Acne Rosacea: a bug in the system.

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcb2f206970b-200wiThere have been a number of observations quoted in the literature of rosacea that is associated with a particular bacteria living in the stomach.

That bacteria is known for being associated with the formation of stomach ulcers, and is named Helicobacter pylori. Its ulcer-causing activity was proven by a bold physician who swallowed a culture of Helicobacter pylori, and got severe stomach upset and developed stomach ulcers.

Some, but by no means all, people with this bacteria living in their stomachs get rosacea, and some people taking the antibiotic triple therapy to get improvement in their rosacea.

So here we have a bug that does not live in the follicles in the face that sets off the reaction in the face that we see as rosacea. The ability of an organism at a distant site to cause a reaction on the face is likely due to the immune reaction it sets off. This could be the start of a natural acne treatment.

More soon on natural acne treatment and holistic skincare.

To Your Health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Acne Rosacea… Is it bugging you?

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcb2f206970b-200wiAnother inhabitant of the skin and hair follicles is named Staphylococcus Epidermitis. This form of staph is as common as robins in springtime; that is to say most people have this organism living on their skin.

Nevertheless, there is at least one report on rosacea that seems to be related to it. Whether the individual had some sort of immune defect, or the bacteria had some genetic variation, there is an inflammation caused by it.

There are many other organisms that share the skin, and Staphylococcus epidermitis is valuable because it is a benign bacteria that usually not only does not cause harm: it also occupies the niche so that harmful bacteria cannot find a place to grow. Unfortunately, even this “friend” can sometimes be a bad actor. Here’s a reference to the study.

More on rosacea and natural acne treatment soon.

To Your Health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

Rosacea… Acne’s Annoying Cousin.

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcb2f206970b-200wiMy seventh grade science teacher used to recite a quote, to give us the essence of the biologic world:

“Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ‘em, and little fleas have smaller fleas, and so on, ad infinitum.”

And so it goes with rosacea. A portion of the people with rosacea have organisms living in the follicles that may be part of the cause of the rash.

One of the organisms that has been found in increased numbers in the hair follicles is a mite (not a flea, but a very distant relative), named Demodex folliculorum. A propos to the quote, Demodex is inhabited by a bacteria called Bacillus Oleronius, which itself has been suspected to be a stimulus of the inflammation seen. Would you believe, this bacteria was first identified in rear gut of a termite? It may be involved in causing the downfall of both your appearance and your house!

More on Acne Rosacea and treating acne naturally, soon.

To Your Health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

Acne Rosacea – What’s Getting Under Your Skin?

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcb2f206970b-200wiTreating your acne rosacea naturally can bring up a bit of shock. People are often horrified to find out that there are tiny organisms living in the follicles on their nose and the center of their face. Some of those organisms include tiny mites that burrow into the hair follicles with their tail sticking out.

These mites, known as Demodex, are shaped like tiny cigars, with legs at one end. Identifying an abundance of them under the microscope after scraping the skin can be very helpful for the treating dermatologist, and for the patient as well.

Nevertheless, they can bring up great disgust when the patient sees them, wiggling under the microscope after being scraped off their skin. There is an old morbid old children’s rhyme: “the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout.” Sounds like rosacea to me.

What’s more, these mites have bacteria living inside of them, which may be a stimulation for the inflammation seen in rosacea. To top that off, this is only the beginning of the list of organisms living in the hair follicles that are suspected to play a role in causing rosacea. Treating rosacea naturally can be the safest, longest-lasting way to clear it. More on treatment methods in the next blog.

To your health,

Dr. Alan Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

Natural Skincare: Have a Sweet Holiday…

6a00e55255b4628834017eea9532aa970d-200wiBut not too sweet! 

