over­pro­duc­tion of skin cells, which then be­come in­flamed, itchy, and ir­ri­tated. While eczema and pso­ri­a­sis are dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, the treat­ment is the same: use gen­tle, un­scented soaps and cleansers, and keep skin well-hy­drated to min­i­mize dry­ness and itch­ing. Look for creams and lo­tions that con­tain neem oil, vi­ta­min E, pine ex­tract, py­c­nogenol, bear­berry, or Car­diosper­mum hal­i­ca­cabum to tame itch­ing. And try tak­ing fish oil, vi­ta­min E, vi­ta­min D, and se­le­nium; all have been shown to help re­duce pso­ri­a­sis and/or eczema.


Con­tact der­mati­tis, a form of eczema, oc­curs when skin is ex­posed to an ir­ri­tant, like de­ter­gents, poi­son ivy, la­tex, nickel jew­elry, or chem­i­cals in body care prod­ucts. It’s marked by a rash, red­ness, burn­ing, itch­ing, or swelling, and some­times in­cludes small blis­ters or raw, peel­ing skin. Most rashes caused by con­tact re­solve on their own in a few days to two weeks; in the mean­time, if you’re ex­posed to an ir­ri­tant, wash the af­fected area well with mild soap and cool wa­ter, and ap­ply a sooth­ing salve; look for those with chamomile, cal­en­dula, licorice, marsh­mal­low ( hy­per­icum), or aloe vera.

aloe vera


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