What’s the Difference Between Conventional and Natural Acne Treatment
Interviewer: Give us an example of how a Conventional Dermatologist would treat acne as compared with methods you employ with Holistic Dermatology.
Dr. Dattner: As a Conventional Dermatologist depending upon the severity of the acne, I might use some topical Benzoyl Peroxide. This opens up the clogs and calms down any infection in the area. If it’s worse, I’d go to antibiotics, and if it’s worse still, I might even go to Retinoids or oral Retinoids.
In my practice I did a little of those things before I started using more alternative methods. But I began to see some problems with people who had been to dermatologists and been on antibiotics for a long time. They started developing yeast overgrowth, chronic fatigue, and various other problems.
Dr. Dattner: So as a Holistic Dermatologist for the past three or four decades, I work on the digestive tract. I try to get the intestinal organisms more normalized. I try to enhance the digestion. I try to fix leaky gut and inflammation and fix the liver and… I keep working from the bottom up until I have gotten to the skin.
Interviewer: Right, and then the skin is going to react.
Dr. Dattner: Yes.Then I’ll help with drainage products to help the skin. And I get a longer cure when my patients have learned how to take care of themselves.
Interviewer: Yeah, I mean it’s not just putting something topical on–it’s about getting rid of the cause of the problem and following through, right?
Dr. Dattner: Right
Interviewer: And it’s a lifelong change.
Dr. Dattner: Right. And they can still use topicals, but as a part of a larger holistic program of natural acne treatment.
Imagine a hot button that sets off acne when it is pushed. There is such a “button” that has been recognized in cells that sets off an inflammatory response. It is call the “inflammasome”.
A recent study published in the latest issue of the “Journal of Investigative Dermatology” showed that the acne bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, activates the “inflammasome” in cells, and may be an important part in the mechanism that sets off acne.
While they suggest finding ways to block this activation, I suggest we look for ways to avoid it and keep our fingers off the button.
For the past few decades, the role of diet in acne treatment was considered to be a red herring. But thinking is changing in recent years. In part, thanks to a great dermatologist and world expert on acne who just passed away last Sunday.
Dr. Alan Shalita was an expert in both clinical treatment and research in the field. And most impressively, his perspective changed as new evidence cam in.
Years ago, he rebuffed my suggestion that diet might have some role in affecting the sebum in a way that caused acne. But in 2010, he was senior author on a scientific article that re-examined the evidence on the association of diet and acne and he concluded that “Dermatologists can no longer dismiss the association between diet and acne.”
He called for others to explore this relationship between diet and acne, something I have been doing successfully for the past few decades. It is of note that such an expert revised not only his thinking, but that his speaking out helped to change the thinking of the majority of dermatologists.
For the past half a century, dermatologists believed that diet had no effect on acne. It’s time for us to wake up to what we are putting in our bodies, if we truly want clear skin.
For years I have been writing and lecturing that acne is caused by inflammation that comes from within.
It’s not just a “local” process caused by plugged follicles. It’s not just caused by the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes that lives in the follicle. Over the years, more data has accumulated to support this thinking.
The big news is that just this month, an article came out in the most scholarly of all the dermatology professional journals, showing that acne is not only related to inflammation, but also has characteristics of an autoimmune disease.
An article in the February issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that extracts from the acne bacteria cause formation of “TH 17 Lymphocytes,” a type of white cell characteristic of autoimmune disorders. This same type of lymphocyte was also found in acne lesions themselves.
The other factors, such as diet, have yet to be connected to the findings in this study, but the evidence is growing stronger that something is lighting the fire to cause the inflammation in acne.
Since most people have this Propionibacterium (acne-related) organism in their skin, the flame that sets it off the fire of acne may well be coming from what you eat.
If you break out in acne, pay very close attention to what you put in your body the few days before the acne explosion. Studying your breakout cycle is the start of natural acne treatment.