The Holidays are a time for parties, celebrations, and special treats.  Candies, cookies and cakes appear as gifts and thank you’s at all sorts of homes and businesses at this time of year. It is not uncommon to hear a nudge to eat that “forbidden treat”- “Go ahead, it’s the holidays.”  In the process, a lot more sugar gets eaten at this time of year. Other rich foods, like egg nog, and alcoholic drinks, and even foods suspected of being allergic, get consumed as well. 
Some people date the onset or aggravation of their skin problems to this time of year. Sugar aggravates acne and other conditions by a variety of different pathways. It
favors overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract, which leads to leaky gut, absorption of allergens from food, and inflammation of oil glands. 
A spike in blood sugar is answered by a spike in insulin levels, and then a rise in Insulin-like growth factor  (IGF). This IGF has been shown to affect the follicular area in more than one way that leads to acne formation. This is just one way in which too much sugar can lead to a skin problem.
Other rich foods, alcohol, and allergy producing foods all have ways in which they can aggravate not only acne, but other skin problems. 
So I wish you a sweet New Year and Holiday season, filled with love and deeper joy, but light on the sugar in its many forms. This is the one of best possible natural acne treatments.

To your health,

Alan M Dattner, MD


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Think you know about chocolate and acne? Think again… More on natural acne treatment.

6a00e55255b462883401a73d90a99a970d-200wiNatural acne treatment is complex, and there are a number of factors determining what will cure your acne, as compared with someone else’s.

Here’s one issue: there have been a number of studies regarding acne that have confused rather than clarified the understanding of what to recommend for acne problems. One of the biggest confusions comes because acne sufferers differ in what causes their acne: this is not a single condition with a single cause.

Studies on acne and chocolate have been done because there are many people who, over the years, have observed acne outbreaks after eating chocolate. For some of those people, eating chocolate occurs when they also binge on sweets or eat poorly and leave out vegetables from their diets. These factors are often left out of studies.

One key study on the effects of feeding chocolate bars, versus similar-tasting bars without chocolate, was published by Dr. James Fulton in 1969. The study observed no difference in acne in those who ate the chocolate versus the placebo bars, and concluded that chocolate had no effect on acne. Thus, an entire generation of dermatologists was trained to believe that chocolate had no effect on acne based on this and other studies. That study is now considered to be flawed in its methods, and its conclusions not valid.

Clearly, there are some people who break out from eating chocolate, some people who beak out from binging on chocolate, and others who seem to have no outbreak. Some may be additionally aggravated by the milk products, sugars, or oils in milk chocolate, or be eating the chocolate to deal with stress or depression, any of which factors could aggravate acne.

So, the relationship between eating chocolate and acne is not a simple matter, and should not be dismissed with a simple statement, but rather be evaluated in the larger context of the overall habits and responses of the individual. If there is a suspicion of a relationship (between a particular food and an outbreak), and you want to treat acne naturally, without drugs, chocolate should be stopped, and re-added later to see if it causes outbreaks.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

Get rid of acne, eczema, migraines, and fatigue, naturally.

6a00e55255b462883401901b97a4d5970b-200wiI recently read an article in the Science Section of the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope entitled “Telling food allergies from false alarms”. The article focuses on the efficacy of food allergy antibody tests (only one of many kinds of allergy tests there are.) It suggests that people avoiding a number of foods face malnutrition and inconvenience.

The article overlooks the great value in helping patients eliminate foods which trigger a wide variety of conditions, most of which have an inflammatory etiology. Any blood test, be it of antibody reactivity, neutrophil change, or lymphocyte response, may be helpful to point out foods to test for potential clinical improvement by elimination and challenge.

I have seen numerous conditions including acne, eczema, irritable bowel, hidradenitis, migraines, and fatigue improve with food elimination. A physician experienced in multiple forms of food testing can help associate symptoms with exposures, choose appropriate tests, and interpret results. This kind of natural acne treatment is a lot cheaper than prescription drugs.

One things I do agree on is that allergy tests can give a wide variety of food and allergen sensitivities which may or may not indicate the cause of a patient’s presenting condition.

The absolute best way to learn what foods are causing skin or any other problems is to eliminate all possible trigger foods, check to see if the problem clears, and then every few days, add a food back to the diet to find out which is the culprit. The value of trials of food elimination to improve disease should not be overlooked for lack of definitive testing in major centers.

