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Acne, whether it is severe or not, is extremely burdensome. Typically, one suffering from acne feels self-conscious, embarrassed, and helpless. That is why many people turn to oral acne medications to clear up their unpleasant imperfections.

However, taking such medications come at a major price, as they compromise one’s safety. For example, acne medication, Accutane (or generically known as isotretinoin), may be associated with feelings of depression and suicide.

In light of this evidence, researchers conducted studies to discover what affect Accutane had on the brains of patients using it. The study involved 28 young adults who were divided into two groups: those taking Accutane and others using antibiotics. Before taking treatments, patients received positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which measured the active regions in their brains. Researchers found no correlation between severe acne and feelings of depression.

The patients then took their assigned medications, and after four months, received a second PET scan. Researchers found:

Those taking Accutane showed a 21 percent decrease in the orbitofrontal cortex (front part of the brain) activity, which is the part of the brain that plays a critical role in mood and social interaction.

Those who took alternative antibiotics did not show any change from the first PET scan to the second. In addition to depression and suicidal behavior, using Accutane may cause psychosis and aggressive behavior.

Medical World Communication, November 6, 2004. Dr. Mercola’s Comment: with acne affecting about 85 percent of the population at some time in their life, it is the most common skin disease addressed by dermatologists. However, conventional approaches to treating acne, such as Accutane, merely focus on treating the symptoms and NEVER actually address the cause.

The problem with this approach: Antibiotics invariably kill beneficial bacteria in the colon and set the stage for problems with chronic yeast infections. Further, while these dermatologists claim diet has nothing to do with acne – nothing could be further from the truth! So you may be wondering why doctors typically don’t tell you that diet influences acne.

Well, doctors cannot sell you a healthy diet, and they are under the intense influence of the drug companies to prescribe expensive and sometimes harmful topical acne creams and antibiotics. The real answer to controlling acne is by optimizing your insulin levels. The best way to do that is to avoid sugar and grains.

This is especially beneficial for someone suffering from acne, as eating refined carbohydrates and sugar leads to a surge of insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1 in your body. This can lead to an excess of male hormones, which cause pores in the skin to secrete sebum, a greasy substance that attracts acne-promoting bacteria. Additionally, IGF-1 causes skin cells known as keratinocytes to multiply, a process that is associated with acne.

Also, stress can worsen just about every disease we encounter, and this includes acne. That’s why it is so important to have a useful tool to help you with your stress before it becomes overwhelming. There are a variety of ways that you can do this – yoga, meditation, or making sure you get enough quality sleep. Find a method that works best for you.

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