The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point

Acne treatments

The surest way to know that there is no truly effective treatment for a condition is to count the number of treatment recommendations. The more recommendations, the less likely it is that any of them have a significant effect. I’m not sure if there is a tipping point. Whether 6 or 12 or 20 recommended treatments guarantee that you will have less than complete cure.

Here are some of the recommendations from just one article.

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Secrets to improving acne treatment

A big challenge in treating acne is sticking with treatment over the long haul. Dr. Mary Lupo, a dermatologist and clinical professor at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, says there are four secrets to helping people stick with their acne treatment.

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Ah shi acupuncture to treat acne

Researchers at East-West Neo Medical Center, in Seoul, Korea, treated people with moderately severe acne vulgaris.

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Consumer Alert: Miracle Mineral Solution

The FDA has warned consumers not to use Miracle Mineral Solution, an oral liquid solution also known as “Miracle Mineral Supplement” or “MMS.”

Believe it or not, this product, when used as directed, produces industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health, including causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.

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Phototherapy treatment of acne vulgaris

Researchers from Cairo University in Egypt compared pulsed dye laser (PDL), intense pulsed light (IPL), and light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy.

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Diet and the risk of acne.

The diet-acne relationship is considered important in traditional Chinese medicine.

Researchers from The Chinese University of Hong Kong identified several associations.

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Is there a diet-acne connection?

Drs. Jonette Keri and Rajiv Nijhawan from the University of Miami in Florida have reviewed the evidence.

Here are the highlights.

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Acne and touching your face

For the average American kid — you know the one: has caring parents, lives in a nice place, with no wants or needs — acne is likely to be the first event that can not be easily controlled to their satisfaction.

It’s God’s way of saying, “Look, there are going to be things in you life that you just have to make the best of. Get used to it. You can practice on acne.”

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Soap and acne

In an adolescent’s zeal to punish pimples, there is a tendency to select the most harsh, abrasive skin cleansers available. If sandpaper could be made to produce suds, some young people (and adults) would use it.

Craig Burkhart, MD, of the Department of Dermatology at Ohio University School of Medicine has a better approach.

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Acne: Recommendations are easy; data, scarce

Herbalists recommend more than a dozen herbal remedies for acne and scarring, according to a recent article.

Unfortunately, only 1 of these herbals is supported by the results of a study in patients.

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Acne cosmetica and other myths

Acne cosmetica was first described over 30 years ago. It was proposed that substances in cosmetic products caused the formation of comedones (blackheads) and, in some cases, an eruption. Changes in cosmetic ingredients make acne cosmetica much less common today, although it is reported occasionally.

Dr. Zoe Draelos, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine, published a review that answers many issues about cosmetics, cosmeceuticals and acne. Here are 4 myths, dispelled.

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Support for the effect of diet on acne

Acne vulgaris has anecdotally been attributed to diet.

This review by researchers at The George Washington University Medical Center, in Washington, DC, found convincing data supporting the role of dairy products and high-glycemic-index foods.

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Herbal treatments for acne vulgaris

Faculty members from Hamdard University in New Delhi, India have published a review on Medscape of treatment options for acne, with emphasis on herbal treatment options.

Here’s a summary of the herbal section.

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Ineffective herbal remedies for treating acne

I recently came across a website advocating herbals to treat or prevent acne.

The website isn’t important, but the results of my PubMed searches might be useful.

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Consumer Alert: Miracle Mineral Supplement aka MMS

This product, when used as directed, produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm.

Swallowing doses of this bleach, such as those recommended in the labeling can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.

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Stop smoking? What are the chances?

There are lots of benefits for those who stop smoking. I don’t want to get into that again. Rather, let’s look at the likelihood that if someone stops smoking, one year later they will still be a nonsmoker. Also, let’s review the impact of smoking cessation programs.

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Does anyone use St. John’s wort to treat dental pain?

Its claimed anti-pain and anti-inflammatory properties in homeopathic medicine have led to a number of studies in patients with acute pain.

Researchers at University of Witten/Herdecke, in Germany reviewed the evidence for using St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) for pain conditions in homeopathic dental practice.

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Predicting the risk of psychosis in cannabis users

Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of psychosis. It’s suggested that genetic variation in the AKT1 gene might influence this adverse effect.

Researchers at Kings College London, in the UK, studied the connection.

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Water and air conditioning help the elderly avoid heatstroke

Every year, heatstroke accounts for at least 240 deaths in the United States. In the United States, most people with heatstroke are elderly inner-city residents.

The current heatwave warrants this reposting.

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Avoid marijuana during pregnancy and breast feeding

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published its position on use of pot during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

The bottom line.

Yes, there are limitations in the available data about marijuana’s effects on the fetus during pregnancy and on the neonate during lactation. However, ACOG has seen enough to recommend that during pregnancy and during breast feeding to advise “discontinuation of maternal use [of marijuana], whether recreational or medicinal.”

There are no FDA-approved indications regarding marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation. Also, there are no standardized formulations, dosages, or delivery systems. Smoking, the most common route of administration of THC, cannot be medically condoned during pregnancy and lactation, according to ACOG.

The use of marijuana during pregnancy is associated with lower scores on tests of attention, coordination, and behavior in offspring.

6/25/15 JR