To your health,

-Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

7 Ultimate Tips for Natural Anti-Aging and Skincare

6a00e55255b46288340192aad09078970d-200wiHave dreams of looking youthful well into middle age? Want to age gracefully and naturally? Well, hold onto your hat! The number one cause of premature aging of the skin is sun damage. As a holistic dermatologist, my first approach is always prevention.

From childhood, one should be protecting the skin from excessive sun. Unfortunately, the ozone layer’s natural sun protection has degraded due to an excess of carbon monoxide and chlorofluorocarbons–a sad environmental problem related to the “skin” of the earth.

Fortunately, there are still ways we can enjoy the sun and protect ourselves from wrinkles, skin cancer, and the release of free-radicals into the body.

  1. avoid the sun at its strongest hours, 11 am to 3 pm, by staying indoors
  2. when outside, wear light colored protective clothes covering limbs, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses for the eyes
  3. folks who burn easily should use high SPF clothing, specifically made to protect from the sun
  4. apply high-factor sunscreen (I like non-nano zinc oxide and titanium best) to the face, ears, exposed parts of the neck, and chest
  5. re-apply sunscreen every two hours and again after going in the water
  6. never stay in the sun long enough to burn (skin becoming pink is a sure sign)
  7. take ample doses of anti-oxidants A, C, & E, and bioflavinoids, during sun exposure to help the body recover

Do spend up to ten minutes per day in the sun several times a week however to make sure your body makes enough vitamin D, and enjoy the summer!

-Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose, or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Miracle Success-Story in Natural Acne Skincare: Heal Your Skin, Heal Your Life

6a00e55255b4628834019103d2111f970c-320wiWant to get rid of acne naturally?

I see acne and other skin disease as a symptom of underlying problems that need to be shifted. This is radically different than how the majority of my colleagues, the medical literature, and the media see acne, so let me illustrate this with a recent experience a patient had being treated with this perspective.

Erin had acne in her late teens, treated with antibiotics and BCP’s, and again recently with stresses including the death of a close friend and the purchasing a new house with her husband. She recalled periodic abdominal pains plagued her since college, and she had bad cramping and pain with her cycle since September.

I focused first on treating her digestive system, which was disturbed by her previous acne treatment in college. She also mentioned that she was a serious runner who trained for Iron Man competitions, so I mentioned that the digestive enzymes I was about to give her might help her performance.

She followed the diet and supplement regimen carefully and came back with a a definite improvement in her acne, decrease in abdominal bloating, and dramatic reduction in the pain that used to cause her to spend three days with a heating pad on her belly during her menses.

What was most remarkable to me was that she experienced an improvement in her running times during the month of diet changes and supplements. She had been training since December 1st this year, and seemed to be doing much better in this past month. Admittedly, she was training harder, but that did not seem to be enough reason alone to account for her running times per mile on a 12 mile run to decrease from 9 minutes and 30-35 seconds (last year and initially) to 8 minutes and 20 seconds per mile recently! 

Fixing her underlying digestive and hormonal issues not only improved her acne, and abdominal symptoms, but also enabled her to perform to her full capacity.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, and wonder if this kind of treatment might help you, please contact me here.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care. – See more at:

The Simplicity of Holistic Medicine

6a00e55255b462883401910308457c970c-200wiMy integrative medicine philosophy is formed on the basis that simple, gentle, and natural solutions be implemented first. Simple solutions are almost always less costly, less time-intensive, and less toxic.

I use good common sense coupled with decades of holistic dermatology experience to evaluate what the situation calls for. With the might of the most powerful modern medicine at our fingertips, we may still choose to approach a skin disease with a cup of tea, if that’s what makes the most sense.

In an urgent situation, after proper evaluation, I might prescribe a full course of steroids if that makes the most sense. I find it absurd, for example, that patients with simple colds are routinely given antibiotics, when there’s no scientific basis for the prescription. It’s as absurd as unleashing an attack dog on a rubber chicken.

How might you apply this philosophy of common sense to your own life?

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose, or treat illness; please see your physician for care.