Monday, 23 July 2012

Natural Acne Cure Found In Produce Aisle

Here's an unexpected idea. The next natural acne cure you use might be found not in the pharmacy but in the produce area of your local market. Thyme is a herb that is naturally loaded with lots of anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial properties.

We all know acne as a skin condition that causes unsightly pimples. It happens when the pores on the surface of the skin get clogged, and while most common during the teen (3 of 4 teens have acne) years can hit at any age... even babies. It does not come from chocolate, nuts or greasy foods. Still, you should know that diets high in refined sugars might be related to acne.

A team of researchers out of the U.K's Leeds Metropolitan University used thyme along with marigold and myrrh to create a tincture. A tincture is made when plant material is soaked in alcohol for days or weeks. The process draws out the active compounds of the plant.

They then tested the tinctures, as well as an alcohol control, on bacteria that are known to cause acne. These mixtures were all able to kill off the acne-causing bacteria after five minutes, but thyme was by far the most potent. The thyme tincture also had a greater antibacterial effect than standard preparations of benzoyl peroxide.

If the findings hold up, thyme could be a natural option for treating acne. Current treatments with benzoyl peroxide come with the potential side effect of burning and skin irritation - common in many patients and especially those with sensitive skin.

Study researchers believe a herbal preparation is going to be less hard on the skin because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the plants being used. And they could be as, maybe more, effective than the treatments available to patients today.

Still dermatologists point out that while promising, this study is preliminary, and thyme-based acne treatments are still some years away.

There are certainly those who think a thyme-based natural acne treatment cannot come soon enough. Benzoyl peroxide is irritating and very drying, so an herbal treatment would be a fantastic option to offer patients.

In the meantime, if you deal with acne, the first thing you need to do is visit the skin care area of your local pharmacy. Select a cleanser containing salicylic acid and follow it with a benzoyl peroxide product that you leave on your skin. If using these products doesn't show any results after a week or so, you need to take the next step, seeing a dermatologist to get a prescription strength medication.

And even the experts who conducted the study warn people not to use thyme at home as natural acne cure. Just because it shows results in the lab doesn't mean what you'd buy and apply to your skin will do the same thing. More clinical testing needs to be carried out before we can have an effective, gentle and natural treatment for acne... but it seems we're on our way.

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