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Acne is a skin condition which affects most teenagers and young adults. Almost 90% of adolescents suffer from acne at some point in time. The intensity may vary from person to person though. The number of visits to the physicians by those suffering from acne around the world is more than 2 million with people spending in excess of 1 billion dollars in acne treatment. More than 2% of youngsters compromise on their choice of career due to acne.
In spite of these mind boggling numbers, researchers are still nowhere close to answering one important question; what causes acne and what is the best available solution?
Although it is believed by many medical professionals that sebum overproduction and the subsequent growth of bacteria in the clogged pores is one of the reasons for acne, there are several dependent conditions which enhance its intensity.
Treatment includes grading of acne which typically falls under 4 categories; mild, moderate, severe and extremely severe. The severity quotient helps physicians determine an appropriate discourse. If the treatment is started at the onset of acne chances of scarring is reduced considerably, and with it the additional burden of low self-esteem and mental health issues.
What is the Best Acne Treatment?
Topical agents available over the counter are the first step towards negotiating acne. Everyone at some point of their lives has used these antibacterial face washes, spot treatments or other acne products as part of their skin care routine. They can remove dead skin cells, excess oils, restore balance to the skin and unclog pores easily at home. However, they may not be enough to treat acne.
Moderate and severe acne require attention from a medical professional. These types of acne are usually treated with oral antibiotics or as a combination therapy. Severe acnes such as hormonal acne or cystic acne, may be negotiated with a stricter approach, typically isotretinoin. This can offer complete absolution but it not always guaranteed.
Some of the commonly used treatments for acne vulgaris include benzoyl peroxide, beta hydroxy acid, retinoids, isotretinoin, glycolic acid, keratolytic soaps, alpha hydroxy acids, azelaic acid, salicylic acid as well as hormonal, anti-androgen or anti-seborrheic. A recent study has confirmed that none of the above are free from side effects. Moreover, the research also mentions that the reason for their healing properties or their exact role in such therapeutic treatments at least in some cases is still unclear.
As more and more people get affected by acne every year researchers have started looking out for alternative medicines such as natural plant extracts. A perfect example would be the infamous Cannabis sativa. Plants are known to be rich in ingredients that heal chronic physical and dermal ailments. Moreover, medicines derived from plants have almost no side effects which make them a preferred choice for many, and the reason for its growing popularity.
Interestingly, humans boast a unique system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates several physiological processes, including cutaneous cell turnover. Researchers have proved that compounds in Cannabis sativa plant such as CBD which is non psychotropic and a phytocannabinoid helps regulate the secretion of sebum, and therefore an effective sebostatic agent. CBD oil works on two fronts. One it stabilizes the production of sebum and two, it also maintains a healthy balance of other essential oils thereby preventing acne.
Click here to find out about other alternative treatments for acne.
Does it mean that CBD is the best acne treatment? Or, is it the most promising alternative medicine for acne?
Many plant extractions seem to be loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Cannabis sativa is just one of them. In its clinical tests CBD has come up with impressive results. It simply means CBD is here to stay for a long time. Whether it will be used as a standalone medication to fight acne or partnered with other therapeutic measures, only time will tell.